Two New Titles Added To the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Furtak

HeinOnline's U.S. Federal Legislative History Library is a research powerhouse containing more than 2,400 titles and covering all major public laws. Documents contained in legislative histories include various bill versions, House reports, Senate reports, congressional hearings, the full text of the final public law, and more. Researchers use these documents to clarify ambiguous statutory language and to determine legislative intent behind all or portions of a public law.

This month, we've added two significant compiled legislative histories dealing with extremely relevant topics: cybersecurity and tax hikes. Both legislative histories were compiled by William H. Manz. Manz is an attorney and adjunct professor at St. John's University Law School in Jamaica, New York, where he previously held the position of Senior Research Librarian…

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No Money, More Problems: Healthcare in the United States

Exploring HeinOnline, Searching, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Furtak

With the recent news that "Obamacare" health insurance premiums are set to rise an average of 22% next year, the healthcare crisis in the U.S. has once again come to the attention of the taxpaying public.

Officials cite the following reasons for the price increase:

  • Fewer insurers willing to participate in the public healthcare market
  • Not enough "healthy" people signed up for insurance
  • Those who signed up for insurance are sicker than the industry predicted

Although federal subsidies should help most Americans pay for this increase, the central issues surrounding the cost of medical care and the health insurance industry are problems which remain unsolved. This informative article from the nonpartisan group commonwealthfund.org provides an excellent comparison of healthcare in industrialized nations worldwide…

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Voting in America

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History, World Constitutions Illustrated
Shannon Furtak

Four debates down, one election to go! Televisions, computers, and mobile devices in the United States have been taken over by the presidential election for more than a year. Back in June, this blog post encouraged readers to step away from the current political climate to study the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Take another break and check out a few key historical amendments and public laws related to voting in the United States.

Important Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

HeinOnline's World Constitutions Illustrated is an excellent resource for all types of constitutional research. It contains constitutions and constitutional histories of all countries of the world…

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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 Furtak

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 Furtak

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 Furtak

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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Legislative History of the USA Patriot Act in HeinOnline

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

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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How a City’s Drinking Water Became Toxic, and What’s Next

Current Events, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Furtak

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan has dominated national news since the story of contaminated water poisoning families, especially children, broke earlier this year when multiple states of emergency were declared. Adding fuel to the outrage is the fact that 57% of Flint’s residents are black, and nearly half of residents live beneath the poverty line.

In April of 2014, the state of Michigan decided to save money by changing Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. This occurred during a financial state of emergency for Flint, and was supposed to be a temporary solution while a new state-run water supply line to Lake Huron was made ready for connection…

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Exponential Growth of the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

Content News, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Furtak

We are committed to increasing the value of your HeinOnline subscription by adding content to existing libraries, creating new collections, and developing new features to improve our users' legal research experiences. Thanks to partnerships with Arnold & Porter and Covington & Burling, we have dramatically increased the number of compiled federal legislative histories available in HeinOnline's U.S. Federal Legislative History Library. January 2016 marks the completion of a massive project in which hundreds of new titles were added to this library with each monthly content release.

Legislative histories are often used to research legislative intent behind one or more provisions of a public law…

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Why Finance Jargon Is Actually Interesting and Should Matter to You

Exploring HeinOnline, Searching, Taxation and Economic Reform in America, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Furtak

Reading about or discussing banking laws, financial institutions, and accounting information probably defeats Ambien in the sleep-aid war for most people. However, what happens in and to the financial industry almost always affects things like the United States economy, the housing market, and our paychecks.

November 12 marked the 16th anniversary of the repeal of certain parts of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. Before your eyes glaze over, think about 2008 for a moment. What could repealing a portion of a 1933 Act in 1999 have to do with 2008, and why should we still care in 2015? Let's break it down.

The Glass-Steagall Act

The Glass-Steagall Act refers to four specific provisions of the U.S…

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