Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rule of Law Index

The World Justice Project, following "three years of intensive development, testing, and vetting--including interviewing 35,000 people and over 900 experts in 35 countries," released its first annual WJP Rule of Law Index on October 14. The Index provides detailed information on ten dimensions of the rule of law--from open government and fundamental freedoms to the absence of corruption--in countries representing every region of the world. Working with 49 sub-factors and comparing countries within geographic regions and income level peer groups, the goal of the report, which also includes individual country profiles, is to chart each nation's adherence to the rule of law in practice, as experienced by its citizens. The breakdown by individual factors is one of the most interesting features of the Index, allowing the identification of particular strengths and weaknesses as they appear now and may change over time. The World Justice Project began its work under the auspices of the American Bar Association, but became an independent nonprofit organization in 2009.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, October 15, 2010

My turn

Usually I convey to you important, interesting, useful or fun tidbits of information and maybe even an insight once in a while.

Today is my day to ask information from you. I know you all text. Would you use a service by which you could text a question to a Reference librarian? And, would you be willing to share your cell number so that we could set up this service?

Inquiring felines want to know. Just post a comment to this message with your thoughts.

And thanks.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Trend? Rising Civil Rights Complaints In Education

According to this article, the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights received nearly 7,000 complaints this fiscal year, an eleven percent increase over the previous year, and the largest increase in at least ten years. A random spike, or a burgeoning trend? Read the article to learn more.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This post has absolutely nothing to do with legal research, law school, or the practice of law. However it is indispensable information for many people who work or go to school at Hofstra.

LIRR train schedules are available via text message. To receive a text message that includes the schedule for the next five trains, send a text message to 266266 with the name of the departure station and the arrival station (i.e. "Mineola to Penn"). (Apparently 266266 spells "CooCoo.") To receive a text message that includes the schedule for future trains, include a time in your text message.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Petition to Decision: the Supreme Court and 42 U.S.C. § 1983

If you are looking for a comprehensive digital archive of all the available papers of the Supreme Court justices relating to selected civil rights cases, you're in luck. David Achtenberg of the University of Missouri—Kansas City School of Law, just launched the Petition to Decision website.

Focusing "on decisions in which the Supreme Court interpreted 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the principal statutory vehicle used to sue state and local officials for violations of constitutional rights, the site presents an interactive timeline of the various cases, identifying every step in the justices’ decision-making process and linking each step to digital copies the relevant internal papers."

"The long range plan is for Petition to Decision to include a wide range of § 1983 cases dealing with issues such as municipal liability, official immunity, color of law, etc. The current, pilot version of the website is limited to cases dealing with municipal liability issues. Additional case files and features will be added on a regular basis."
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, October 11, 2010

Columbus Day

Columbus Day did not become a Federal holiday until 1937 although some localities have honored the day since the 18th Century. Observance of the day is meant to honor Columbus' achievements, but in recent years the day has become controversial.

Columbus did know that the world is round, but it was thought that only the Atlantic lay between Europe, Africa and Asia (old world). It was only after further exploration that cartographers realized that Columbus had reached new continents (new world) not connected to the old world.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat