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They DO Have a Lot to Answer For

There are a great number of funny cases in the world, but the one that has been making headlines recently is Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers’ lawsuit against God. At present the lawsuit has been thrown out for failure to provide a home address so that notice may be served, but Sen. Chambers maintains that God, being omnipresent and omniscient, is present in Douglas County for the sake of jurisdiction, and has knowledge of the suit.

In fact, Chambers is simply angry about another suit he considers frivolous and is making a point as to the open nature of our court system, but it makes a good story.

It is also reminiscent of the 1971 case in which the petitioner sued Satan for violating his civil rights. The court in that case also noted the lack of instructions for how to serve process, but their line about the standing of a foreign prince in an American Court is truly delightful.

First Round of Moot Court Complete

Congratulations to the students who have made it through the first round of arguments in the Sherman Minton Moot Court competition! It can be very nerve-wracking to stand up in front of others to argue for the first time, but hopefully the students who participated came away with the knowledge that though it’s scary, it is entirely doable. Thanks also to our judges and board members for all their time and work.

There are another two rounds of the competition to go before the final thirty-two students are chosen to advance to the spring round. For more information, go check out the Law School’s webpage on the subject.

Legal Outsourcing

Many complain when they call a tech support line and speak to someone in India. Now you may find the same thing happening in the legal world. USA Today is reporting on legal firms that use Indian lawyers to do the work of US paralegals and first year associates at a significantly reduced cost. The number of firms doing this is growing rapidly—it makes one wonder what the legal industry is going to look like in another ten years.

Early Voting At IU

Today and tomorrow students (and anyone else who is registered to vote in Monroe County) have the opportunity to vote early at IU. For students who don’t have transportation to the polls, voting today on campus is a great idea. Also, it will cut down on long lines on Election Day itself. So go out and vote—today and tomorrow at the HPER building polls will be open from 11:30 to 6:30. Don’t forget to bring a student ID or Indiana drivers license. Tell all your friends, too!

Jureeka!

Firefox is now offering a new legal research add-on—Jureeka! It includes a tool bar search box and, when it runs across a legal citation on the web, turns it into a citation. It looks like it might be worth a try. If you want to know more, Jureeka has its own blog.

Encyclopedia of Public International Law Now Online

The Library recently subscribed to an updated and expanded electronic edition of the well known  Encyclopedia of Public International Law (EPIL).  Users can gain access to the EPIL from the Foreign and International online resources sub-page of the Library’s Online Resources page. Full Story »

Indiana Public Deposit Insurance Fund

             The State of Indiana has deposited public funds into bank accounts in every Indiana county.  The state also has a plan to protect all that money in the event of a bank collapse. Full Story »

What Does the Presidential Election Mean for the Supreme Court?

The Presidential election will bring not only new leadership to the executive branch of government, but also (as always) has the potential to shake up the judicial branch. Some are already predicting that there are three justices who may step down—depending on who gets into office. What with the closeness of the election and the recent political atmosphere, some are already speculating as to whom McCain or Obama might pick to don the robes of a Supreme Court justice. At the very least there is a lot of talk about what landmark cases each candidate might be looking to either support or do away with. Go take a look at the Legal Times, the Washington Post, the ABA Journal, or the Chicago Tribune articles on the possible future of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The National Debt Clock Can No Longer Keep Up

For nearly two decades the National Debt Clock has stood in Times Square, faithfully tracking not only what the US debt is, but also an individual family’s part of that debt. When the number recently hit ten trillion dollars the clock ran out of digits. A quick fix was to turn the digital dollar sign into another numeral, but the Durst Organization, who owns the clock, will also be adding two new spaces next year. See the AP release here.

Have You Got What It Takes to Become a U.S. Citizen?

As of October 1st there is a new naturalization test. Some people find it more difficult, but some actually find it easier. It expands the number of correct answers, and often only asks for one example— i.e. asking for one branch of government rather than all three. The new test tries to offer more conceptual questions that get at what test takers really understand about becoming a citizen, asking, for example, what is a responsibility of U.S. citizenship, and what is a right, what promises you make upon becoming a citizen, and ways you can participate in the democratic process. It asks you to describe one of the amendments that deal with voting rights, rather than to simply list them.

If you are interested, try taking the new test. You can compare it to the old one. And you can get the CNN perspective here.

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