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Asylum Law: A Beginner’s Guide

This post was co-authored by Robert Brammer and Barbara Bavis, Legal Reference Librarians. In the recent public debate regarding immigration reform, some groups have called for a change to our current method of granting asylum to those who fear returning to their country of origin due to “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on […]

Frequent Reference Question: How Many Federal Laws Are There?

The following is a guest post by Shameema Rahman, Senior Legal Research Specialist in our Public Services Division.  Shameema is a frequent contributor to In Custodia Legis; her most recent post was entitled Presidential Signing Statements. At the reference desk, we are frequently asked to estimate the number of federal laws in force. However, trying to tally this […]

How to Locate Free Case Law on the Internet

This post was coauthored by Barbara Bavis. One of the defining features of the common law system is the emphasis placed on the precedential value of case law. Until recently, case law has not been widely available on the Internet, leaving researchers with no choice but to seek out print reporters and commercial electronic databases […]

Congressional Voting Records: A Beginner’s Guide

For the next installment of the Beginner’s Guide series, I turn to a subject that is of recurring interest to our patrons—how to find congressional voting records (also called roll call information). This topic presents more challenges than may be readily apparent, because researchers must not only determine what resources cover the period of time […]

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]  […]

Election Laws Around the Globe

This is a joint post drafted by Clare Feikert and Margaret Wood. The Global Legal Research Center has done a number of briefings and blogs, as well as too many Global Legal Monitor Articles to list, on electoral law across various jurisdictions around the world. The Russian Federation, Parliamentary Elections: Legal Issues, 2008; Elections in […]