Historical Abstracts 1878-present is online

Ever want to compare population, church membership, higher education enrollments or crime rates across time?  The Statistical Abstracts of the U.S. is now online and searchable. Data begins with the 1878 edition of the publication and includes data through the 2016 issue. You can select a single year or search across multiple issues to find statistical data on the United States.

For additional Statistical information, consult our Statistics and Empirical Legal Studies Research Guide or consult a librarian.


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Valuable Data on Supreme Court Opinions

The Washington University in St. Louis has compiled The Supreme Court Database to provide researchers the ability to analyze court decisions by outcome, justice, case components and much more. You can search the Warren Court, the Roberts Court and more in the Modern Search, or choose the Legacy Search to look at decisions from the Taney Court, the Marshall Court or others. You can limit your results to decisions about Civil Rights, Judicial Power, Privacy and Federal Taxation, just to name a few topics.

You can limit your results by lower courts, state courts, majority votes, minority votes and much more.  This fact-filled resource can support judicial and legal researchers, thanks to the generous support of the National Science Foundation.


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China’s Claim to South China Seas Rejected!

Today, the Permanent Court of Arbitration rejected China’s expansive claim to a large swath of the South China Sea.  The full text of the award can be found on the PCA website, although their servers have been having some difficulties keeping up with demand.  China has predictably rejected the finding with a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.


Did you know that “island” is defined by international law?  See Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law database is a good starting point when you are investigating a new topic!  Go ahead and take a look

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What was Washington, D.C. like in the 1930s?

Historical newspapers offer a treasure trove of material on the social, political, intellectual and legal environment of a place. The library now offers access to The Evening Star a Washington, D.C. newspaper published from 1852 to 1981.

Background material on court cases, political appointees, legislation and more is searchable with this new database of PDF pages of the newspaper from the past couple of centuries.

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“A Proper Job” Will be Necessary: Lawyers and Researchers After the EU Exit by Britain (Brexit)

evening [272/366]

While the UK Independence Party leader, Brexit advocate, and Member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage has undiplomatically  asserted that his European Parliamentary colleagues have  “never done a proper job” , there will be a great deal of work to be done by the many British and European bureaucrats recently under scrutiny by the victorious  “Leave” movement. The EUBusiness News Service, an independent but well-established reporting service for EU commercial and legal matters, provides a useful Article 50 Factsheet on what should happen once the UK notifies the EU of its intention to leave (whenever that may be, but from that point negotiations must conclude within a two-year period or depart without negotiated terms). While much is undecided, the text of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is provided succinctly at this site; it begins by stating that “…Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” The official text of the Lisbon Treaty and news on Brexit are available at the EU’s Europa web site.

Numerous news outlets and blogs will teem with information, but just a couple to follow might include the Global Government Forum, a blog for civil servants across jurisdictions (and featuring Sir Paul Jenkins, former head of the UK Government Legal Service, warning of the massive task ahead to undo 40 years of a constitutional arrangement), and the Global Legal Post, a news summary source that warns of a possible British exit from the European human rights regime and court in Strasbourg as well- one that is NOT part of the EU but of a different European body, the 47-member Council of Europe.

In addition to the resources in a previous post just prior to the vote, you may wish to look at UC Berkeley government documents guide on Brexit; there may be other similar guides to this event as the post-referendum process unfolds.


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Carpeting update

The carpeting in the library continues apace. In fact, work on the fourth and fifth floors is now complete. Carpeting is ongoing in the Reading Room which is now closed to patrons:

Reading room 2

Reading room 2

If you need to utilize the resources of Special Collections, please contact them directly via phone at 202-661-9133 or specl@law.georgetown.edu.

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Want to be a Judge?

The Judicial appointment process can be confusing at best, but a recent Congressional Research Service report explains the process in detail. It focuses on U.S. Circuit and District court appointments and clarifies the role of the President and the Senate in this process.


For information on current members of the Judiciary, consult the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary on Westlaw or BNA’s Directory of State and Federal Courts, Judges and Clerks on Bloomberg Law.

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Game of Thrones with Brexit, Britons and Brussels Bureaucrats: the U.K. Referendum on Leaving the E.U.

illustration greatest nations

This way In? Out? Red Wedding?

There is high anxiety on both sides of the Atlantic about the vote today, June 23, 2016, when British voters get to decide if Britain should leave or remain within the European Union.  There is much at stake and speculation about the possibility of a British Exit. As this particular departure would be an unprecedented event in the history of the E.U., no amount of research into the legal, political, or economic situation of the E.U. and its member states could yield a clear answer as to  the ramifications, and readers of this blog may not even see this post until it is all over.

However, the threat of crisis provides an occasion  to explore resources curated by the law library that may provide some understanding of the issues. Check out what one of our British information providers, Oxford University Press, has created alongside its paid database, Oxford Reports on International Law: part of the Oxford Public International Law collection, it is a Debate Map listing official free resources as well as Oxford journal subscription articles, all on Brexit. There is also a good summary of legal and political facts and questions posted today at the blog of the Law Library of Congress, In Custodia Legis: “Brexit Referendum.”

Irrespective of the voting outcome, interest in how the entire matter developed and what future reforms might result from simply holding such a vote may suggest follow-up research projects. For these, may we suggest using our Georgetown Law research guides for the European Union and the United Kingdom.  For tracking continuing developments, we have a guide that links to our array of world news sources, such as Access World News.

Finally, one of the most disturbing developments of all: a commentator in the journal Foreign Policy points out that the HBO series Game of Thrones is produced with some funds from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, and in the event the British vote to leave the E.U., the filmmakers may no longer have access to those assisting funds, and this is an expensive production!So in addition to possible economic turmoil and recession, recent shows such as last week’s GoT, filmed partly in Northern Ireland, could be at risk. The latest episode in the real life saga is about to be released.

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So…what happened to the books?

Carpeting a library is a complicated process. You have to move the books out of the way in order to lay the carpet, then move them back again. But because the move is so temporary, it’s not a matter of taking the books off the shelf, boxing them up, and then putting them back on the shelves when the carpet is down.

In fact, the shelves need to move too.

So what does a library do? Hire a specialized moving company. Watch below as the team from our library movers transports a full row of shelves from where it had rested out of the way of the new carpet installation back into place in the stacks.

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