Friday, September 30, 2011

Saudi Woman Spared Lashing for Driving

Earlier this week, we wrote that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia granted Saudi women the right to vote in 2015 municipal elections. While acknowledging progress, we noted that Saudi women are still not permitted to drive. The next day, a Saudi woman was reportedly sentenced to lashing for driving. Reports later emerged that the King had overturned the court decision ordering the sentence. See coverage from the BBC and Al Jazeera. Also see another feature from June in Al Jazeera about one woman's efforts to lift the driving ban.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

White House Petitions

The White House website has launched an online system for petitioning the government.  At We the People, anyone 13 or older can start or sign a petition.  Once that petition reaches a certain threshold (currently 5,000 signatures within 30 days), it is reviewed for an official response by the Administration.

Current petitions with a high number of signatures include ones to make federal election days into national holidays in order to increase voter turnout, to repeal DOMA, to end the War on Drugs, to abolish the TSA, and to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

More news and commentary:

New York Times




Hat Tip: Lowering the Bar

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saudi Women Granted Right to Vote

Last week, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced that women will have the right to vote in the 2015 municipal elections.  Although women still are not allowed to drive, some feel that this may be the beginning of an era of civil rights.

News and commentary:

New York Times

BBC News 

Amnesty International

Washington Post Blog


Monday, September 26, 2011

New SCOTUSblog

SCOTUSblog issued a statement announcing recent changes to its website. According to the statement, Bloomberg Law is now exclusively sponsoring the site. Changes include more expert commentary and a new "community" section in which readers can post comments on various Supreme Court -related topics. The best comments will be compiled and featured in later blog postings. Another new feature is a bi-monthly column aimed at law students by Wall Street Journal Supreme Court reporter Steve Wermiel. Wemiel's first column, on health care litigation, appears today.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Controversial Execution in Georgia

Maintaining his innocence until the end, Troy Davis was executed late last night for the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer.  The execution took place after a final request to delay the execution was denied by the Supreme Court.

News and commentary:

Sentencing Law and Policy Blog 



Wall Street Journal Law Blog

New York Times

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Unsealing of Calif. Prop. 8 Trial Video

A California federal judge has granted a motion to unseal video of last year's trial involving Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban. U.S. District Court Judge James Ware of the Northern District of California stayed the order until September 30 when, unless a higher court reverses the decision, the video will become available. JURIST provides additional coverage.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Repeal of DADT

Today marks the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell, the ban on gay men and women openly serving in the military.

H.R. 2695

DOD Memorandum and "Quick Reference Guide"

News and commentary:


Time blog

Washington Post


Wall Street Journal

Monday, September 19, 2011

SCOTUSblog Arbitration Symposium

In its final online symposium before the start of the October term, SCOTUSblog provides guest commentaries on the subject of arbitration. Guest writers will comment on recent Supreme Court decisions including AT&T v. Concepcion. Ten commentaries are currently available on the SCOTUSblog site with more to come.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

America's Littlest Library = A British Phone Booth

A classic red British phone booth in the town of Clinton, New York, has been called "America's Littlest Library." 

The refurbished phone booth houses about 100 books on shelves built by a local carpenter.  The "Book Booth" is part of the Clinton Comunity Library's book exchange program.

Library Journal


Huffington Post

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Remember to Return Your Library Books!

Hat Tip: Lowering the Bar

An Iowa man was sentenced to 10 days in jail due to excessive library fines.  The library's items, valued at over seven hundred dollars, were not returned despite repeated requests. 

More commentary:

Huffington Post

Monday, September 12, 2011

Free Federal Rules Ebooks from CALI/LII

CALI and Cornell's Legal Information Institute have partnered to release freely downloadable e-books for the Federal Rules of Evidence, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The e-books are in .epub form and compatible with iPhones and iPads. The books are based on the rules versions available on the LII site and include advisory committee notes, internal links to referenced rules, and links to the LII's U.S. Code version. CALI's eLangdell site asks downloaders to consider a donation to LII, which published the books. CALI provides a help page for e-book files and downloading.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Nice Judge Kozinski Story

Above the Law reports on Alex Kozinksi, Chief Judge of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, acknowledging an affidavit for someone. Anyone who has ever been given the run around by a clerk's office will appreciate the story.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

9th Circuit: Same-Sex Benefits in Arizona

On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit upheld an injunction barring Arizona from eliminating health care coverage for same-sex partners of state employees.  Judge Mary M. Schroeder wrote the opinion, finding that the state may not provide benefits in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner that adversely affects unpopular groups.

News and commentary:

The Arizona Republic

Wall Street Journal Law Blog

The Volokh Conspiracy

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Ohio Prisoner Sues for Access to Law Books, Not Westlaw

An Ohio prison inmate has filed a lawsuit against the state alleging a civil rights violation because prison officials are no longer providing access to law books. According to an article in the Mansfield News Journal, the prison provides access to Westlaw via seven computer terminals.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ohio Teachers Face Facebook Limits

In more news of teachers and social media, the Dayton Public Schools now prohibit teachers from friending their students on Facebook, as well as texting or instant-messaging them.

News and commentary:

Dayton Daily News

Dayton Daily News

The Repository/CantonRep

Friday, September 02, 2011

International Sports Law Guide

A recently updated International Sports Law Guide created by Moritz grad Amy Burchfield is now available at the GlobaLex website. Topics covered include the Olympic Games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, anti-doping, and sports-related treaty provisions. GlobaLex, published by NYU School of Law, contains numerous foreign and international legal research guides and articles.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Proposed Caylee's Law in Ohio

Ohio is joining over a dozen other states in proposing "Caylee's Law," which would require prompt reporting of missing or deceased children.

S.B. No. 203

H.B. No. 299


Miami Herald