Government Information

Earl Gregg Swem Library

U.S. District Court Vacancies: Overview and Comparative Analysis

Categories: Presidency,Supreme Court/courts

Examines historical data on the number of federal district court vacancies that existed at the beginning of the terms of the last three presidents and also the number on June 1st of their eighth year in office.  While vacancies decreased from first day in office to June 1st of last year for the Clinton and Bush administrations, they increased by 71% in the Obama administration.  From the Congressional Research Service, posted by the Federation of American Scientists


Utah v. Strieff

Categories: Civil/Human Rights,Drug Trafficking,Headlines,Supreme Court/courts

5-3 Supreme Court decision that allows evidence uncovered after an “unconstitutional investigatory” stop by police to be used as evidence under some conditions.  The case involved a drug discovery after police stopped a car without adequate cause but found there was an outstanding traffic warrant on the driver.  From the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University


United States Telecom Association et al v. Federal Communications Commission

Categories: Headlines,Laws/Regulations,Supreme Court/courts,Telecommunications/Internet$file/15-1063-1619173.pdf

Decision of a three judge appellate court panel that supports the concept of net neutrality in affirming the FCC’s authority to reclassify broadband Internet as a telecommunications service and promote Internet openness.  Telecommunications companies had challenged the regulatory authority of the FCC in this area and argued it infringed on First Amendment rights. From the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.


Puerto Rico v. Franklin Cal. Tax-Free Trust

5-2 Supreme Court decision that the government of Puerto Rico cannot pass legislation to enable public utility corporations to restructure their debt.   The court held that the federal Bankruptcy Code  pre-empts Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act.  From the Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute


Williams v. Pennsylvania

Categories: Civil/Human Rights,Crime/Justice,Laws/Regulations,Supreme Court/courts

5-3 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that a Pennsylvania justice’s refusal to recuse himself from an appeal related to a murder case in which he had been the prosecuting attorney years before violates the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. From the Legal Information Institute of the Cornell University Law School


Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co.

Categories: Environment,Headlines,Laws/Regulations,Natural Resources,Property Rights,Supreme Court/courts

Unanimous Supreme Court decision that limits the ability of federal regulators to determine what land is protected by the Clean Water Act.  At issue in the case was whether companies could take the regulators to court without having to first seek expensive permits.  From the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University


U.S. Supreme Court: Policies and Perspectives on Video and Audio Coverage of Appellate Court Proceedings

Categories: Supreme Court/courts,Telecommunications/Internet

The U.S. Supreme Court does not provide video coverage of oral arguments but does provide audio coverage of selected proceedings upon request.  This report reviews the Supreme Court’s current policies on audio and video coverage, the policies of other selected appellate courts, and benefits/concerns about expanding such coverage.  From the Government Accountability Office


Foster v. Chatman

Categories: Crime/Justice,Headlines,Laws/Regulations,Supreme Court/courts

7-1 decision of the Supreme Court which overturned the murder conviction of Timothy Foster because prosecutors kept black candidates off the jury through improper means.  From the Legal Information Institute of the Cornell University Law School


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