Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Resources for Understanding Dobbs Abortion Case

You've no doubt heard that the Supreme Court is considering a case that could overrule Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).* 

Maybe you've been following this news closely. Or maybe you've been concentrating on papers, exams, and getting food on the table. Either way, you might like to have some resources handy to help you understand the context of the case.


Good Overviews  

Laurie Sobel et al., Abortion at SCOTUS: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, KFF (updated May 4, 2022). 

(The Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization that reports on health policy.)

Jon O. Shimabukuro, Supreme Court Considers Mississippi Abortion Law, Cong. Rsch.Serv., LSB10669 (Dec. 13, 2021).

(The Congressional Research Service is a branch of the Library of Congress that prepares nonpartisan reports on topics requested by members of Congress. Search for CRS reports here. Learn more about them in our guide.)

Marcia Coyle, If the Supreme Court overrules Roe in the new term, will we know for sure?, Nat'l Const. Ctr. (July 23, 2021)

(Marcia Coyle has been covering the Supreme Court for the National Law Journal for many years. This article posted on the National Constitution Center doesn't have the paywall that the National Law Journal's website does. You can search for more of her great reporting on Lexis or Bloomberg Law.)

Roe v. Wade in Peril: Our Latest Resources, Guttmacher Inst. 

("The Guttmacher Institute is a leading research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) worldwide." About page.)

Lauren Zazzara, 50 Years of Precedent: Will Roe v. Wade Be Overturned?, HeinOnline Blog (May 4, 2022) 


The Statute

The statute challenged in Dobbs is Miss. Code § 41-41-191

 

Discussions

SCOTUSblog coverage of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Page links to over 30 blog posts on different aspects of the case, from the Court granting review to the amicus briefs to leak of a draft opinion. Includes links to parties' briefs and dozens of amicus briefs.


National Constitution Center podcasts:

(For more commentary from the National Constitution Center, go to the site and search for "dobbs.")


The State of Abortion Laws

An Overview of Abortion Laws, Guttmacher Inst. (May 1, 2022)

Christine Vestal, Blue States Enact New Laws to Create Abortion Haven, Stateline (Pew Center) (April 1, 2022) 

("Established in 1948, The Pew Charitable Trusts is a global nongovernmental organization that seeks to improve public policy, inform the public, and invigorate civic life" About page. )


Historical Context

Jacque Wilson, Before and after Roe v. Wade, CNN (Jan. 22, 2013)

Deepa Shivaram, The movement against abortion rights is nearing its apex. But it began way before Roe, NPR (May 4, 2022)


Advocacy Groups

Perhaps you noticed that the links above are to nonpartisan organizations or mainstream media like NPR and CNN. If you want to explore what different groups have to say about the issues, one place to start is the amicus briefs linked on the SCOTUSblog page. There are briefs from religious leaders, right-to-life groups, pro-choice groups, academics, and more. 

The briefs should have a more developed exposition of the different positions than, say, bumper stickers or tweets. That's not to say that you can't read bumper stickers and tweetsjust that the briefs will offer a different sort of discussion.

You can also check the organization's websites for press releases and other commentary on the latest developments.


For a Deeper Dive

Students need to get through finals, but if you're planning your summer reading, there are lots of interesting books, including:

Print Book
The family Roe : an American story
Joshua Prager, author.
2021 New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company

Finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, as well as part of Gallagher Law Library's Good Reads collection.

 

Print Book
Reproductive rights and justice stories
edited by Melissa Murray (Professor of Law, New York University School of Law), Katherine Shaw (Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law), Reva B. Siegel (Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor...

2019
St. Paul, MN : Foundation Press

This is also available via our West Academic Study Aids package. Register to download the Red Shelf app and read the book on your mobile device. For more on study aids, see our videos.

 

Print Book
Before Roe v. Wade : voices that shaped the abortion debate before the Supreme Court's ruling

edited by Linda Greenhouse and Reva Siegel.

©2010
New York : Kaplan Pub. 

Free PDF of the book—all 406 pagesavailable on SSRN
 

ebook
Obstacle course the everyday struggle to get an abortion in America
David S. Cohen, 1972- author.

2020
Oakland, California University of California Press

 

Law Reviews and More

Hundreds of law review articles have been written about Roe v. Wade and other abortion cases. You can search HeinOnline, Westlaw, or Lexis. You can also find a lot on SSRN. (For more on searching SSRN, see our guide.)


-----------------------------

*That link is to the Caselaw Access Project, a free source of U.S. state and federal caselaw. Of course, if you have access to subscription databases, you can look it up in many sources, including HeinOnline, Lexis, Westlaw, and Fastcase.


Thursday, April 7, 2022

Happy National Library Week! Celebrate with our new legal career guide!


Photo of multiple Lego people symbolizing different legal career paths found in the library's career guide.


Ever wondered about how to become a space lawyer or an animal rights lawyer but didn't know where to start? The Gallagher Law Library is here to help! 

In honor of National Library Week, the Gallagher Law Library created a new legal career guide, “Where Will Your Legal Education Take You?” This guide is designed to help law students, prospective law students, or those who would like a change in their career to explore over 30 different careers one could take after completing a law degree and links resources for future research into each of these careers. The guide also discusses graduate degrees that the University of Washington School of Law offers, which are mentioned on the career pages that they are most relevant to (a comprehensive list of UW Law’s graduate degrees can be found here). For many of the careers, we have also highlighted UW Law faculty who have experience working in relevant areas of law.

Don’t know where to start? Take our very short, interactive quiz (2-3 minutes) which will lead you to one of the career options for law school graduates. We encourage you to take it several times to see how your interests lead you to a different legal career path!

You may take the quiz here.

Want more fun? Check out Gallagher’s past National Library Week events like our puzzle pack or our virtual escape rooms!

Other resources for law students:

Friday, April 1, 2022

Vintage Law Library Experience

Do you prefer the warm, rich sound of  vinyl records to the precise yet cold sound you get from digital media? Will you go out of your way to get a luscious heirloom tomato from a produce stand, when the local supermarket has plenty of industrially farmed tomatoes on offer? Then our new law library suite is for you!

After extensive renovation, the law library has devoted Floor L3 to creating a vintage law library experience for connoisseurs like you. 

 

The Condon Reading Room

John T. Condon
Photo by William F. Boyd,
Public domain,
via Wikimedia Commons

The heart of Floor L3 is the Condon Reading Room, named for John T. Condon, the first dean of UW Law. Here you can experience the law library the way previous generations did. Absorb the wisdom of scholars by reading print books without the distraction of email pop-ups or pings alerting you to new text messages. In fact, you can leave your digital devices in your locker, because we brought in a tech team to disable any wifi signals that might leak through from other floors. 


Follow in the intellectual footsteps of law students and lawyers from the last century. Do you want to find cases? Use the West Key Number System in print digests.

photo of shelves with hundreds of thick books; title page is in upper left
Shelves of Decennial Digests, with title page from volume 11 of the Sixth Decennial Digest, covering cases from 1946 to 1956 with Key Numbers in the Topics Declaratory Judgment through Divorce (Key Number 259).  "A Complete Digest of All Decisions of the State and Federal Courts as Reported in the National Reporter System and the State Reports"


Do you want to find out whether your case has been cited by later cases, perhaps even overruled? Take a look at the amazingly powerful Shepard’s Citations volumes. You’ll find that just a few minutes of study acquaint you with the treatment codes (you don’t need colored flags and traffic signals!). Before long, you will be able to make sense out of the columns of numbers and letters. Citation checking that would have eaten up minutes of your time using KeyCite or Shepards on Lexis can now be accomplished in only an hour or so.

Entries from Shepard’s Pacific
Citations
.
Source: Tina S. Ching,
 
Using Shepard’s Citations
in Print
(This PowerPoint 
presentation is undated,
but it’s not 
recent.)


No scanners are available in the Condon Reading Room, but you’ll find that copying selected passages by hand into your notebook actually improves comprehension and retention. (How many times have you downloaded or scanned a document but never gotten around to reading it?)


The Lomen Room and the Smith Room

In addition to the Condon Reading Room, Floor L3 also features two (mostly) soundproofed typing rooms, so you’ll be able to prepare your papers without disrupting your classmates (much). The typewriters in one room are manual, while the other room has IBM Selectrics from the 1970s.

The first room is named for Lucile Lomen (class of 1944).  Lomen was the first woman to clerk for a U.S. Supreme Court Justice (William O. Douglas). While she was a law student, she was an editor of the Washington Law Review and published five pieces of her own (without a laptop!). 

black and white photo shows 8 white men and 1 white woman around a table. All are wearing suits.
Washington Law Review staff. Lomen is third from left.
Source: 1943 Tyee (University of Washington yearbook), 
digitized by University Libraries

 

The second typing room—for those who prefer electric typewriters—honors Charles Z. Smith (class of 1955). Smith, who served as a trial judge and founded UW Law’s clinical program, was the first person of color to serve on the Washington Supreme Court (his father was Black and his mother was Cuban). He also produced a lot of work without a computer. (You can see his portrait on Floor 1, outside Room 133.)

Typed page with clip at top. Text: "THE JUDICIAL FUNCTION IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM; Chaarles Z. Smith, Judge of the Superior Court of Washington for King County, National College of District Attorneys, University of Houston College of Law, Houston, Texas, June 3 and July 29, 1971"
Typescript of "The Judicial Function in the Criminal Justice System,"
presented by Charles Z. Smith to the National College of District Attorneys meeting
in Houston in 1971, when he was a judge on the King County Superior Court

The Johnson Room

Do you need to make a phone call? Use the Johnson Room, also on L3. Named for Professor Ralph W. Johnson, who was an expert in Indian law as well as natural resources law, the Johnson Room is equipped with a sturdy rotary-dial phone. There are also scratch pads and pencils for jotting notes or doodling.

photo of white man leaning back in chair with phone receiver held to his ear. He's wearing a white shirt and black suspenders. His desk has an open book and photos of his kids.
Prof. Ralph W. Johnson. Source: University of Washington School of Law Yearbook 1965, at 10


A Law Library Experience That's New (to You)

Electronic media suffuse modern life, and legal education is no exception. From scans of first-week assignments to an online exam archive, from online study aids to classes on Zoom, law school is so shaped by digital media that it might be hard to imagine learning and researching the law in any other way. Visit Floor L3 to get a taste of vintage legal study. Maybe you won't find it as delicious as heirloom tomatoes, but it's surprisingly nourishing!


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

West Key Number System Keeps Adapting--Newest Renovation: Evidence

graphic of yellow key with lightning bolt through it
Key Numbers are powerful!
The West Key Number System has been helping researchers find relevant cases since the late nineteenth century. Part of what has kept it useful is the editors' ongoing work to keep it up to date (or as up to date as you can keep such a large, complex system).

Some of the changes have responded to changes in technology. When the original outline was created, there wasn't a need for Automobiles (Topic 48A) or Aviation (Topic 48B). 

Some of the changes have reflected societal changes. Topic 223, Intoxicating Liquors, is more palatable (or potable) than the old Drunkards Topic. 

And some changes reflect developments in the law. Maybe the editors find that they've been shoehorning so many headnotes into one Key Number that it should be subdivided. Or maybe the Topic's entire outline needs to be rethought.

I just saw an announcement  that the editors (the company calls them "attorney-editors," to emphasize that they have legal training) have reworked Evidence (Topic 157), and created an entirely new outline. (The announcement was in Thomson Reuters's Information Management Consultant Newsletter—that's a fancy way of saying "Update for Librarians.")

The Key Number editors could have said: "We used to put Evidence into Key Numbers 1-601. Starting now, we'll put new cases into Key Numbers 701-3067. You researchers, you have to look in two places. Deal with it." But they didn't do that. Instead, they went back through all the headnotes about Evidence in all of U.S. caselaw and reclassified approximately 490,000 headnotes. One Key Number will bring together cases from 1822, 1922, and last week.

I'm sure that the editors had a lot more on their minds than just changing technology, but here's one change inspired by tech: there's now a headnote for hearsay issues with respect to emails, text messages, and social media posts (that's 157k1216, if you want to run a search). A while ago, those cases would have been classified in Key Number 318(2), "Writings--Letters and telegrams." 

When you search for Key Numbers in Westlaw, you can still use the old numbers. For example, when I searched for 157k318(2) (the old number), I retrieved headnotes with Key Numbers in the new scheme, parenthetically noting the former number. 

Screen snip shows where headnote falls in outline: 157 Evidence, 157IXk1571X Writings and Other Documentary Evidence, 157IX(A)k157IX(A) In General (1-683 to 1-780), 157k1213 Hearsay Issues in General, 157k1216 Emails, text messages, and social media posts. Small note says "(Formerly 157k318(2))"
Westlaw shows the former Key Number (157k318(2)) as
well as the current one (157k1216)


When I click on the broader heading to skim IX. WRITINGS AND OTHER DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE, k1211-k1560, I see that email turns up a couple of times--under hearsay and under "writings as self-serving statements." If I'm interested in both, I can search for 157k1216 or 157k1229.

screen snip shows 213 Writings as hearsay in general, 1214--In general, 1215--Letters and other correspondence, 1216--Emails, text messages, and social media posts, 1217--Newspapers and periodicals, 1218--Records, 1219--Reports, 1220--Receipts, . . . 1226 Writings as self-serving statements, 1227--Ingeneral, 1228--Letters and other correspondence, 1229--Emails, text messages, and social media posts, 1230--Pleadings, 1231--Affidavits and testimony
Excerpt from Evidence Topic



For more on using the West Key Number System, I recommend the Stanford Law Library's guide, Case Finding and Advanced Searching Strategies and Westlaw's own PowerPoint, The Topic and Key Number System. For more on the changes to the system over time, see Sarah Gotschall, Common Scolds, Drunkards and Embracery: Exploring the Past and Present Through West Digest Topics, RIPS Law Librarian Blog (Nov. 24, 2020). 

And for more on keys and lightning (literally, not just metaphorically, as in my graphic), see Benjamin Franklin and the Kite Experiment, Franklin Inst. (June 12, 2017)


Friday, March 4, 2022

Database of All Article III Judges Through History

With the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the 116th Justice of the United States Supreme Court, news reports have noted that the great majority of Justices through history have been white. Judge Jackson would be only the third African American to serve on the Court (after Justices Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas) and the sixth woman (after Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Amy Coney Barrett). And she would become the first Justice who is both African American and a woman. 

This seems like a good time to bring up one of my favorite web resources: the Federal Judicial Center's Biographical Directory of Article III Judges 1789-Present

This database makes it easy to find out about any Article III judge in history, not just the headliners on the marquee. And of course the lower court judges do a lot of the work of the judiciary. Most litigation never reaches the Supreme Court.

simple graphic of about thirty "judges" - black robes with blank circles for heads
Basic graphic of black robes and white heads.

(I toyed with the idea of making the heads different shades,
but I didn't have the time. And the fact remains:
if you selected 30 federal judges from history, you
might not have much racial diversity at all.)

The FJC historians have prepared information about Diversity on the Bench, including essays and graphs. Since this is Women's History Month, let's check out the page on Gender. A graph shows how the number of judges has swelled since 1789—as well as the growing number of women in the last couple of decades. If you visit the site, you can use the slider to zoom in on any time period.

graph shows number of judges growing from a few dozen around 1800 to almost 1500 in 2020. Colored portion shows small but growing number of women.
Gender of Article III Judges, 1789-2020
source: Federal Judicial Center

Choose the database's Advanced Search option to pull out different combinations of attributes. Curious about Afro-Latino or Hispanic judges nominated by President Clinton? You can search for that. How about district judges whose professional background includes the word "prosecutor"? You can search for that, too. Asian American judges who took office on or before December 31, 1999? Yep, you can search for that. 

Try searching for "University of Washington School of Law" in the Education field. You'll find 25 UW Law alumni who have been federal judges. (If you search for "University of Washington," you'll find some of these, and you'll also find 5 judges who got their bachelor's degrees at the UW but went elsewhere for law school.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

First Washington Women in Government

To start off your celebration of Women's History Month you might visit the Secretary of State's online exhibit, Moving Forward Looking Back: Washington's First Women in Government.  

There you'll find profiles of the first women to serve as state representatives, state senator, Superintendent of Public Instruction, mayor of Seattle, Washington Secretary of State, U.S. representative, governor, senate majority leader, Washington Supreme Court justice, Commissioner of Public Lands, Insurance Commissioner, Washington State Attorney General, and U.S. Senator.

black & white photo of white woman with broad-brimmed hat with feathers
Bertha Knight Landes, mayor of Seattle, 1926-28,
from Moving Forward Looking Back

Guess which woman in that list was a graduate of UW Law? Hint: it's not Bertha Landes, the first woman to be mayor of Seattle (although Jenny Durkan, the second woman to serve, elected 91 years later, is a UW Law grad).

Friday, February 18, 2022

Anniversary of Executive Order 9066, Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII

Tomorrow (Feb. 19) is Civil Liberties Day of Remembrance, the anniversary of Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066, which set in motion the removal of thousands of Japanese American families from their homes and their imprisonment in isolated camps. See this brief essay on OurDocuments.gov. Read the order as it was published in the Federal Register Feb. 25, 1942. (HeinOnline has PDFs of the Federal Register starting with its first issue, in 1936. For more about the collection see this guide.)

snip of PDF. Big heading: FEDERAL REGISTER. First item is executive order "AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO PRESCRIBE MILITARY AREAS.
PDF from HeinOnline of 7 Fed. Reg. 1407 (Feb. 25, 1942)

We Hereby Refuse cover - shows cartoon of Japanese Americans with bags and suitcases on a Seattle street
We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration (2021) is a graphic work presenting the history of three resisters. The law library's copy is in the Good Reads collection—but it happens to be checked out as I write this blog post. You can click on the link to request the book when it's available.

We Hereby Refuse was co-published by the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Take a look at the museum's interactive timeline showing the events in the book. 

Did you know that the Wing Luke Museum is named for a UW Law graduate? Wing Luke ('54) served as an assistant attorney general 1957-62, before becoming the first person of color on the Seattle City Council (and the first Asian American to hold any elective office in Washington State). He was killed in an airplane crash in 1965. In 2015, Attorney General Bob Ferguson established the Wing Luke Civil Rights Division.

Wing Luke's bio on the museum's site says that he fought back against high school bullying by drawing comic strips, eventually becoming so popular he was elected president of Roosevelt High School in Seattle. Wing Luke's teenage work in comics makes extra cool that the museum published a graphic novel. (For more on Roosevelt High, see this post from two weeks ago.)

In this YouTube video,Tom Ikeda, from Densho, interviews the two authors (Frank Abe and Tamiko Namura) and one of the illustrators (Ross Ishikawa) about how they researched and created this amazing work. Densho is an online resource with oral histories and other resources about the history of Japanese American incarceration.

 



Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Meet ProQuest Legislative Insight (and Remember HeinOnline's Legislative Histories, Too)

The University Libraries has subscribed to ProQuest Legislative Insight Major Laws (1789-present). 

ProQuest says that the content in the database has been "selected to support entry-level study of U.S. History, Political Science, and Government." But you know who else likes to research federal statutes? That's right: legal researchers!

ProQuest's editors have selected several hundred federal laws, from the Congressional Oath Act (June 1, 1789) to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. 


If you know when a law was enacted, you can browse by Congress. For example, if you're interested in the Copyright Act of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-553, you know that it was enacted in the 94th Congress (that's the first two digits of the Public Law number).

screen snip lists Congress number and then number of laws - e.g., 94th Congress: 37
 Screen snip from ProQuest Legislative Insight Major Laws,
showing number of laws included from 92nd Congress through
101st Congress

Skimming the laws from the 94th Congress, you'll see other topics the 94th Congress addressed, such as antitrust, tax reform, and pollution. You can quickly select 94-553. 

screen snip shows list of Public Law numbers and acts - e.g., PL94-435 Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, PL94-553 Copyright Law Revision Act of 1976
Screen snip from ProQuest Legislative Insight Major Laws,
showing some laws from 94th Congress that are included in
the collection


If you don't know the public law number, you can browse an alphabetical list of laws.

screen snip showing portion of alphabetical list of laws
Screen snip showing alphabetical list of laws (Cooperative Research Act
through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act)

You can also search. For example, searching for laws with "copyright" in the title field turns up 10 laws, including the Copyright Law Revision Act of 1976.  (Those 10 aren't the only statutes with "copyright" in the title--just the 10 that the editors selected for the "Major Laws" collection.)

Once you get to the Copyright Act, you get a list of dozens of related bills, some as old as 1967. Then there are links to the Congressional Record, House and Senate committee reports, and hearings. 

You can search within this set of materials. 

For instance, I searched for "Xerox" and found 10 documents. I could click on each to see a PDF and read about how witnesses and legislators were wrestling with technological innovations like photocopies and microfilm. For example, a witness from the American Book Publishers Council, Inc. read into the record a Wall Street Journal story that characterized a street near Harvard University as "the Sunset Strip of copying." The president of a clothing store said that the store's Xerox 2400 was "an aid to education" because students could copy journal articles or book chapters. 4 Copyright Law Revision: Hearings Before the Subcomm. on Patents, Trademarks of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 94th Cong. 1109 (1967).

 

You can do this sort of research in HeinOnline's U.S. Federal Legislative History Library too. In fact, HeinOnline has three different compiled legislative histories of the Copyright Act of 1976!

Copyright Act of 197, Pub. L. No. 94-553 

HeinOnline has some convenient search features, as well as great content. If you're really into the Copyright Act, try the HeinOnline legislative histories, perhaps in addition to the ProQuest collection. 

Both collections had legislative histories of the Copyright Act of 1976, but there are lots of statutes that are included in one collection but not the other.  For example, HeinOnline doesn't have a compiled legislative history for Pub. L. No. 80-104, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and ProQuest Legislative Insight Major Acts does. The ProQuest collection doesn't have a legislative history of Pub. L. 80-129, the Housing and Rent Control Act of 1947, but HeinOnline does. 
 

It's not one-stop shopping, but these are two great resources!