Washington E-Bulletin – November 2014

Vol. 2014, Issue 11

A Look Ahead 

The Day After
As the dust settles and final
votes are tallied, AALL is working to assess the impact of the midterm election
results on our policy priorities in the lame duck and new Congress. Here’s what
we know so far:

Yesterday, voters handed control
of the Senate to Republicans for the first time in eight years, putting the GOP
in charge of both chambers of Congress for the remainder of President
Obama’s term. Republican wins in Colorado, Iowa, Montana, South
Dakota, Arkansas, West Virginia, and North Carolina – all seats
that had been in Democratic hands – have given the party a 52-49 advantage;
with contests still undecided in Virginia, Alaska, and Louisiana, Republicans
could control as many as 55 Senate seats when all is said and done. Republicans
also expanded their majority in the House of Representatives, picking up at
least 14 seats, with 16 races still hanging in the balance. As it stands now,
Republicans hold a 243-176 House majority. The party fared similarly well in
gubernatorial races, increasing a from a 29-21 advantage to a 31-15 advantage
over governorships, with four states’ outcomes – Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut,
and Vermont – still undecided.

Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who will become the new Majority Leader, has made clear
his intentions to return the Senate to regular order, something one half of
members of the new Senate have never experienced firsthand. In such a case,
bills would go through bipartisan committee process before coming to the floor,
a free and open amendment process would be restored, the chambers would
conference on passed legislation, and senators just might even work on Fridays.

Still, it’s highly unlikely that
Congress will take any real action in the lame duck session. One exception is
Fiscal Year 2015 funding; the current Continuing Resolution (CR) will expire on
December 11 and it is unclear whether Congress will pursue another CR or an
omnibus bill. As for AALL’s policy priorities, the new party division won’t
cause significant change. Our policy priorities have drawn support from both
Democrats and Republicans in the 113th Congress, and we frequently
work with members of both parties in support of issues like public access to
government information and open government.

AALL is looking forward to engaging with the 114th
Congress during the next two years. No matter the make-up of Congress, AALL
will continue to advocate for strong public policies that advantage law

Act Now

Save the Date: Q4 Online
Advocacy Training on December 10
The Government Relations Office
(GRO) will host its fourth and final quarterly online advocacy training of
2014 on December 10 from 12:00-12:30 pm ET. In this training, the GRO
staff will examine the successes and challenges of the 113th Congress
and share our predictions and strategies for both federal and state-level
advocacy in 2015. You’ll have an opportunity to reserve your spot soon, so stay
tuned for more information.

Give Your Input on Proposed
Changes to Federal Register and CFR
AALL is drafting comments in response to a proposed rule issued by the Administrative
Committee of the Federal Register that would make changes to Title 1 Chapter 1
of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (General Provisions), including
sections on ancillaries and indexes to the Federal Register and CFR. The
Administrative Committee “believes that consolidating these sections into
one general section allows the Director greater flexibility to publish user
aids at a time when most users rely on the online version of the daily Federal
Register.” However, AALL believes the proposed changes could result in the
elimination of critical resources such as the Table of Authorities and List of
CFR Sections Affected. We also know that many users still use, and sometimes
prefer, the print. We request member input on the proposed rule for possible
incorporation into AALL’s comments. Please send your comments and reactions to
the proposed rule to Director of Government Relations Emily Feltren at efeltren@aall.org
by November 17
and note whether you would like to remain anonymous. Public comments are due by
December 29.

AALL in the States

Chapters Show Support for UELMA
Several AALL chapters and their members have taken action to support the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) in recent weeks:

  • The Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries (ORALL) approved a resolution at its October Annual Meeting to support the enactment of UELMA in ORALL’s member states: Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Sally Holterhoff (Valparaiso University Law School Library, IN) presented a poster session on UELMA and Mary Jenkins (Hamilton County Law Library, OH) offered a legislative update. Submitted by Mary Jenkins
  • At the Association of Law Libraries of Upstate New York (ALLUNY) Annual Meeting on October 17, Emily Feltren and ALLUNY Government Relations Chair Amy Emerson presented, “The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act: What it is and Why it Matters.” ALLUNY also voted to adopt its own UELMA resolution during the Annual Meeting. Submitted by Amy Emerson
  • On October 28, the Law Library Association of Maryland (LLAM) adopted a resolution in support of UELMA enactment. Submitted by Mary Jo Lazun 
  • On January 9, 2015, San Diego Area Law Libraries) (SANDALL) will host a one-day conference on UELMA at the University of San Diego. Participants will learn about best practices, authentication technologies, and advocacy efforts from state officials, government experts, and law librarians. The event has been made possible by a grant from the AALL/Bloomberg BNA Continuing Education Grant Program. More information is available hereSubmitted by Michele Knapp

Round up and Review

  • The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) announced the restoration of electronic access to legacy case information on PACER
  • AALL celebrates 5 years of OGIS
  • James C. Duff will return as Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in January 2015
  • Check out the latest FDLP Connection from the Government Printing Office, and don’t forget to sign up for the Depository Library Council Virtual Meeting!
  • The Law Library of Congress has made historical editions of the U.S. Code, Federal Register, CFR, and U.S. Reports available for free online.