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On Despising English Liberties and Other Wisdom from the Founders

Today is the anniversary of the ratification of the first written constitution in American history, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, which took place on January 14, 1639. The Fundamental Orders outlined the form of government that would be established over the Connecticut River Towns, enumerating its powers and describing the duties of citizens active in government. A fascinating document […]

Global Legal Monitor: November Highlights

The ten most viewed Global Legal Monitor (GLM) articles in November addressed a wide range of legal subjects: Communications and Electronic information; Constitutional Law; Criminal Law and Procedure; Foreign investment; Immigration; Labor; Nationality and citizenship.  Below is a list of the articles in the order of their popularity: France: Law on Immigration, Integration and Nationality […]

Another Lame Duck Congress: the Last Days of the 112th Congress

Congress is once again in a lame duck session.  The Senate’s Virtual Reference Desk Glossary website defines a lame duck session as: When Congress (or either chamber) reconvenes in an even-numbered year following the November general elections to consider various items of business. Some lawmakers who return for this session will not be in the next […]

Executive Orders: A Beginner’s Guide

Although they are not specifically mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, Executive Orders have been considered one of the President’s powers since George Washington’s administration.  Executive Orders are exactly what they sound like—orders produced by the President, as head of the executive branch, that are “generally directed to, and govern actions by, Government officials and agencies.”[1]  […]

The Electoral College – What Is It and How Does It Function?

The following is a guest post by Barbara Bavis and Robert Brammer, both legal reference librarians in the Public Services Division of the Law Library of Congress. The 2012 Presidential election is projected to be close, and attention has turned to whether the Electoral College may diverge from the popular vote in shaping the outcome […]

Israel’s Upcoming National Elections: Background Information

Israel is facing national elections shortly after the U.S. elections. Interestingly, Israel was mentioned more than 30 times  in the October 22, 2012 U.S. presidential debate . There is no doubt that the results of either election will have serious ramifications on both countries’ policies in the Middle East. On Oct. 16, 2012, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Law for the dissolution […]