News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.


One Stop Searching for Social Media from Federal Officials on ProQuest Congressional

ProQuest Congressional is fantastic for finding information regarding government documents, especially compiled legislative histories as we have written about before.   A lesser known feature of the product is the ability to search the social media of public officials.

From the home page go to Social Media.  You will be able to search what members of Congress and Federal Agency officials are posting on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and press releases.  You can search by individual or enter terms for searching.

A good strategy is to use this feature in conjunction with tracking legislation or looking at what the officials were saying in the past when legislation was being considered.

Free Online Research Tools: Congressional Research Service Reports

US Capitol Building illuminated at night The Library of Congress announced on September 17, 2018 that a new website is now live, making reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) available to the public. The CRS is Congress’ nonpartisan “think tank” that conducts research and publishes reports for Congressional committees and Members of Congress. The experts and researchers at CRS provide analysis of an extensive range of topics. The thorough and nonpartisan nature of CRS reports makes them a valuable source on important and current topics for anybody, including legal researchers. CRS reports can be useful for legislative history research because they provide unbiased background information from a legislative perspective on issues before Congress.

Despite the fact that CRS reports are taxpayer funded, these reports were only made available to legislators. Some reports eventually made their way out to the public, if a congressional staffer chose to share. Recently, efforts had been made to make more reports widely available to the public with websites such as EveryCRSreport.com working to collect and share over 14,500 CRS reports. The new website from the Library of Congress serves as an official source of CRS reports, with over 600 of the active reports available at launch and more being added over time. Users may enter keywords to search the database or browse the index by clicking the search button without entering terms.

For more on legislative history or additional law and policy sources, check out our Legislative History Research Guide and Free Online Legal Research Guide.

ONC Request for Information on Electronic Health Record Reporting Program

Graphic of Electronic Health RecordThe U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking “input from the public regarding the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Program….  Responses will be used to inform subsequent discussions among stakeholders and future work toward the development of reporting criteria under the EHR Reporting Program.”  Written or electronic comments must be received by 5pm 10/17/18.  The EHR Reporting Program was established by the Section 4002 of the 21st Century Cures Act (Pub. L. No. 114-255 Title IV, § 4002, 130 Stat 1159, 12/13/16; codified at 42 U.S.C. § 300jj-19a).  The ONC is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Secretary, and it supports “the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care.”

UELMA Enacted in Ohio

Flag of Ohio On June 29, 2018, Ohio joined the growing number of states enacting the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) when Governor Kasich signed SB139 into law. According to the Uniform Law Commission, UELMA “requires that official electronic legal material be: (1) authenticated, by providing a method to determine that it is unaltered; (2) preserved, either in electronic or print form; and (3) accessible, for use by the public on a permanent basis.” The goal is to provide online legal material with a high degree of trustworthiness and permanence. As stated in a supporting resolution submitted by the Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries, “permanent public access to official, authentic legal information is critical to the legal system of the United States.”

U.S. Suicide Rates Significantly Rise

CDC Preventing Suicide CoverBehavioral scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), Division of Violence Prevention recently examined 1999-2016 suicide rates in the United States. “Suicide rates increased significantly in 44 states, with 25 states experiencing increases >30%.  Rates increased significantly among males and females in 34 and 43 states, respectively. … Among decedents with available information, several circumstances were significantly more likely among those without known mental health conditions than among those with mental health conditions, including relationship problems/loss (45.1% versus 39.6%), life stressors (50.5% versus 47.2%), and recent/impending crises (32.9% versus 26.0%)…” The full report, Trends in State Suicide Rates – United States, 1999-2016 and Circumstances Contributing to Suicide – 27 States, 2015, is published in 67 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 617-624 (June 8, 2018). For additional data and information, see the CDC National Violent Death Reporting System website and the Division of Violence Prevention Suicide Prevention page.