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The Indiana Law Library Blog

The Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

One of the most controversial cases ever, Roe v. Wade turns 37 today.  Unlike many other cases that were controversial in their time, Roe has remained a case of hot contention, and shows no sign of dying away.  Each new politician has to address it, and each change to the Supreme Court brings suggestions that it is about to be overturned.  Each year the anniversary is an opportunity for both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice rallies across the nation. The question is, is this an issue that can ever die down, or otherwise be agreed upon?  Unlike cases of similar renown, Brown v. Board of Education for one example, it is difficult to imagine a future in which one side or the other (we don’t pretend to know which) becomes more enlightened and changes its collective mind.  Do you think that abortion will ever stop being an issue?  Why so or why not?

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!

Improving USA.gov

We have often touted the utility of state and federal government websites for information.  www.IN.gov is a repository for lots of useful information, including a lot of the basics of Indiana law.  We are also heavy users of the federal government’s website, www.USA.gov. Though a source of lots of helpful information, USA.gov, like many websites, could use a little sprucing up, and its administrators are asking for your help in deciding what needs updating.  Your Voice Matters is a website created to ask for feedback about USA.gov. They are asking for suggestions, they want to know what are the services that you use most, and they are also asking for opinions on ideas like offering a personal account you could log into.  Some commentators like the idea, others are worried that it is a way to harvest information about users.  Go take a look!  You have to provide an e-mail address to become part of the discussion, but if there is something that you find lacking, or difficult find on the site this is a good opportunity to let them know. The discussion lasts until January 15.

Prof. Johnsen to be Nominated Again

This week marks the one year anniversary of President Obama’s nomination of our own Professor Dawn Johnsen to the Office of Legal Council.  Since that time she has faced a great deal of opposition, and has never actually been confirmed by Congress for the post.  This week also brings news that she will be renominated, though.  According to several sources, including the New York Times, the Blog of Legal Times, and our more local papers the Herald Times and the IndyStar, the President has decided to resubmit her name, along with five others, to the Senate for reconsideration.  Prof. Johnsen has continued to teach here at Maurer while awaiting her confirmation, and will be teaching a class this spring as well.  As much as we will miss her here, we look forward to news of her confirmation.

Lawyer of the Year

For the past few years Above the Law, a self-styled ‘legal tabloid,’ has invited readers to choose their Lawyer of the Year.  Last year it was Barack Obama, and the year before the Loyola 2L famous for posting discontented messages around the web (s/he also took top place in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog’s contest that year).  At this point, ATL has narrowed the nominations down to ten choices, some of whom are on the list for their skill and success, others for less flattering reasons.  Go take a look at the list of nominees—you have through this Thursday to cast your vote for the most noteworthy lawyer of 2009.