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BLAWg In Bloom

The Indiana Law Library Blog

A Town Hall on Facebook

President Obama will be holding a town hall today—on Facebook.  At 4:45 Eastern Time there will be a streaming town hall.  All you have to do is like the White House Facebook page and then RSVP for the event.  You can submit questions, either via Facebook, or from  President Obama has been active in using social media in the past, and for this event he will be broadcasting live form Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto.  More than 35,000 people have already RSVP’d.

Happy Tax Day!

Today is Tax Day, and all federal tax paperwork needs to be sent off today.  April 15th is the traditional due date for taxes, but this year Emancipation Day fell on April 15th, and then the weekend pushed the date back yet further.  Tax day has changed dates throughout the years, generally falling sometime in the early spring.  A federal income tax was first established as a means for the federal government to collect money during the time of the Civil War.  The ability of congress to impose taxes was legally challenged on occasion until the Sixteenth Amendment settled the issue—though naturally tax is still a very litigious subject, and a highly politicized one.

For more information on the legal history of Tax Day and how it came to be on April 15th Westlaw Insider has a page devoted to it. offers a look back, and also a list of other interesting April 15th events.

Your 2010 Federal Taxpayer Receipt

Want to see how your federal tax dollars are spent?  Check out your Federal Taxpayer Receipt.

LexisNexis Congressional: New Name and New Content


LexisNexis Congressional has been renamed ProQuest Congressional.

Back in December 2010, ProQuest acquired several products from LexisNexis, including LexisNexis Congressional and LexisNexis Statistical Insight (now renamed ProQuest Statistical Insight).

New Content

We now have access to a new collection of digital content on Proquest Congressional: 

House and Senate Unpublished Hearings Digital Archive, Part A (1973-1979).

Want to know more about Unpublished Hearings?

ProQuest publishes many useful guides on their products and content, including this background information on unpublished hearings:

  • Not all congressional hearings are published. Each committee makes its own decision regarding which hearings are to be published. A committee may decide not to publish a hearing because it contains classified or sensitive information, or because it pertains to private or other legislation deemed to be not of great interest to the public at large, or simply because committee budget or workload considerations preclude the publication. The committee does not have to justify its decision not to publish.
  • The transcripts of unpublished hearings are transferred to the National Archives. Senate hearings generally remain closed for 20 years, and House hearings remain closed for 30 years. Hearings that contain classified or sensitive material generally remain closed for 50 years.
  • When they are released, unpublished hearings are not normally published by the committees, although in unusual circumstances they may be. For example, the transcripts of the Senate Government Operations Committee Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations 1953 hearings to investigate alleged espionage and subversive activities were published as a Government Operations Committee print in 2003.

You can access ProQuest Congressional and ProQuest Statistical Insight from the Law Library’s Online Resources page.  Please see a reference librarian if you need assistance with ProQuest Congressional or any other database!

Free Language Lessons from the U.S. Government

Government Information & Kent Cooper Services at the Wells Library recently blogged about free language lessons from the Foreign Service Institute.  These lessons were developed by the U.S. Government and are in the public domain.  Check it out!

United Nations Treaty Series Back By Popular Demand

The Law Library recently added the United Nations Law Collection to its HeinOnline subscription. The Library previously cancelled its subscription to this database and relied on the official web site of the United Nations for the text of treaties. However, problems with the United Nations web site together with the difficulty of using its search software led the Library to reinstate its subscription to United Nations treaties through HeinOnline. In this Library you can search for treaties published in the United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS), the most comprehensive collection of treaties concluded since 1947.  You can also search for earlier treaties published in the League of Nations Treaty Series (LNTS), as well as a variety of important international-law related United Nations sources, such as the Yearbook of the International Law Commission.

The Search interface allows you to search using familiar HeinOnline search types – quick search, field search, and advanced search.  Fields specific to the UNTS and LNTS collections include treaty number, short title, country name, and subject heading.  In addition, there are finding aids unique to the Library, including a search by UNTS citation, LNTS citation, and search by treaty popular name.

One useful feature is the Scholar Check, which links your search results to the law journal library, so that you can link directly to law journal articles that cite the treaty you are interested in.  Another useful feature is the treaty summary screen, which lets you instantly determine a treaty’s current status.

For treaties too recent to be included in the UNTS, don’t forget that HeinOnline also includes a U.S. Treaties and Agreements Library, which provides access to virtually all U.S. treaties.  Therefore, if the treaty you need is too recent to be included in the UNTS collection, but the U.S. is a party, you can still find the treaty text in the Treaties and Agreements Library.

What happens during a Federal Government shutdown?

If you’re interested in what might happen to some government resources in the event of a shutdown, read on.


Starting this evening at 6 p.m. the Law Library will be closed until further notice while the entire contents of the collection are converted into smartphone apps. This process, we regret to say, will most likely last until the summer so reserve your finals study space at Nicks now.

Speaking of finals and our 6 p.m. closing time, 1Ls might wish to check out what’s left of the Law Library’s books because somewhere in our incredible assortment of paper treatises, monographs, and serials is a Golden Coupon redeemable for an automatic A star in the first year class of your choice. Happy hunting!