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Showing posts from May, 2014

IRS Delays New Regulations Designed to Limit Political Activity by Non-profits

The New York Times is reporting that the Internal Revenue Service has decided to postpone implementation of new tax regulations designed to discourage political activity from groups given tax exempt status by the agency. See the IRS' official announcement. According to the article, the proposed regulations which specify what constitutes "political activity" and  limit expenditures on such activity yielded 150,000 comments from the public. The rules are not expected to go into effect until after this year's midterm elections.

Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.)

SCOTUSblog Denied Press Credentials

The ABA Journal has recently reported that SCOTUSblog is appealing a decision by the U.S. Senate Press Gallery refusing to grant press credentials to the blog and Lyle Denniston, it's journalist. The Standing Committee of the Senate Daily Press Gallery will hear the blog's appeal on May 23. According to the article, Tom Goldstein, the blog's founder, did not receive a list of reasons for the refusal, complicating the appeal. See SCOTUSblog's appeal letter for more details.We will follow this closely and post any updates.

UHLC Class of 2014 Celebrates Commencement

University of Houston Law Center’s Class of 2014 graduated this past Saturday.Congratulations to all of the new graduates!For any former students who are not still celebrating, the following resources may be useful for new doctors of law as they move on to the next stage of their legal careers:
Information on the upcoming Texas Bar Examination is available from the official website.A very basic summary is available here.When the Bar Exam is over, examinees may be interested a series of free presentations introducing new lawyers to the legal profession; this collection is specifically intended for new graduates waiting for the results of the Texas Bar Exam.The State Bar of Texas’ offers a collection of resources for new lawyers.The American Bar Association offers a similar collection less focused on Texas practice.Information on Texas CLE requirements is available for consultation; guides to local (Houston area) CLE opportunities are available here and here.The O’Quinn Law Library als…

Free Online Resource Provides Visualization of Legislative Data

The University of Washington’s Center for American Politics and Public Policy (CAPPP) recently unveiled a new data-driven discovery tool called Legislative Explorer, or LegEx, which allows users to observe large-scale trends in legislative activity in the United States Congress. Using data drawn from a number of different legislative tracking sources (including Congress.gov), Legislative Explorer provides a visual representation of the progress of bills and resolutions through both the House and Senate. Coverage is available from the 93rd Congress (1973-1974) to the present, and the dataset is updated nightly. The visual representation can be limited by party, Senator or Representative, topic, committee, type of legislation, and several other categories. For more information on how LegEx works, click on “Tutorial” in the top right corner of the screen, or see this post on the CAPPP website.

Happy Law Day!

Today is the 53rd annual U.S. Law Day, a day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Though not a government holiday, Law Day was declared by President Eisenhower in 1958, and in 1961 became Public Law 87-20, codified at 36 U.S.C. 113. Every year on Law Day the President makes a proclamation inviting the nation to celebrate the importance of our Nation's legal and judicial systems.
Each law day is given a theme by the American Bar Association, and for Law Day 2014 it’s “ American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters,” celebrating the coming 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This year’s efforts focus on the importance of voting and of ensuring that our nation’s election laws and practices permit the broadest, least restrictive access to the ballot box.
There are no specific voter qualifications contained within the text of the Constitution. The Framers left that topic up to the states. For this reason, Amendments guar…