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Judicial Review & Marbury v. Madison

February 24, 2017

On February 24, 1803, the Supreme Court established the rule of judicial review of Congressional legislation in Marbury v. Madison5 U.S. 37 (1803).  Chief Justice John Marshall penned the opinion, holding that the federal courts had the power to review acts passed by Congress to determine their constitutionality.  “A law repugnant to the Constitution is void.”  The opinion helped to solidify the concept of checks and balances and the equality between the executive, legislative and judicial branches under the Constitution.

Find out more about Marbury v. Madison:

Lawlapalooza Was a Winner!

February 6, 2017

Thanks to everyone who visited us for Lawlapalooza, our annual research fair, to make it a big success.

We’re pleased to announce the winners in our drawing for three Visa gift cards:

  • $100 Visa gift card:  Uche Udechukwu (LLM)
  • $50 Visa gift card:  Weizhe Liu (LLM)
  • $25 Visa gift card:  Joanne Ho (2L)

16th Amendment (1913)

February 3, 2017

Under Art. I § 9 of the Constitution, direct taxation of individuals was prohibited except in proportion to the census.  On February 3, 1916, the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified to impose an income tax, without regard to the population of any state.  The Constitution granted Congress the power to levy indirect taxes.  Prior to 1913, the federal budget relied on excise taxes, tariffs, customs duties and public land sales for most of its revenue.

During the Civil War,  Congress had enacted a flat rate tax on income to finance the war effort.  It was repealed in 1872.   In 1894, Congress again approved a flat rate income tax.  The Supreme Court declared that tax unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., 151 U.S. 601 (1895), ruling that it was levied without regard to population.

The Revenue Act of 1913 was passed on October 3 and provided that a tax would be levied against income, including income derived from wages, salaries, and compensation as well as interest, dividends, rents and securities.  The tax rate was 1% on couples earning over $4,000 and on individuals earning over $3,000, with higher earners to pay more.

You’re Invited to Lawlapalooza 2017!

January 30, 2017

Join us for Lawlapalooza, our annual research fair.  Ask us your tough research questions and visit with database vendors to learn about special legal information resources and how you can use them in your legal career.

  • Date:  Wednesday, Feb. 1
  • Time:  11am – 3pm
  • Where:  First Floor Lounges, Stockton Hall

GW Law students can earn tickets for pizza and prizes  See you there!

The Paris Climate Change Agreement

October 21, 2016

On October 5, 2016, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved. The Paris Agreement will enter into force on 4 November 2016.

The Paris Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015 at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Paris from November 30 to December 13, 2015.

The agreement enters into force 30 days after 55 countries that account for at least 55% of global emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification.

The Agreement, the latest step in the evolution of the UN climate change regime, seeks to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  It seeks to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius and strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Authoritative information on the status of the Paris Agreement, including information on signatories to the Agreement, ratification and entry into force, is provided through the United Nations Treaty Collection website, and the Depositary Notifications.  Background information on the ratification of the Paris Agreement is found on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change website.

On October 21, 2016, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Climate Change Agreement receives the 2016 Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, at a ceremony presided by the King and Queen of Spain.

The European Commission Paris Agreement website provides the EU vision for the Paris Protocol, Consultative Communications and EU submissions.   The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) Paris Agreement website provides a helpful Q&A.   Stop by the 1st floor of the Library to view an exhibit highlighting the Paris Agreement.

Life of a Library

October 14, 2016
Read about the history of GW Law’s Library in A Legal Miscellanea: “Life of a Library: A History of The George Washington University Law Library.”  Using archival materials from Gelman’s Special Collections Research Center, the article provides a look at how the Law Library developed.  It features a rare focus on the earlier years of the “first” founding of GW Law in 1826 before its reopening after the Civil War in 1865.
 The article includes many fascinating facts about the early days of the law school and the library.  Images and photos bring the early history to life.
GW Law has been celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2015-2016.  The 50th anniversary of the Law Library’s move to its current building in Foggy Bottom, The Jacob Burns Law Library, will be marked in 2017.

Stop. Think. Connect.

September 30, 2016

October marks the 13th  National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the 6th annual campaign for “Stop. Think. Connect.”  Highlights of the campaign are:

  • Keep a clean machine.
  • Protect your personal information.
  • Connect with care.
  • Be Web Wise.
  • Be a good online citizen.
  • Own your online presence.

GW IT is hosting a series of sessions each week during the month of October related to cyber security.