Government Information

Earl Gregg Swem Library

Special Prosecutors: Investigations and Prosecutions of Police Use of Deadly Force

Categories: African Americans,Crime/Justice,Federal State Relations,Supreme Court/courts

Considers the need for and process by which special prosecutors would be brought into play to carry out investigations of police use of deadly force and whether such incidents should involve federal authorities.  From the Congressional Research Service, posted by the Federation of American Scientists


Heien v. North Carolina

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

8-1 Supreme Court ruling that a cop’s reasonable mistake in interpreting the law was not sufficient cause to overturn a conviction.  The case involved a defendant who was convicted of cocaine possession when his car was stopped for a broken brake light.  The court ruled that searches and seizures based on mistakes of fact may be reasonable.  From the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University


Same-Sex Marriage Laws

Categories: Civil/Human Rights,Laws/Regulations,Marriage/Family,Sex Issues,Supreme Court/courts

Describes the status of same-sex marriage laws in the U.S., including a list of the states that currently allow same-sex marriage and a historical sketch of developments since 1993.   From the National Conference of State Legislatures


Supreme Court of Virginia Justices, 1779-Present

Categories: Supreme Court/courts,Virginia Issues

Portraits and biographical information of justices who have served on the Supreme Court of Virginia.  From the Virginia State Law Library


The Trouble with Amicus Facts

Categories: Crime/Justice,Lobbying,Supreme Court/courts,Virginia Issues

The paper about how advocacy is infecting “friend of the court” briefs and damaging the impartiality of the judicial process which earned a William and Mary law school professor a guest spot on the Stephen Colbert show.  William and Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-273  From the Social Science Research Network


Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA’s 2015 Revision

Categories: Environment,Laws/Regulations,Supreme Court/courts

The Environmental Protection Agency has until December 1, 2014 to review and propose changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.  This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the current and most recent reviews of the current standards, and issues that may be raised such as whether the benefits justify the costs. From the Congressional Research Service, posted by the Federation of American Scientists


Dawn Curry Page v. Virginia State Board of Elections

Ruling by three judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia that the congressional districts in Virginia dilute the voting strength of African Americans by concentrating them in a single district and are therefore unconstitutional.  Orders the districts to be redrawn by April 2016.  From Scribd


Marriage Equality in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Categories: Civil/Human Rights,Headlines,Marriage/Family,Sex Issues,Supreme Court/courts,Virginia Issues

Executive Order 30 of 2014 declares that same sex marriage is now legal in Virginia and directs all Virginia state agencies to make the necessary policy changes to comply with the Supreme Court decision not to review lower court decisions.  From the Office of the Governor


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