Author Archives: Heather Casey

SNL makes a funny about the legislative process

On Saturday night, the three people who still watch Saturday Night Live were treated to a delightful parody of the classic Schoolhouse Rock! “I’m just a Bill” cartoon. By Sunday afternoon, the rest of us had heard about it and had a chance to laugh along as well. In addition to sending up the 70s-era educational cartoon, the skit also skewered the President’s executive order on immigration. But what if you want to know more about the very real and serious processes that led to 3 minutes of chuckles? We’ve got you covered here at the law library.

For starters, we have a research guide on legislative history and a helpful chart of the various resources that comprise legislative histories and where they can be found. We also have a research guide on Presidential Documents with a section on executive orders. For databases in which to do legislative research, you cannot beat ProQuest Congressional, which you can access from the library website, under our list of Frequently Used Databases.

As to whether SNL got it right with their skit, that remains up for debate. However, SNL has us talking about the legislative process and that’s nothing to shake a stick at.

Are you listening to Serial?

Are you as obsessed with the Serial podcast as we are here at the Georgetown Law Library? Do you wonder if Adnan did it or not? What’s the deal with Jay and Jenn? Is the shrimp sale at the Crab Crib as delicious as it sounds? And why can’t that kid say “Mail Chimp?” If these questions mean nothing to you, you’re missing out on one of the most popular podcasts around as well as an intriguing legal mystery.

For those in the know, and perhaps looking to deepen their knowledge of Maryland law, we have a research guide for that! We also have a guide on criminal law and justice. Our treatise finder on criminal law and procedure can help you figure out what Adnan’s options are now as he works his way through the appeals process.

Too Many Cooks and Copyright Law

This past weekend, the internet found a new obsession in the 11-minute video from Adult Swim, Too Many Cooks. This surreal walk down memory lane starts as a spoof of a typical 80s sitcom…and then proceeds to send up almost every genre of 80s TV you can think of while simultaneously getting creepier and creepier. Everyone from Gawker to Buzzfeed to Grantland has weighed in on the video. It’s the newest viral hit on the internet and you’ll know it’s past its prime once your mom posts it to your Facebook wall.

While Too Many Cooks doesn’t specifically reference one TV show, it definitely makes pointed allusions to shows like Rosanne, Dallas, Falcon Crest, T.J. Hooker, Alf, Married with Children…the list goes on and on. So how can it get away with referring to all of these different shows? Surely there must be some copyright issues. Turns out, we here at the Georgetown Law Library can help you find out the answer to that question, along with other questions about copyright and fair use. We have a research guide on copyright as well as a treatise finder devoted to the best treatises regarding intellectual property law (several of which are dedicated solely to copyright). A search for copyright, parody, and fair use within our catalog also turns up many helpful works, including several articles.

Whether you’re up at 4am watching Adult Swim and wondering how they can get away with the things they do, or you’re the recipient of an email from a friend telling you about the latest internet craze, we’re here to help you find the answers to those pesky legal questions that might otherwise keep you from enjoying the latest bizarre video sensation.

Bone, Thugs, & Harmony?

Ever look at the Supreme Court and think – What a pack of mongrels? Well, now you really can think of them as a bunch of mutts thanks to John Oliver and the folks at Last Week Tonight. He’s given all of us Supreme Court groupies a way to get around that pesky prohibition they have against cameras in the courtroom. Now you can sync oral argument recordings to footage of a Supreme Court populated with dogs, a chicken court reporter, and a duck assistant. Animal Farm has never been so close to reality. Already, the internet, never one to miss out on a chance to exploit animals, has responded with videos of Supreme Court arguments as enacted by dogs. If you want to join the fun, you can obtain recordings of oral arguments dating back to 1955 from Chicago-Kent Law’s Oyez Project for dubbing.

If the SCOTUS dogs aren’t your cup of tea, have no fear. Georgetown Law Library has resources available to make your Supreme Court research easier. Did you know we have a research guide about the Supreme Court? We even have guides for researching court documents and the nomination process. Are you looking for briefs? Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law can help with that, as can Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States, located in our print collection.

Whether you’re a serious researcher or just someone who enjoys great animal videos on Youtube, we have you covered here at the Georgetown Law Library. And as for us, we welcome our new doggy justices. After all, if it’s good enough for Notorious RBG, it’s good enough for us.

WE’RE HAVING A FIRE…! The Law Library of Congress Moves to a Temporary Location.

The Law Library of Congress is revamping their reading room which means that visitors will find things are shifting around a bit temporarily. Operations will be moving to the ground floor of the Madison building while the reading room is being redone. This temporary space is smaller, which means that some of the collection housed in the reading room will move to the closed stacks during renovation. For more information, see the post on the Law Library’s blog here, complete with pictures of the start of the dismantling of the reading room. We wish them the best and know they’ll enjoy their renovated reading room once it reopens in mid-2015.

Cayman Islands Legal Materials Are Now More Accessible

The Cayman Islands are making it easier for legal researchers to access statutes and case law. Westlaw currently has the unannotated code updated through June 2012, while the Cayman Islands Judicial Authority is making cases available at do have to register on the website to get access to case law.

While this is great news for those of us who are glued to our computers, others may be sad to know that they’ve lost an excuse to take a Caribbean vacation to get the cases and statutes they need.


Will the Pope Keep his Red Shoes?

The answer to this, and many other questions you might have about the upcoming process for selecting a new pope, can be found in the Papal Election Research Guide. This guide contains information on recent changes to the rules that guide the conclave, as well as a look at some of the top contenders for the position.

Additionally, the guide includes resources that are available to you both here at the Law Center and on the Main Campus, as well as electronic resources that may be helpful.

Please feel free to consult a reference librarian for more information on using any of the resources identified in the Papal Election Research Guide!