2017 – 2020

Legal Website of the Month Archive




The Tarlton Law Library of the University of Texas at Austin unveiled a new free resource for legal ethics research. The Thomas Woodward Houghton 50 State Ethics Guide provides links to free options for state codes of attorney and judicial conduct, legal ethics opinions from state and local bars, and selected print and online resources from the American Bar Association.


Constitution Annotated


The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (“Constitution Annotated” or “CONAN”) provides a legal analysis and interpretation of the United States Constitution based on a comprehensive review of Supreme Court case law and, where relevant, historical practices that have defined the text of the Constitution. This regularly updated resource is written in “plain English” and useful for a wide audience: from constitutional scholars to those just beginning to learn about the nation’s most important legal document.  The Constitution Annotated mainly contains citations to Supreme Court caselaw. Our citations contain hyperlinks to three sources: the Library of CongressHarvard Law School’s Caselaw Access Project, and the official website for the Supreme Court.

How to Cite the Constitution Annotated

Following the latest edition of The Bluebook, cite the Constitution Annotated hardbound edition as follows: Cong. Research Serv., Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (Michael J. Garcia et al. eds., 2012). See The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation R. 15, at 149 (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. eds., 20th ed. 2015).

Cite the Constitution Annotated website as follows: Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation, Cong. Research Serv. (last visited Aug. 6, 2019), https://constitution.congress.govSee Bluebook R. 18.2.2, at 182.

Cite the Constitution Annotated PDFs as follows: Cong. Research Serv., Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (Michael J. Garcia et al. eds., 2012), www.congress.gov/content/conan/pdf/GPO-CONAN-2017.pdf. See Bluebook R. 15.9, at 156.

Annotations and essays related to impeachment under Articles I, II, and III are found at
constitution.congress.gov/browse  (in particular, Article II, Section 4)

Additional information on impeachment is provided on the websites Beyond the Constitution Annotated: Table of Additional Resources: constitution.congress.gov/resources/additional-resources/…

The landing page for the full website is here: constitution.congress.gov/?loclr=bloglaw



The papers of President James A. Garfield, who was assassinated in the first year of his short presidency, have been digitized and are now available online for the first time from the Library of Congress. The Garfield collection includes approximately 80,000 items, mostly dating from 1850 to 1881. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, by Charles Guiteau, a mentally disturbed office seeker convinced that Garfield’s death would provide him with a plum diplomatic post. The president’s health would deteriorate for 80 days due to rampant infection after the shooting, and he died on Sept. 19, 1881.

Mental Illness Policy Org


Mental Illness Policy Org. was founded in 2011 by DJ Jaffe who was credited with passing NY’s Kendra’s Law and played a major role in passing certain provisions of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act that were eventually incorporated in the 21st Century CURES Act. The issues facing the seriously mentally ill differ from the problems that affect the much broader population of people who have issues like anxiety and mild depression. The needs of the seriously ill often get lost in the larger dialogue about mental health.  Mental Illness Policy Org. brings together the best research and insights from writers and researchers around the world who have studied serious mental illness, and synthesizes their scholarship into actionable policies designed to improve care, save money, and keep public and patients safe. Difference between Mental Illness Policy Org. and other organizations Mental Illness Policy Org. focuses on serious mental illness, not mental health.



The online Repository of Historical Gun Laws was created by the faculty of the Center for Firearms Law at Duke Law School. “A searchable free database of gun laws from the Middle Ages to 1776 in England and from the Colonial Era to the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. This repository is intended as a resource for scholars and practitioners interested in historical laws concerning firearms and other similar weapons.”



The National Agricultural Law Center established in 1987 at the University of Arkansas serves as the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and information. The Center is a federally funded and a nonpartisan entity. The operation of the Center is in conjunction with the United States National Agricultural Library. The Center’s website is the primary means of disseminating its agricultural and food law research and information products. The Center is part of Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agricultural (USDA) and is the only institution of its kind in the United States. The Center serve the nation’s vast agricultural community. Their clientele includes attorneys, farmers, federal and state policymakers, extension personnel, academics, students, and consumers.



African LII is a program of the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit at the Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town. The Website provides a Pan-African legal search engine to regional legal materials and maintains sustainable free access to full text of laws, court decisions, administrative decisions, and official gazettes, as well as commentary.

Foreign Law Web Archive


Foreign law web archive is a collection of foreign legal materials. Included are official gazettes and judicial websites. Many foreign legal materials are now posted online, with some jurisdictions dispensing with a print publication entirely. Certain jurisdictions’ legal materials are challenging to acquire or considered at risk of disappearing from the Web. An official Gazette is a government publication that generally contains the first version of the text of legislation, regulations, rules, legal notices, treaties, and court cases for foreign countries.



Since 1989, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) has worked not only to support communities and defend the environment in the face of looming threats, but to change the very system that gives rise to those threats. CIEL works to build the legal levers for change that will be effective not only for CIEL and its partners, but for others far beyond CIEL’s reach.  CIEL’s vision for the world is one where the law reflects the interconnection between humans and the environment, respects the limits of the planet, protects the dignity and equality of each person, and encourages all of earth’s inhabitants to live in balance with each other. In every aspect of its work, CIEL promotes the rule of law; transparent, just and sustainable processes; balanced economic and political power that protects the rights of communities and the environment; democratic inclusion; intra- and inter-generational equity; the interconnectedness of life on the planet; and the intrinsic value of nature and the inherent rights of species and ecosystems.



The International Law Institute (ILI) has provided legal training to over 38,000 government officials, legal and business professionals, and scholars from 186 countries. ILI also provides technical expertise to developing nations in the design of their own laws and economic infrastructure in efforts to further promote good and efficient governance through the rule of law. ILI presents approximately 40 – 50 core-training programs each year in our facility in Washington, DC. Another 7-15 specialized programs are conducted annually in the U.S. and abroad, at the request of foreign governments, the World Bank, or other sponsoring agencies. In recent years, ILI has presented programs in a wide variety of international settings including: China, Nigeria, Mexico, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Peru, Mauritius, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, Uganda, Ukraine, Russia, Turkmenistan, Philippines and various locations throughout Europe. ILI works closely with many governments across the globe including the US, where we have worked with US Dept. of State in the areas of publishing and training.

United States Environmental Protection Agency


The mission of United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment and to ensure that Americans have clean air, land and water, as well as to promote national efforts to reduce environmental risks are based on the best available scientific information. All parts of society–communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments–have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks. Contaminated lands and toxic sites are cleaned up by potentially responsible parties and revitalized. Chemicals in the marketplace are also reviewed for safety.

JURISDOCS (ISSN 0162-3079)


The triennial publication of the Government Documents Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries. The Government Documents Special Interest Section as a matter of policy does not sell advertising in JURISDOCS.

Materials for publication may be submitted to the editor. Articles may be submitted in any of the following formats: e-mail, fax, or US mail. The copyright to each article that appears in JURISDOCS is held by the author of that article. Reproduction without the author’s permission is forbidden by the Copyright Act of 1976.

The editor reserves the right to reject materials submitted for publication. The only exception to this rule is for letters submitted for the “Letters to the Editor” column. This exception provides members an open forum within which to express their opinions. All of the opinions and statements expressed in JURISDOCS represent those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the GOVDOC SIS or AALL.


Rebecca Kunkel, Reference and Metadata Librarian Rutgers-Newark Law Library
Rena K. Seidler, Research and Instructional Services Librarian Ruth Lilly Law Library Indiana University- Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Immigration Legal Resource Center


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center  (ILRC) was founded in 1979 by law professor Bill Ong Hing  to help immigration law professionals and advocates develop their expertise, educate immigrant communities to advocate for themselves, and shape immigration law and policy.  ILRC also provides legal training, technical assistance, policy updates, and educational materials to attorneys, nonprofit organizations, public defenders, and other immigration advocates, and engages in advocacy and civic engagement efforts designed to advance immigrant rights. The organization’s areas of expertise include asylum, citizenship and naturalization, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA ), enforcement, family-based applications for permanent residency, and removal defense for those facing deportation.

Currently ILRC is working on the projects and initiatives include CitizenshipWorks, a collaboration with the Immigration Advocates network and Pro Bono Net that helps immigrants apply for citizenship; the Defending Immigrants Partnership, which works with public defender offices and criminal defense organizations on behalf of non-citizens facing criminal charges; and the New Americans Campaign, a national network of legal-service providers, faith-based organizations, businesses, foundations, and community leaders. In addition, through its Technical assistance program, ILRC offers expert legal assistance to legal professionals assisting immigrant clients, while its community resources include know-your-rights” Red Cards” designed to help individuals defend themselves against unconstitutional actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


United States Office of Government Ethics


Under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 the United States Office of Government Ethics (OGE) was created and became an independent agency in 1989  to prevent and resolve conflict of interest.  OGE oversees and provides overall leadership to the executive branch ethics program and works with a community of ethics practitioners made up of nearly 5,000 ethics officials in more than 130 agencies to implement that program. OGE has also produced substantive analyses and provided testimony on executive branch ethics laws at the request of Congress. In addition, OGE regularly provides information to the Government Accountability Office as it prepares ethics-related reports. One of  OGE’s missions is to foster high ethical standards for executive branch employees and to strengthen the public’s confidence that the Government’s business is conducted with impartiality and integrity involves regular communication with the Congress.

GSA (General Services Administration)


The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) established in 1949, is an independent agency  to help mange and support the basic function of federal agencies.  GSA also supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies and other management tasks. GSA’s business lines include the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) and the Public Buildings Service (PBS), as well as several Staff Offices including the Office of Government-wide Policy, the Office of Small Business Utilization, and the Office of Mission Assurance. As part of FAS, GSA’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS) helps federal agencies improve delivery of information and services to the public.



Regulations.gov is a U. S. Federal government Website that allows users to make public comments in response to notices of proposed rulemaking issued by participating agencies; such comments become part of the public record and may be displayed on the site.

From the Regulations.gov, you can view a description of every proposed and final Federal regulation currently open for comment, read the full text of the regulations, and submit your comments to the Federal agencies responsible for the rule making action. Searches by government agency name or by keyword are available



The Children’s Bureau (CB) is the first federal agency within the U.S. Government-and in fact, the world. The CB partners with federal, state, tribal and local agencies to improve the overall health and well-being of our nation’s children and families. Within an annual budge, the bureau provides support and guidance to programs that focus on:

  • Strengthening families and preventing child abuse and neglect
  • Protecting children when abuse or neglect has occurred
  • Ensuring that every child and youth has a permanent family or family connection

The Bureau also participates in a variety of projects, including:

  • Providing guidance on federal law, policy and program regulations
  • Funding essential services, helping states and tribes operate every aspect of their child welfare systems
  • Supporting innovation through competitive, peer-reviewed grants for research and program development
  • Offering training and technical assistance to improve child welfare service delivery
  • Monitoring child welfare services to help states and tribes achieve positive outcomes for children and families
  • Sharing research to help child welfare professionals improve their services



The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is the United Nations office responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. UNOOSA serves as the secretariat for the General Assembly’s only committee dealing exclusively with international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space: the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
UNOOSA is also responsible for implementing the Secretary-General’s responsibilities under international space law and maintaining the United Nations Register of Objects Launched into Outer Space. The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space is the forum for the development of international space law. Each of the treaties stresses the notion that outer space, the activities carried out in outer space to enhance the well-being of all countries and humankind, with an emphasis on promoting international cooperation.



The American Archive of Public Broadcasting recently published an online exhibit called “Gavel to Gavel: The Watergate Scandal and Public Television, which includes newly digitized material from the Senate Watergate hearings as well as coverage of the 1974 House impeachment hearings, The exhibit provides access to context for the hearings not only for public broadcasting, but also for America as a whole and covers all the coverage, a highlights reel, an episode guide and an essay putting the coverage into historical perspective.

American Indian and Alaskan Native Documents in the Congressional Serial Set :1817-1899.


The database provides free, online access to historic full-text government documents related to American Indian and Alaskan Natives for the benefit of tribes, scholars, students and the public in general. The Serial Set includes House and Senate Documents and Reports from Congressional committees dealing with proposed legislation and issues under investigation, as well as materials from the executive branch.

Center for Art Law


The Center for Art Law Website provides access to a coherent Art Law community and a centralized resource for Art and Cultural Heritage Law. It strives to connect artists, scholars, attorneys, students and related professionals through listing online resources, publications and organizations dealing with art law, legal and non-legal.

The United States Code


The United States Code– is a compilation of federal statutory law arranged by subject by the House Office of Law Revision Council. Each title in the United States Code corresponds to a subject. For example, title 18 concerns crimes and criminal procedure. 18 U.S.C. § 1 is an example a citation in the Code. 18 indicates the title, U.S.C. is an abbreviation for the United States Code, and 1 is the section number of a particular statute within title 18.



The Library holds the world’s largest collection of Hamilton papers-approximately 12,000 items concentrated from 1777 until Hamilton’s death in 1804, including letters, legal papers and drafts of speeches and writings, among other items. Now, for the first time, these original documents-many in Hamilton’s own hand-will be available for researchers, students or the generally curious anywhere in the world to explore on the Website.

Items in the collection include:

  • A letter written when Hamilton was 12 or 13 to his friend Edward Stevens describing his wish to raise his station in life;
  • The outline of Hamilton’s speech at the Constitutional Convention;
  • Hamilton’s draft of George Washington’s farewell address;
  • His draft of the infamous Reynolds pamphlet;
  • A letter to his wife, Eliza, written shortly before his fatal duel with Aaron Burr.


BRB Publications, is the nation’s premier publisher of reference sources and websites used for public records. BRB Publications is a past recipient of the Publisher of the Year award from Quality Books and is a past winner of a Product Achievement Award from the Information Industry Association. BRB’s data goes well beyond a Google Search. The metadata provided by BRB includes in-depth descriptions of record access policies and procedures, access methods, restrictions, fees, turn around times, identifiers shown on records and other needed tips and information used for public record searching.


Federal Courts Web Archive

The Federal Courts Web Archive provides unique resources for scholars and others conducting retrospective research into the work of the federal judiciary.These sites contain a wide variety of resources prepared by federal courts, such as: slip opinions, transcripts, dockets, court rules, calendars, announcements, judicial biographies, statistics, educational resources, and reference materials. The materials available on the federal court websites were created to support a diverse array of users and needs, including attorneys and their clients, pro se litigants seeking to represent themselves, jurors, visitors to the court, and community outreach programs.

The First Amendment Encyclopedia

Middle Tennessee State University has launched a searchable website with more than thousands of essays and articles about court decisions and doctrines; people, law and events; and general issues and organizations significant in the First Amendment’s history in the United States.

James K. Polk Papers


The papers of James K. Polk (1795-1849), governor of Tennessee, representative from Tennessee, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and eleventh president of the United States, contain approximately 20,500 items dating from 1775 to 1891, with the bulk falling in the period 1830-1849. The collection includes correspondence, presidential letterbooks, diaries, speeches and messages, account and memorandum books, family papers, financial and legal records, printed matter, portraits, and other papers relating chiefly to Polk’s political career in Tennessee and on the national level.

The Library of Congress acquired approximately 10,000 items from Mrs. Fall in 1903. The Chicago Historical Society transferred additional correspondence and the bulk of Polk’s diaries to the Library of Congress in 1910. Sadie Fall Gardner Grant (Mrs. Rollin P. Grant), a daughter of Sarah Polk’s niece, augmented the Polk papers with a significant donation of materials in 1927. Between the years 1954 and 1973, the Library of Congress produced a microfilm edition of the materials in series 1-9 and 11, with a related index published in 1969. In the years since, scattered extant original documents have been added to the collection.

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)


The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) protects the public by enforcing the provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act) to ensure that only qualified persons engage in the alcohol beverage industry. TTB is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating alcohol production, importation, and wholesale businesses; tobacco manufacturing and importing businesses; and alcohol labeling and advertising.

CISG Advisory Council


The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) Council Advisory has three main functions: to promote understanding and uniform interpretation of the CISG by publishing opinions on issues of interpretation, to promote the CISG generally, and to encourage and assist with the adoption and implementation of the CISG in jurisdictions that have not ratified it.  The Advisory Council’s principal role is promoting uniform interpretation of the CISG.



The LawArXiv repository was developed jointly by the Legal Information Preservation Alliance, the Mid-American Law Library Consortium, NELLCO, and the Cornell Law Library, with the Center for Open Science (COS) providing the technological infrastructure via its Open Source Framework. The COS platform also serves as a preprint service, allowing organizations to control their branding, licensing requirements and taxonomy.  LawArXiv will accept preprints and post prints where the author has the copyright on their work.



Brexit is a commonly used term for the United Kingdom’s planned withdrawal from the European Union. Brexit is an abbreviation for “British exit,” referring to the 2016 referendum vote to leave the UK by April 2019. Issues in the United Kingdom European membership referendum, 2016 are the economic, human and political issues that were discussed during the campaign about the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The leave campaign argues that a reduction in red tape associated with EU regulations would create more jobs and that small to medium sized companies who trade domestically would be the biggest beneficiaries. In just 264 words in five paragraphs, article 50 of the Lisbon treaty sets out how an EU member can voluntarily leave the European Union. It specifies that a leaver should notify the European council of its intention, negotiate a deal on its withdrawal and establish legal grounds for a future relationship with the EU.

United Nations Treaty Collection


The United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS) is the result of article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, which states as below. A treaty series includes status and full text of all multilateral treaties deposited with the United Nations. The UNTS is by far the largest collection f treaties, running some 2800 volumes containing 158,00 treaties from 1946. Its predecessor was the League of Nations Treaty Series (LNTS). Charter of the United Nations:

1. Every treaty and every international agreement entered into by any Member of the United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the Secretariat and published by it.

2. No party to any such treaty or international agreement which has not been registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty or agreement before any organ of the United Nations.



The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a federal-government research institute in the U.S. whose mission is to “lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.” The mission of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is to advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health. In this regard, NIDA addresses the most fundamental and essential questions about drug abuse — from detecting and responding to emerging drug abuse trends and understanding how drugs work in the brain and body, to developing and testing new approaches to treatment and prevention. The institute has conducted an in-depth study of addiction according to its biological, behavioral and social components. It has also supported many treatments such as nicotine patches and gums, and performed research into AIDS and other drug-related diseases.



The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national association of immigration lawyers and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. Established in 1946, AILA is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that provides continuing legal education, information, professional services, and expertise to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members. There is a full text resource guide examining the issues around immigration law reform. The site also includes a searchable directory of immigration lawyers and a page of related web links. Parts of the site are restricted to members only.



A website of the Disability.gov provides access to the federal government comprehensive information on disability-related programs, services, policies, laws and regulations. There are links to thousands of resources from many different federal government agencies, as well as state and local governments and nonprofit organizations across the country. Ten main subject areas: Benefits, Civil Rights, Community Life, Education, Emergency Preparedness, Employment, Health, Housing, Technology and Transportation are updated daily. Disability.gov is also an information and referral website to direct you to another website pertaining to your research topic. You can learn more about how to find, connect, and share on the site’s fact sheet which is available in the Newsroom.



NELLCO’s legal scholarship repository brings Institutional Repositories (IRs) together all of a University’s research under one umbrella and is a service of the NELLCO libraries. Presentations, senior theses, and other works not published elsewhere can be also published in the NELLCO IR. The website is a vehicle for working papers or copies of published articles and conference papers. Research and scholarly output included in this website has been selected and deposited by the individual university departments and centers on campus