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BLAWg In Bloom

The Indiana Law Library Blog

Indiana Voting Law Upheld

For sometime there has been dispute about the legality of Indiana requiring voters to show ID in order to vote.  In 2005 the legislature passed a law that mandated that ID be shown at the polls, and since then there has been much litigation.  Today finally saw an Indiana Supreme Court decision of one of those cases—League of Women Voters of Indiana, Inc. v. Rokita. The case was originally dismissed in the Civil Division of the Marion Superior Court, but then the Court of Appeals found the law suspect because it required a different standard of treatment for those who voted in person and those who voted by mail—the latter are not required to execute an affidavit to prove their identity. 

Today, though, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the case. They point out that no individual voter has actually come forward with a case based on his or her inability to vote under the law.  They do, however, dismiss without prejudice, in case such a voter should want to present a case. 

Do you think that the law prevents people from voting? Thanks to the Indiana Law Blog for keeping us up to date and giving us links to resource pages on the case.

Social Media and Divorce

There is a new way to do discovery in divorce cases—look at the other party’s Facebook account. A little over a year ago Time Magazine picked up on this trend, writing a longish article on the subject and including a list of five Facebook “no-nos” during a divorce.  Six months ago the Telegraph reported that Facebook popped up in one in every five divorce petitions handled by a UK law firm that specialized in divorce. Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that 81 percent of the membership of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has had social media sites show up in their cases. 

People generally know that they should protect information that they don’t want to be seen by a judge, but somehow social media websites are often overlooked, perhaps because some people assume that their privacy settings will keep others out.  Remember to check your privacy settings regularly, particularly as Facebook is frequently changing its privacy options. Better yet, make it a point never to post anything damaging to your profile.  You may not be getting a divorce, but if divorce lawyers are looking at Facebook pages, you know that other types of lawyers, including those that are hiring, are as well.

State Gun Laws

Today the Supreme Court handed down a case the makes it more difficult for states to regulate guns.  In McDonald v. City of Chicago the Supreme Court tackles the issue of how much the Second Amendment applies to state law.  McDonald follows pretty closely on the heels of the famous District of Columbia v. Heller case, which also decided in favor of the right to bear arms.  The SCOTUSwiki offers the details of the case, and its sister site, the SCOTUSblog, has posted two different reactions to the McDonald case today—one that argues that the case will open the door for a flood of state litigation over criminal laws, and another that considers it an important blow for freedom.  What do you think?

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?