Research Gun Control and the Second Amendment

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Law Journal Library, Statutes at Large, U.S. Congressional Documents, U.S. Federal Legislative History, World Constitutions Illustrated
Shannon Sabo

It's nearly impossible to turn on the news in the United States without learning of a new mass shooting or other deadly incident involving guns. After each incident, the debate over gun control is reignited, with one side calling for stricter regulation of gun sales and ownership and the other side arguing that any type of such restrictions violate the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Regardless of your position on this controversial issue, start your research in HeinOnline. The entire text of the current United States Constitution is available in the World Constitutions Illustrated library, which also contains constitutions and constitutional histories for all countries of the world…

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Voting Rights Act of 1965

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Law Journal Library, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Sabo

There is nothing quite like an election year to make social gatherings heated and uncomfortable. Political opinions are often deeply rooted and are nearly always unchangeable. Avoid the next big blowout, along with any mention of Clinton or Trump, and instead discuss an important historical aspect of the federal election process: the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Fifteenth Constitutional Amendment prohibited the denial of the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Despite this, between 1868 and the 1950s, southern states took measures to suppress the African-American vote by passing legislation to create voter restrictions, including literacy tests, poll taxes, and property ownership requirements…

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Mourning the Loss of Muhammad Ali

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Law Journal Library, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Sabo

On June 3, a legend passed away, leaving much of the world in mourning.

Muhammad Ali — born Cassius Clay, and known fondly as The Greatest, The Champ, The People's Champion, and The Louisville Lip — was widely regarded as one of the most celebrated and controversial sports figures of the 20th century.  This excellent biographical obituary from time.com describes his early life, his boxing career, and his larger-than-life presence in the world.

Ali fought battles both inside and out of the boxing ring. He rose to worldwide fame after winning a gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics, but returned home to a nation divided over civil rights and plagued by segregation and racism…

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Commemoration of the Buffalo Creek Treaty of 1842

American Indian, Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline
Shannon Sabo

Earlier this month, the Buffalo News published this informative article about the Buffalo Creek Land Treaty of 1842. The article discusses the history behind the treaty's signing, which is commemorated with a ceremony each May by the Seneca Nation. The treaty, which gave back a portion of land taken away by treaties signed in 1826 and 1838, also declared the Senecas to be exempt "from all taxes, and assessments for roads, highways, or any other purpose until such lands shall be sold."

This tax exemption has enabled the Seneca Nation to profit considerably from the sale of cigarettes and gasoline, two of the most heavily-taxed commodities in New York State.  Tax exemptions for items sold on Native American land are not embraced by everyone: New York State has attempted to collect such taxes multiple times…

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A Brief History of Beer Laws

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Law Journal Library, Statutes at Large, Subject Compilations of State Laws
Shannon Sabo

It's American Craft Beer Week! With locally-owned breweries popping up in cities all over the country, the small-business beer industry is booming and rejuvenating formerly abandoned industrial areas in the process. Of course, beer is (usually) alcohol, and alcohol and the law have had a rather contentious relationship throughout American history. Check out this brief timeline of events, and click the available links to access the laws in HeinOnline:

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Research NCCUSL's UELMA In HeinOnline

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, NCCUSL
Shannon Sabo

Here in the legal world, we love our acronyms.

The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) was approved by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) in July 2011. Uniform law commissioners are appointed by their states to draft and promote enactment of uniform laws designed to solve problems common to all states.

UELMA was inspired by a 2007 American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) summit in which an AALL report found that "a significant number of the state online legal resources are official but none are authenticated or afford ready authentication by standard methods." The Act's purpose is to ensure that official online legal material has the same level of trustworthiness provided by traditional print law books…

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Research Entertainment Law and the Music Industry in HeinOnline

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Intellectual Property Law Collection, Law Journal Library
Shannon Sabo

Last week, the world lost another entertainment icon, Prince. His music crossed generations and genres alike, and after news of his untimely and sudden death broke, many donned purple and blasted his familiar hits. In Minnesota, Prince's home state, fans celebrated his life with dance parties. Prince, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, was a singer and multiple-instrumentalist who was known for his flamboyant entertainment style and eclectic work.

While Prince initially helped to pioneer online distribution of music, his relationship with the internet became rather contentious. He was one of the first musicians to sell his music online, when his 1997 album Crystal Ball was released exclusively on the internet; he even won the Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006…

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Legislative History of the USA Patriot Act in HeinOnline

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Sabo

In response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Congress rushed to pass legislation to alleviate the fears and concerns felt by Americans, and to strengthen national security. The result was the USA Patriot Act, or the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, signed by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The Patriot Act impacted several existing acts available in HeinOnline's U.S. Statutes at Large library, including:

The USA Patriot Act addressed these acts in multiple ways…

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What Are Super PACs?

Case Law, Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Searching, U.S. Congressional Documents
Shannon Sabo

For those following this year's election, the phrase "super PAC" is probably familiar, but even if you're trying to tune out the 2016 presidential race entirely, you might be interested to learn how super PACs can affect an election.

PAC stands for political action committee, and super PACs are allowed to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, and individuals and then spend that money to openly advocate for or against a political candidate. Unlike traditional PACs, however, super PACs are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates, and their spending must not be coordinated with that of the candidates they benefit, according to opensecrets.org. Both traditional and super PACs advocate for or against a candidate by purchasing television…

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Celebrating National Library Week

Current Events, Law Librarianship, Libraries
Shannon Sabo

"Without libraries, what have we? We have no past and no future." -Ray Bradbury

As a corporate blogger, I have learned to be politically neutral, succinctly informative, and unfailingly professional. If I have feelings on a particular blog topic, it is my duty to ensure that my emotions are not reflected in the words I write for our readership and on behalf of the company I represent. Today, I am gleefully hurling this philosophy of dispassion out a 10-story window, because I absolutely cannot hold back my enthusiasm about the subject of today's blog: LIBRARIES.

"I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card." -Laura Bush

For children…

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