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The Indiana Law Library Blog

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Happy Halloween!

Halloween is this Sunday, and in honor of it OWLS is hosting its 2010 Halloween trick-or-treating this afternoon.  Come along and bring a child, or just enjoy the costumes as they are out and about.  From 3:30 to 5:00 today there will be trick-or-treating around the Law School and a costume parade for the kids.  Have a safe and happy Halloween, and if you’d like to know more about the holiday, there is, as always, an excellent website devoted to it on USA.gov.

Happy Columbus Day!

Columbus Day is actually one of the least recognized federal holidays.  Perhaps that is because it is rather controversial, with many places choosing instead to celebrate alternatives like Native American Day, Discoverer’s Day, or Indigenous Peoples Day.  Have a lovely day no matter which you celebrate, and for more information about Columbus Day you can take a look at USA.gov or at the Columbus Day page from the History Channel.

Happy Constitution Day!

On September 17, 1787 the members of the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution into law.  Every year on September 17th we thus celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, and in fact the date kicks off Constitution week.  Each year there is a presidential statement reaffirming the holiday and educational institutions are encouraged to offer lessons on constitutional history.  We sometimes forget that all of the law that we study and practice has its roots in the United States Constitution. 

If you’d like to brush up on the Constitution, you can find a copy here.  The National Archives also has some interesting materials on U.S. Constitutional history.

Kagan Hearings Begin Monday

As many of you already know, Monday marks the beginning of the Senate Committee hearings on the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.  She is an unusual choice as she lacks judicial experience, but she has a great deal of legal experience. The Indiana Law Blog has an excellent entry linking to her questionnaire, the witness list for the hearings (which also includes a link to the webcast of the event), and even her e-mail.

What are the issues that you think most need to be addressed in these hearings?

Tax Returns for POTUS & VPOTUS

 
President Obama and Vice President Biden’s Tax Returns are here at the White House Blog.

According to their returns, the Obamas made $5.5 million in income in 2009 and paid $1.79 million in federal taxes.  The Bidens reported a total 2009 gross adjusted income of $333,182 and paid $71,147 in federal taxes.

Indiana Joins the Healthcare Lawsuit

Indiana’s Attorney General, Greg Zoeller, joined the multi-state federal lawsuit which alleges that P.L. 111-148 (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23rd) is unconstitutional.

Attorney General Zoeller’s press release is here and his report to Senator Richard Lugar containing the legal analysis and economic impact of the Senate version of the health care bill is found here.

Here is a copy of the complaint, which was filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Florida on March 23rd.

Who Writes the Bills?

Who writes bills in the U.S. Congress?

GovTrack Insider provides this insight into the legislative process.

Health Care Documents Available

The Health Care Reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives is available on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). Direct links to the electronic versions of the legislation, debate, and vote are available from the GPO press release.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Prof. Johnsen

Last year Prof. Dawn Johnsen made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee with flying colors.  With her second nomination, she must pass that test again.  Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are running editorials on her, one for and the other against.  If you’d like to follow the Committee’s discussion of her nomination, you can watch it live on the official website of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Good luck, Prof. Johnsen!

Celebrating the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, in addition to enjoying a day off, we celebrate community service and the life of the great Martin Luther King, Jr.  Last year we mentioned that the federal government maintains a website devoted to the service aspect of the day.  That page is still an excellent place to go to find local opportunities for volunteerism. For more information on the holiday locally, you can also go to the Herald Times.  For resources on the man himself, the Seattle Times has a nice website devoted to King.  It offers texts and recordings of his speeches, photographs, a timeline, a biography, and much more.  For a website that combines the history and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a commitment to service, go take a look at the site for the King Center, founded in 1968 by Coretta Scott King.  Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

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