SCOTUS Hears Arguments on Same-Sex Marriage – Quick Resource Review

U.S. Supreme Court buildingToday, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, consolidated with three other cases, on whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires that states grant and/or recognize same-sex marriages.

If you’re short on time, here are 5 key facts about same-sex marriage from the non-partisan Pew Research Center.

SCOTUSblog editor, Amy Howe, has written an overview of the case in two parts:

Part I

Part II

Nina Totenberg of NPR has said that groups, individuals, and governments with an interest in the outcome have issued a record number of amicus briefs, at 148, exceeding the record of 136 set for the 2013 Obamacare case.

Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), and the Los Angeles Times have examined the case with views to how crucial the votes may be from Justices Roberts and Kennedy.

Richard Wolf at USA Today has put together a timeline on same-sex marriage law through the years and a profile of Mary Bonauto, one of the lawyers arguing on behalf of the plaintiffs today.

SCOTUSblog will begin live-blogging oral arguments at 10:45 a.m.

SCOTUSblog @SCOTUSblog and OYEZ @oyez will be live-tweeting oral arguments and you can follow the day’s developments on social media with the hashtags #gaymarriage #SCOTUS and #SSM

Audio of the oral arguments will be posted on the Supreme Court’s official website and when the transcripts become available they’ll be posted there, as well.

You can fact-check claims about same-sex marriage at the non-partisan website, Politifact.

The case will most likely be decided in June.

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New Book: The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Legacy of Ruth Bader GinsburgYou know her as the Notorious RBG, now read about her work and life!

The new book The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Scott Dodson chronicles and evaluates the achievements Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made over in more than fifty years as a lawyer, professor, appellate judge, and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Find the book on the Law Library Balcony KF8745.G56 L4499 2015.

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Loretta E. Lynch Confirmed as Next U.S. Attorney General

Loretta E. LynchThe Senate yesterday confirmed Loretta Lynch as the next U.S. Attorney General. The 56-43 vote ended a more than five-month delay since her nomination was stalled by legislators expressing concern over her support of President Obama’s executive action on immigration law.

Lynch will be the 83rd person to head the U.S. Department of Justice and the first African-American woman to do so. The current Attorney General, Eric Holder, released a statement yesterday calling Lynch a “gifted attorney, a consummate professional, and a dedicated public servant” who has demonstrated an “unfailing commitment to the rule of law and a steadfast fidelity to the pursuit to justice.” Ms. Lynch is expected to be sworn in Monday.

Interested in learning more about the office of U.S Attorney General and about the U.S. Department of Justice? We recommend the department’s excellent website, You can view the department’s current bio on Loretta Lynch, as well as the portraits and bios of all of our previous 82 Attorneys General.

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Law students: ABA offering free memberships

American Bar Association Logo

In an early April press release, the American Bar Association announced it is now offering free membership to all students enrolled at ABA-approved law schools. The ABA says the membership will grant law students access to “resources tailored to their interests and needs, opportunities to build their professional skills plus access to the ABA’s job listings, clerkships, internships and career events.”

Student membership includes:

  • Access to the ABA Job Board, where members’ resumes are flagged with the ABA logo.
  • Opportunities to connect with established lawyers and learn about specialized areas of law through ABA sections, divisions and forums.
  • Four digital and print issues of Student Lawyer magazine, plus a digital subscription to the monthly ABA Journal.
  • Access to the Free Career Advice Series of monthly webinars on career-related topics such as interviewing wisely, tailoring your career to fit your strengths, and putting social media to work for you.
  • Free monthly continuing legal education webinars, which deal with real legal issues in different practice areas.
  • Access to member-only discounts on everything from Sprint cellular packages to Hertz car rentals to Brooks Brothers clothing.

Through the ABA’s Law Student Division, students can also take advantage of leadership training, public service opportunities, career development programming and practical skills competitions.

Law students can enroll online at or by calling the ABA Service Center at 800-285-2221.

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2015 UGA Charter Lecture

The Return of George WashingtonPulitzer Prize-winning historian and former University of Georgia School of Law faculty member, Edward J. Larson is delivering the 2015 UGA Charter Lecture on Thursday, April 23 at 11:00am in the University Chapel. The lecture, entitled “George Washington and America’s Second Revolution,” will draw from his recent New York Times listed best-selling book The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789.

You can find the book in the Law Library Basement at E312.29 .L37 2014.

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Exams Are Never Easy

The library has recently added the hand-written exams of Marcus Benton Calhoun, Class of 1900. His exams look very different from current exams. At the time Marcus entered law school, legal education still relied heavily on the memorization of the writings of significant legal scholars, Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780) and his Commentaries on the Laws of England in particular.

With the development of the case law method of instruction, pioneered by Christopher Columbus Langdell of Harvard Law School, students now take exams in which they are expected to analyze complex fact patterns and apply the law to those situations. Hard to know whether to thank Langdell or curse him.

View some of Calhoun’s exams with questions.

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New Book: The Assault on International Law

Assault on International LawWhy comply with it when there is no world government to enforce it? That is the conceptual riddle of international law.

The United States has a long history of skepticism towards international law and in the 21st Century has drifted away from international institutions like the International Criminal Court and the United Nations. In the new book The Assault on International Law, author Jens Ohlin focuses on law professors he sees as working against international law’s philosophical foundations, including Eric Posner, Jack Goldsmith, Adrian Vermeule, and John Yoo. In contrast, Ohlin provides an alternate vision of international law based on a theory of human rationality.

Located in the Sohn Library KF4581 .O35 2015, ask for the book at the Circulation Desk!

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