Oral Argument Marathon

On Monday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing 5 1/2 hours of oral arguments on the consolidated health care reform law cases.  As blog readers are likely aware, under the Rules of the Supreme Court, the Court normally grants no more than one hour for argument, although historically this was not always the case.

Early on, there was no time limit imposed on advocates, and arguments could continue for several days. On March 12, 1849, the Court adopted a rule limiting oral arguments to two hours per side. Since 1970 the half-hour per side limit has been the norm.

Some of the longest Supreme Court arguments include:

Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) (5 Days)

McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) (9 Days)

Brown v. Board of Education (I) (1952) (3 Days)

Brown v. Board of Education (II) (1955) (4 days)

Miranda v. Arizona (1966) (3 days)

United States v. Nixon (1974) (3 hours)

As noted in an earlier post, the Court will expedite access to transcripts and argument audio in next week’s cases.

To learn more about Supreme Court oral argument procedures and history see the Supreme Court Historical Society Website.  For more information on the healthcare cases, see Scotus Blog and Oyez.

Supreme Court Expedites Access to Transcripts and Audio for Health Care Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court will expedite access to audio recordings and transcripts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cases.  In yesterday’s press release, the Court announced that these will be available on the Court’s website by 2 p.m. for the morning arguments on March 26-28, and by 4 pm for the March 28 afternoon session.

News organizations reportedly requested permission to broadcast these arguments. The Court has previously denied such requests and prohibits cameras and recording devices in the courtroom.

Encyclopedia Britannica Ends Print Edition

It would be impossible to count how many school papers were written, family squabbles resolved, curiosity satiated, and book shelves decorated with the help of the print Encyclopedia Britannica.  But in the digital age, if using a print encyclopedia isn’t already a distant memory or a quaint piece of nostalgia, it soon will be.

Encyclopedia Britannica. Inc. announced today that it will become a completely digital product (its primary format for the last 20 years). According to a press release“to mark the retirement of the print set, the entire contents of the Britannica.com website will be available free for one week beginning today.”

Google Scholar Changes Case Citation Information

Google has announced that it has changed how it displays citations to legal opinions:

Now, instead of sorting the citing documents by their prominence, we sort them by the extent of discussion of the cited case. Opinions that discuss the cited case in detail are presented before ones that mention the case briefly. We indicate the extent of discussion visually and indicate opinions that discuss the cited case at length, that discuss it moderately and those that discuss it briefly. Opinions that don’t discuss the cited case are left unmarked.

Spring Recess

Law Library Hours:

Friday, March 9  8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday, March 10  Noon – 6:00 PM
Sunday, March 11  Noon – 6:00 PM
Monday – Thursday, March 12 – 15  8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday, March 16  8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday, March 17  Noon – 6:00 PM

Reference Hours:

Friday, March 9  9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday, March 11  Closed
Monday -Friday, March 12 – 16  9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
(The Reference Office is regulary closed on Saturdays)

LexisNexis Offers “Think Like a Lawyer” Training

GMUSL students are invited to attend “Think Like a Lawyer” training offered by LexisNexis. The training will focus on “Cost-Effective Research” and preparation for the “Professional Research Certification.”  Information about these programs is available here

The training sessions are scheduled for:

· Tuesday, 3/27 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM in room 332
· Tuesday, 3/27 from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM in room 225
· Wednesday, 3/28 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM in room 332
· Wednesday, 3/28 from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM in room 332
· Thursday, 3/29 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM in room 332
· Thursday, 3/29 from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM in room 332

Our Lexis representative will be available in the law school atrium on Monday, 3/26 to provide more information about these sessions.

Women in Law

Since 1995, U.S. Presidents have proclaimed March as “Women’s History Month.”  These proclamations are officially reported in the Compilation of Presidential Documents published by the Office of the Federal Register and later included in the Code of Federal Regulations.  President Obama’s 2012 Women’s History Month Proclamation is available here.

In honor of this celebration, below are some female “firsts” in the American legal profession.  Please see also our earlier post noting some of the African American women who were attorney pioneers.

  • Myra Colby Bradwell: First woman to seek admission to the bar after passing the bar exam, but denied admission because she was a married woman (1869)
  • Arabella Mansfield: First woman to be formally admitted to practice law (1869)
  • Ellen Spencer Mussey: First woman law school dean (1898, Washington College of Law)
  • Lemma Barkaloo: First woman to try a case in court (1870)
  • Ada H. Kepley: First woman to graduate law school (1870, Union College of Law, now Northwestern University School of Law)
  • Alice Rufie Blake Jordan: First woman to receive a degree from Yale Law School (1886) (She was admitted by applying using her initials—women were not officially enrolled until 1919)
  • Florence E. Allen: First woman elected judge (1920), to sit on a state supreme court (Ohio, 1922), and to be appointed an Article III judge (Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1934)
  • Sandra Day O’Connor: First woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court (1981)
  • Janet Reno: First woman U.S. Attorney General (1993)
  • Elena Kagan: First woman dean of Harvard Law School (2003) and first women to officially serve as U.S. Solicitor General (2009)