"Nota Bene" means "note this well" or "take particular notice." We at the O'Quinn Law Library will be posting tips on legal research techniques and resources, developments in the world of legal information, happenings at the Law Library, and legal news reports that deserve your particular attention. We look forward to sharing our thoughts and findings and to hearing from you.

N.B: Make a note to visit "Nota Bene" regularly.

-Spencer L. Simons, former Director, O'Quinn Law Library and Associate Professor of Law



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

NCC's Constitution Daily and Scalia's Dissent

One of my favorite websites lately (and I hate to admit that I only discovered it several months ago) is the National Constitution Center's blog, Constitution Daily. The NCC's website has a lot of great, helpful, and fascinating information, but the blog is what usually grabs my attention.

The writers of the blog tackle constitutional issues, but they focus on the issues making news at the time, tackling everything from the use of drones to same-sex marriage, from the tension between a free press and a government's claim of national security to the proper place in our system for bureaucratic agencies. If you see or hear a news story about some aspect of how our government works (or should work), chances are that a blog entry explaining some of the nuances or identifying unanswered questions regarding that topic is in the works.

For example, since the US Supreme Court's controversial decision in Maryland v. King (upholding the warrantless collection and testing of an arrestee's DNA) came out on Monday (June 3), in less than 36 hours, there have been three postings discussing the decision.

Although Lyle Denniston's regular Constitution Check is always informative and enightening (if not sometimes frightening), and his posting regarding the DNA decision is worth the read, my new personal favorite is Jeffrey Rosen's analysis of Justice Scalia's masterful dissenting opinion. I'm not usually a fan of Justice Scalia, but I usually find myself in agreement with him when it comes to the Fourth Amendment, and I especially revel in his excoriation of the majority's decision in this case. If you don't have the time (or the stomach) to read Justice Scalia's full dissent, at least read Rosen's posting about it; it might actually make you feel sorry for Justice Kennedy.

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