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


This Just In: Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life

On the heels of C|M|Law’s successful RBG: Justice Ginsburg Live via Skype Chat and RBG Film Screening comes one of the newest additions to our library’s collection Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life.

Jane Serron DeHart, a Professor of History and Women’s Studies, has written an in-depth, insightful, and groundbreaking work on the life and work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The book, written in cooperation with Ginsburg, took 15 years to research and write. Dehart interviewed Justice Ginsburg, her husband, family, friends, and colleagues for the tome.

At over 500 pages, this a biography for biography lovers, legal historians, and fans of the “Notorious RBG.” Ginsburg’s desire for gender equality is a focus of the book. It covers her early life in Brooklyn, NY, time at Cornell and Harvard Law School, relationship with her husband, attempt to break into a legal career in the male-dominated law environment of the 1950s, work with the ACLU, and career as a jurist. Academics will especially like the 100+ pages of notes and bibliography at the end of the book.

The documentary film RBG is also available in our collection.

U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs

Faculty and students at Cleveland-Marshall have access to Gale’s U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs database. This database contains briefs and related documents from Supreme Court cases between 1832 and 1978. Previously, many of these briefs were not available through any of the library’s other legal databases, so this is a very useful for anyone doing research on older Supreme Court cases.

Access to this database is IP-authenticated for users connected to the law school’s computer network; faculty and students can also access the database while off campus by logging in with their CSU ID number and library PIN.

US Supreme Court Records and Briefs Database

Faculty and students at Cleveland-Marshall have access to Gale’s U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs database. This database contains briefs and related documents from Supreme Court cases between 1832 and 1978. Previously, many of these briefs were not available through any of the library’s other legal databases, so this is a very useful for anyone doing research on older Supreme Court cases.

Access to this database is IP-authenticated for users connected to the law school’s computer network; faculty and students can also access the database while off campus by logging in with their CSU ID number and library PIN.

With SCOTUS’ Tam Decision, Indians Logo May Be Safe in the US.

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled today that the federal government’s power to ban all trademark protections for names it deems to be offensive violates the Constitution’s First Amendment.  The Tam case (Matal v. Tam) involved a rock band called the Slants. The Slants consist of four Asian Americans.  The band acknowledges that its name has been used as a racial slur; however, they say that its name is an attempt to reclaim the racial slur to take away its power.

The band’s application to trademark its name was denied by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in 2011. The PTO can deny any trademark that alludes to immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute. The Supreme Court ruled the disparagement clause violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause.

So it appears, with this ruling the Washington Redskins trademark denial lawsuit will be settled in favor of the football team.  Also, the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo may be safe from trademark denial in the United States.  However, as we posted about recently, the Indians are still facing a fight over the logo in Canada.

Free Online Research Tools: Oyez.org

  Oyez is a multimedia archive dedicated to providing free access for all to materials from and about the Supreme Court of the United States. The project is maintained by Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), the Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Justia.com. An audio recording system was installed in the Court in October of 1955, and Oyez offers an extensive collection of transcript-synchronized and searchable audio recordings. Audio recordings can be accessed by locating a case, then clicking on the oral argument link. Once the media window opens, users can search within the transcript, play the entire recording, or click on a paragraph in the transcript to jump to that clip in the recording. Unfortunately, not all post-1955 cases have audio recordings available due to degradation of the original reels and other issues as explained here.

Oyez also features full text Supreme Court opinions, along with case summaries and decision information. If you are interested in learning more about individual justices from any time in the Court’s history, Oyez has detailed biographies. You can also view a virtual tour of the Supreme Court building and justices’ chambers.