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An Extraordinary Law Librarian

The following is a guest post by Debbie Shrager, a legal reference librarian who worked in the Law Library’s Public Services Division. In this post, Debbie writes about the extraordinary life of John F.N. Wilkinson, who worked in the Law Library of Congress from 1857-1912. Wilkinson’s service to the Law Library is certainly the most fascinating fact I have […]

Library to Commemorate James Madison’s 265th Birthday

On Wednesday, March 16, the Law Library of Congress and the Library’s Manuscript Division will host a panel discussion on the fourth president’s early life, political and personal partnerships and his pre-eminent role at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. The program will feature three distinguished attorneys and historians whose biographies of Madison were published in 2015: […]

Anniversary of the Radio Act of 1927, The Beginning of Broadcast Regulation

As new technologies emerge, the federal government works to ratchet up its regulations. If the technology is sufficiently pervasive, the government creates regulatory arms for it. Radio is one of the earlier examples of this cycle of technological innovation and its regulation. Before 1927, the Commerce Department regulated radio, but the department’s control over the […]

State Primary Election Laws

It is election primary season here in the United States.  Iowa and New Hampshire have voted, and the South Carolina Republican primary took place this past Saturday, February 20th.  The South Carolina Democratic primary will take place this coming Saturday, February 27th.  As is often the case in the United States, each state has different […]

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia

The following is a guest post by James Martin, senior legal information analyst at the Law Library of Congress.  James has previously written on The District of Columbia 1862 Emancipation Law and The Articles of Confederation: The First Constitution of the United States. Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Antonin Scalia died in Texas […]

Parliaments Around the World

The first multinational report to be published on the Law Library’s website in 2016 allows us to consider some fundamental questions underlying the practice of comparative law: who makes the laws, and how are the laws made? The report covers eleven jurisdictions with different legal and constitutional traditions and systems of government. We have the […]

Pic of the Week: Monday is not Presidents’ Day – Or is it?

This coming Monday, February 15, we will celebrate the federal holiday, Washington’s Birthday. You may be thinking, “my calendar says Monday is ‘Presidents’ Day,’ not ‘Washington’s birthday!’” Interestingly, the federal holiday is officially called Washington’s Birthday (5 US Code 6103) and is observed on the third Monday in February as established by Public Law 90-361 […]

Presidential Communications: A Beginner’s Guide

This post is coauthored by Robert Brammer and Barbara Bavis, senior legal reference specialists. We sometimes receive questions about communications sent to Congress by the president that concern legislation. Since this post pertains to legislative history, our focus is on executive communications, presidential messages, veto messages, and signing statements. If you would like to learn more about […]

Animals on Trial: Formal Legal Proceedings, Criminal Acts, and Torts of Animals

Trial of a Sow and Pigs at Lavegny, from The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar, Including Anecdote, Biography, & History, Curiosities of Literature and Oddities of Human Life and Character, ed. Robert Chambers, 1879. https://archive.org/stream/b22650477_0001#page/128/mode/2up At present, one of the projects that I am working on involves […]