(Reuters) – A Russian court demanded on Thursday that the U.S. Library of Congress hand back seven precious Jewish texts to Moscow – and, in a tit-for-tat ruling, said it should pay a massive fine for every day it delays.
The so-called Schneerson collection, claimed by both Russia and the New York-based Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch group, has become a bone of contention in Russia-U.S. ties, at their lowest for decades due to the Ukraine crisis.
The Library of Congress has seven books of the collection, Interfax reported. Russia has 4,425 texts, including editions of the Torah and the Talmud, some of them dating back to the 16th century.
A Moscow arbitration court ruled that the Library of Congress should pay $50,000 in fines for every day the seven books are not handed over. Moscow reacted angrily when a U.S. judge ruled last year Russia should pay $50,000 a day for failing to send the rest of the collection to the United States.
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Town of Greece is clearly a big win for the town and for a more restrained view of what the Establishment Clause prohibits, and rightly so. But the attorneys for the plaintiffs may find some consolation in the narrowness of yesterday’s holding: their gambit worked. As I pointed out in the earlier SCOTUSblog symposium on this case, they made a tactical decision at the Supreme Court merits stage to make this case about coercion instead of endorsement. In yesterday’s ruling, the plaintiffs managed to stave off a direct Supreme Court ruling on the ailing endorsement test. This is so even though government endorsement of religion was the ground on which they prevailed before the Second Circuit and the reason certiorari was granted. The attorneys for the plaintiffs are thus to be congratulated for clever lawyering.
But their rescue of the endorsement test, and even Lemon itself, may be short-lived, for several reasons.
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From research to starting a business, law students have a number of productive summer options other than an internship.
Full post here.
A new edition of the Dictionary is coming soon. An article in the ABA Journal by Bryan A Garner, editor-in-chief of the edition, discusses some of the improvements over earlier editions. You can read the article here.
Check out the SCOTUSblog overview of the argumentation on this in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger here.
One of the benefits of the Congressional Data Coalition has been our ability to collaborate on mutual projects of interest. CDC members recognize that reusable, cleaned-up legislative information, especially the laws themselves, is essential for both the legislative data community and the public. Unfortunately, at least some information will likely not be provided by Congress or will not be provided in a timely manner.
Almost 3½ years ago, in November 2010, GPO and the Library of Congress were authorized by the Joint Committee on Printing to make the following three document sets available on the Internet: Statutes at Large, the Congressional Record (1878-1998), and the Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation (CONAN). Quoting from the JCP letter: “These are key primary research sources, essential to understanding our laws and legislative history, and they should all be readily available online in electronic format.”
So far, volumes 65 through 124 (1951-2010) of the Statutes at Large and PDF files only of CONAN have been published by the Legislative Branch per the November 2010 authorization.
Read the complete article here.
A citizen’s legal right to get a police officer fired for illegal surreptitious recording?
Pennsylvania law makes it a felony to record people’s conversations without permission, whether by wiretapping or eavesdropping or likely even sending in someone wearing a wire. It has various exceptions for law enforcement, if the proper conditions are met. But if a police officer records conversations without qualifying for one of the exceptions, he’s committing a crime.
The author of this article ends with this line: I also couldn’t find any law review articles that discuss the issue; I think it would be ripe for a student law review note, especially if the note is framed around the remedy, and asks whether the remedy should be adopted throughout the country, rather than if the note is cast as “here is a Pennsylvania statute that I’ll discuss just in the context of this one state.”
Full article here.
Wall Street Journal video – Red Sox slugger David Ortiz snapped a ‘selfie’ with Barack Obama with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. When it was learned Ortiz has a deal with Samsung, it raised many questions about the new era of guerrilla advertising.
See video here.