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Found in the Stacks: Icons and Aliens

Icons and Aliens: Law, Aesthetics, and Environmental Change by John J. Costonis, University of Illinois, 1989. KF 5692 .C67 1989

Icons and Aliens explores the law of aesthetics. We might not normally think of aesthetics as having its own law, but this book is a reminder that we find legal questions in many places, some of them unexpected. The unusual title refers to the different ways that people can think of landmarks. The Golden Gate Bridge was initially much reviled for being an alien presence in the harbor. Now many years later it has become a celebrated icon of the city.   Costonis examines the legal implications of landmarks, how people react when they are built and when they are torn down.  As aesthetics change, so do our landscapes, and the legal system must respond when these changes cause conflict.  For a look at an unusual way law touches us, check this book out!

Have you found any particularly interesting books lately?  If so, let us know!

Found in the Stacks: Revenuers and Moonshiners

Revenuers and Moonshiners: Enforcing Federal Liquor Law in the Mountain South, 1865-1900 by Wilbur R. Miller, UNC Press, 1991. HJ 5021 .M55 1991

A little slice of history, this book looks at moonshiners in the Reconstruction Era. Moonshiners are often portrayed as fairly romantic figures, but this book is actually looking at federal enforcement of tax laws against said moonshiners. While the setting may be historical, some of the issues are still in question today—like the difficulties inherent in enforcing unpopular laws. If you need a study break, take a look!

Have you found any particularly interesting books lately? If so, let us know!

Found in the Stacks: Banned Films

Banned Films: Movies, Censors and the First Amendment, by Edward de Grazia and Roger K. Newman, R.R. Bowker Company, 1982. KF 4300 .D43

Are you a movie buff? Perhaps you are a little bit of a rebel too? If so you might want to take a look at Banned Films by de Grazia and Newman. The first part of the book is devoted to a history of movie censorship and its run-ins with the law. After that, the authors take a decade or two at a time and mention notable movies that were banned at that time. Interested in knowing which movies were banned in the ’60s, why, and what the legal importance of the ban was? Then this book is for you!

Have you found any particularly interesting books lately? If so, let us know!

Halloween Laws

IUpumpkinIn the spirit of Halloween, I thought I’d share some Halloween-related state laws with you:

Laws about the wearing of masks in public places:

  • Louisiana – La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 14:313
  • Oklahoma – Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, 1301
  • Food laws pertaining to Halloween:North Carolina – N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. 14-401.11

Laws restricting certain conduct on Halloween:

  • Missouri – Mo. Ann. Stat. 589.426 (** Ruled unconstitutional by F.R. v. St. Charles County Sheriff’s Dept., 301 S.W.3d 56)

Special Legally-Declared State Holidays:

  • New Jersey – N.J. Stat. Ann. 36:2-72 (declaring Halloween/Oct. 31st UNICEF Day)

Laws on the Spending Powers of Counties, pertaining to Halloween and other festivities:

  • Wisconsin – Wis. Stat. Ann. 59.56

Laws related to the behavior of sex offenders and violent offenders on Halloween:

  • Florida – Fla. Stat. Ann. 947.1405, 948.30
  • Illinois – 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/3-3-7, 5/5-6-3 et seq., 5/11-9.3, 152/122, and 154/105
  • Louisiana – La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 14:313.1

Laws related to parenting timelines for holidays (including Halloween):

  • Utah – Utah Code Ann. 30-3-35
  • (Many other jurisdictions also include Halloween in parenting guidelines, usually in the form of appendices to the code or court rules.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

 

Happy 281st birthday, George!

Happy birthday, George!

(courtesy of Rittenhoused.com)

Although we officially celebrate it on the third Monday of February each year, George Washington’s birthday is February 22, 1732.  Many happy returns, President Washington!  If you are interested in knowing more about our first president, Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate, maintains a website devoted to all things George.  You can even subscribe to his daily blog!

As a humble gift to the legacy of George Washington and the men who followed him, we offer a few fun presidential facts.  Earlier this month was the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth; however, the month with the most presidential birthdays remains October, with six.  In addition to being a statesman and lawyer, Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender and co-owner of an Illinois saloon.  Andrew Jackson was involved in over 100 duels and carried bullets from two of them in his body throughout his life. Full Story »

Just Say No Thank You

The Law Library has just added another video to its YouTube channel. It’s called Just Say No Thank You, a public service announcement that warns students about a danger they all face.  You might also see some familiar faces—go check it out!  And while you are there you might revisit our Infomercial and our 50’s propaganda film!

We Have A Winner!

Last week I posted a blog entry offering a Starbucks gift card to the first student who could correctly answer several research questions using my new Foreign Law Basics research guide. And we have a winner! Charles Shaw, an associate on the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies,took the challenge and proved to himself how easy it is to do research when you use the correct sources. Congratulations, Charles!

If you haven’t noticed our new Research Guides web site, you should take a look. We already have eight new guides available, and many more are on the way. In fact, if you would like to see a research guide on a particular subject, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

Starbucks, Facebook, and the Law Library

Allow me to extend another hearty welcome, new and returning students!  For those of you who were not involved in yesterday’s law school orientation, you may have noticed that the law library is now on Facebook and Twitter.  You may be asking yourself, ‘why would I want to follow or “like” the law library’?  Through these profiles, the law library will keep you up to date on changes in library hours throughout the year, announcements of library events, and other interesting or fun tidbits we come across.

As an incentive to “like” us on Facebook, when our page reaches 100 likes, we will randomly select one Maurer Law student who has liked us to receive a $25 Starbucks gift card!

And…go!

99 Problems and the Fourth Amendment

If you have heard Jay-Z’s song 99 Problems, you know it is about a true incident that occurred in 1994 when he was pulled over for a seemingly arbitrary traffic speed enforcement. The suggestion is that the cop’s use of traffic laws was a mere pretext for searching his car, as he fit the profile for a drug smuggler.

The song is pregnant with Fourth Amendment issues, particularly the question, “When can you use a traffic stop to search for drugs?” A lot can be gleaned from the lyrics, both truths and inaccuracies. It is perhaps no surprise then, that Jay-Z’s lyrics can be used to gain a better understanding of Criminal Law.

In a line-by-line analysis, Southwestern Law School Law Professor Caleb Mason (in his Saint Louis University Law Journal article, “Jay-Z’s 99 Problems, Verse 2: A Close Reading With Fourth Amendment Guidance for Cops and Perps”) offers a fantastic and enjoyable explanation of this area of law using the lyrics as a touchstone. For those of you who are interested in pop culture representations of criminal justice, you will love the examination given by this writer.

By Jen Kulka (Library Intern & Guest Blogger)

New Law Library YouTube Channel

The Law Library just started its own YouTube channel!  We hope to bring you many educational and entertaining videos in the future.  For our first video, we present an infomercial for the Law Library.  Go check it out!  Thanks to the students and library staff who made this possible.

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