Marriage Equality and Religious Freedom

Case Law, Current Events, Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases
Lauren Mattiuzzo

Five years ago, two gay men were turned away by the Christian owner of a bakery in Lakewood, Colorado because of his religious beliefs. The case has been in court ever since and will be heard by the Supreme Court in its new term, which began on October 2nd. This controversial case will examine issues of both equal rights and religious liberty.

Facts of the Case

In 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins planned to legally wed in Massachusetts, because their residing state of Colorado did not recognize same-sex marriage…

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Wrongful Convictions and Innocence Projects

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Searching
Lauren Mattiuzzo

The Innocence Project celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this month. The number of exonerations in the United States has increased each year for the past three years, and recently hit a record high. There are more than three exonerations on average per week, which is double the 2011 rate. The main causes of wrongful convictions include forensic misconduct, eyewitness misidentification, and inadequate legal defense. HeinOnline is proud to support various innocence projects around the United States.

The Innocence Project

The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld…

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Researching Natural Disasters in HeinOnline

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Searching
Lauren Mattiuzzo

Natural disasters can devastate people and businesses. In the past month, news stations have broadcasted the destructive effect that Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria have had on the southeast portion of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. Congressional Service Reports provide insight on and reports discussing the laws related to natural disasters and what effect these hurricanes can have on Congress. HeinOnline contains a multitude of documents pertaining to natural disasters.

Search Across All Databases

To begin, conduct a search throughout all the databases in HeinOnline…

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North Korea and the Nuclear Crisis

Current Events, Searching
Lauren Mattiuzzo

North Korea recently made threats about a possible nuclear war, claiming that they have successfully built an intercontinental ballistic missile. In response to this announcement, Donald Trump has warned Kim Jong Un that the United States military is ready to retaliate if needed. Although media statements from North Korea revealed Kim Jong Un’s plan to fire missiles 25 miles off of Guam—a harbor to two U.S. military bases—he soon retracted his statement. While this is considered current news, history proves this conflict is nothing new.

History of North Korea and Nuclear Weapons

  • In 1985…

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Serial Killers, Book Deals, and Legal Research

Current Events, Searching
Shannon Sabo

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the arrest of serial killer David Berkowitz, more famously known as “Son of Sam” or the “.44 caliber killer.” In addition to wreaking havoc in New York City by killing six people and wounding seven others, Berkowitz’s notoriety led to the creation of and subsequent controversy surrounding “Son of Sam laws.” Research these laws, related constitutional issues, and Supreme Court cases on this killer topic in HeinOnline.

Berkowitz’s Crimes and Capture

  • On July 29, 1976 Berkowitz shot two teenage women: Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti…

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Presidential Pardoning Power

Current Events, Law Journal Library
Shannon Sabo

Recently, the Law Librarian Blog posted this short piece on whether or not a president can pardon himself. According to the Yale Law Journal note by Brian Kalt titled Pardon Me?: The Constitutional Case Against Presidential Self-Pardons referenced in the post, the answer is no. If a researcher would like to dig a bit deeper into this complicated topic, HeinOnline has a new beta tool which provides users with the ability to quickly and easily retrieve similar articles.

HeinOnline’s “More Like This” tool looks at interesting words found in a journal article and locates other articles which have similar interesting words…

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A Brief and Reptilian History of Gerrymandering

Current Events, Fastcase, Law Journal Library
Shannon Sabo

Gerrymandering has been around since the election of the first U.S. Congress. The concept has received more attention recently, as the unexpected results of the 2016 election have placed a spotlight on the U.S. government and the processes of democracy generally.

What’s gerrymandering? Was there really a Gerry Mander?

Gerrymandering is the process of manipulating election district boundaries to favor one political party over another, often leading to underrepresentation of the actual majority of constituents.

Gerrymandering is problematic for several reasons:

  • It undermines the principle of “one person, one vote.”
  • It contributes to “safe seats,” where voters end up deciding which party wins but not who their representative actually is…

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Marijuana Legalization

Current Events, Government Documents, National Survey of State Laws, Navigating
Bonnie Hein

This past November, the controversial topic of the legalization of Marijuana was on the ballot in nine states. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota voters decided on medical marijuana initiatives, while voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada decided on recreational marijuana.

Adults 21 years and older in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada can now consume marijuana for recreational purposes.  Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota have all approved marijuana for medical use. Overall, cannabis usage was approved in 8 out of the 9 states in which it was up for a vote, with only Arizona rejecting the recreational usage.

Find more in HeinOnline’s National Survey of State Laws

The recently released Winter 2017 update of the National Survey of State Laws database includes several important updates…

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HeinOnline: Where Books Rule

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Libraries
Shannon Sabo

HeinOnline has comprehensive coverage of journals, treaties, constitutions from every country in the world, databases of bibliographic entries on multiple topics (many of which link to full-text content), and government documents. One component of HeinOnline that doesn’t receive as much attention is its impressive collection of books. It’s National Library Week and there’s nothing better than a good book, so be sure to take a closer look at the books available with your subscription.

Exploring the Database

There are more than 42,000 books* in HeinOnline, including legal and historical treatises, dictionaries, subject-specific texts, and current titles from the University of North Carolina Press

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Research Spotlight: Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Earl Warren

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, History of Supreme Court Nominations, U.S. Supreme Court
Bonnie Hein

The month of March marks the birthdays of former Chief Justice Earl Warren and retired Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the Supreme Court of the United States, both of whom substantially impacted the United States Supreme Court and the American legal system.

Retired Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

Born on March 26, 1930 in El Paso, Texas, Sandra Day O’Connor spent much of her childhood on her family’s ranch in Arizona. She would grow up to be a pioneer for women, eventually serving as the first female Justice on the United States Supreme Court, for which she was unanimously approved by the Senate. While she is best known for this historical role…

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