Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New HeinOnline Library on the History of Slavery

The Goodson Law Library's HeinOnline subscription now includes the new library Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law. Edited by Paul Finkelman of Albany Law School, Duke's Fall 2012 John Hope Franklin Visiting Professor of American Legal History, the collection compiles slavery-related treatises, law review articles, case law, and statutes into a single place, which is described as "all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world."

The collection includes such seminal historical works as Catterall's Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro, a five-volume digest of early American case law concerning slaves. More modern works on slavery can also be found in the "Articles" tab as well as the "UNC Press" tab, featuring more recent e-books from the University of North Carolina Press.

The collection may be browsed or searched. For example, researchers who wish to learn more about the 1831 Nat Turner rebellion in Virginia (the subject of the current Hollywood film The Birth of a Nation) might search across this library for "Nat Turner." Results will include a reprinted pamphlet, Confession of Nat Turner, Leader of the Negro Insurrection in Southampton County. Results also include several 19th and 20th-century treatises on the topic, such as William Sidney Drewry's The Southampton Insurrection (1900), a compilation of interviews with surviving eyewitnesses. (Nate Parker, the writer/director/star of the 2016 film, has cited Drewry's work as important source material.)

The new Hein library now appears in the Duke University Libraries' HeinOnline landing page. Library users may access this library from anywhere on Duke's campus; Duke University students, faculty, and staff may also access HeinOnline from off-campus with a NetID and password. However, readers who are unaffiliated with Duke, or unable to visit a subscribing library in person, may also register directly with HeinOnline for free access to the Slavery in America and the World library. As noted in its October 5 press release, "The crisis revolving around race relations in America and the recent events surrounding this crisis have made the Hein Company rethink the idea of financially profiting from the sale of a collection on slavery."

To locate additional works in the Goodson Law Library about slavery and the law, consult the Duke Libraries Catalog or Ask a Librarian.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Federal Rulemaking, In Case of Emergency

Over the last few weeks, you have probably heard about Samsung's Galaxy Note 7, which was recalled by its manufacturer after numerous reports of spontaneous battery fires. Last week, the company announced that it had ceased production of the Android phone, now under one of the largest recalls ever issued for consumer electronics. Late last week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced a ban of the devices on all U.S. flights, via an emergency order to be published in the Federal Register later this week.

The ban, officially known as Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order No. FAA-2016-9288, took effect at noon on Saturday. It now prohibits passengers and crew from carrying the banned Galaxy devices "on their person, in carry-on baggage, in checked baggage, or as cargo." Passengers caught carrying the device will be denied boarding of the aircraft. If a person accidentally does bring the Galaxy Note 7 on board, the device must be immediately powered off, with activation prevented for the remainder of the flight. Violators are subject to "civil penalties of up to $179,933 for each violation" and may be criminally prosecuted, as well. The order will remain in effect until the Secretary of Transportation "determines that an imminent hazard no longer exists or a change in applicable statute or federal regulation occurs that supersedes the requirements of this Order, in which case the Secretary will issue a Rescission Order."

This news serves as a reminder that not every federal agency rule is subject to the notice and comment (informal) rulemaking process outlined by the Administrative Procedure Act. Under the APA, proposed agency rules are published in the Federal Register with an opportunity for the public to submit comments on the proposal, and rules are eventually republished in final form along with a summary of the comments and any agency response. 5 U.S.C. § 553(B) provides that agencies may skip the more protracted public comment process "when the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest." The FAA's emergency order notes that federal statutes give the Secretary of Transportation jurisdiction to regulate transport of lithium ion batteries, and also allows for emergency restrictions when needed "to abate the imminent hazard."

On the Federal Register website, emergency notices like the FAA's Galaxy Note 7 ban appear on the online Public Inspection Desk as a "Special Filing." As a reminder, the Public Inspection Desk allows readers to preview recently-released administrative rules and other documents before they appear in the printed edition of the daily Federal Register. also allows users to search or browse issues of the Federal Register back to 1994.

Regulations.Gov is another important federal rulemaking bookmark, which provides access to proposed rules during their comment period, and allows users to submit or review comments to the agency. For more information about the federal rulemaking process, and options for researching pending or enacted federal regulations, check out the Goodson Law Library research guide to Federal Administrative Law or Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On the Ballot

For obvious reasons, interest in election law spikes every four years. But even in non-presidential election years, laws related to the electoral process have a huge impact on citizens. They dictate the boundaries of election districts (such as the North Carolina redistricting at issue in the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case, McCrory v. Harris) , create requirements for voter eligibility (such as North Carolina's controversial voter ID law, partially invalidated by the 4th Circuit in July; a deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant a petition for review, leaving the 4th Circuit precedent in place), and even determine the order in which candidates' names appear (such as the 2016 North Carolina legislative change, favoring the party of the current Governor).

Election laws are complex and vary widely by state. The National Survey of State Legislatures website offers a free roundup of Election Laws and Procedures, providing 50-state surveys on topics like voter ID requirements, registration rules, and maintenance of voter rolls. (For Law School community members, both Westlaw and Lexis Advance offer similar 50-state surveys on election law topics. On Westlaw, the SURVEYS database includes a Statutory Survey on Election Law; in Lexis Advance, follow the path Secondary Sources > LexisNexis® 50-State Surveys, Statutes & Regulations > Governments to view available election-related topics.)

For more information and the latest news about election law developments, check out Election Law Blog, Ballot Access News, and the CQ Voting and Elections Collection (available through Duke University). To locate books or other materials in the Goodson Law Library, try a search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject heading "Election Law -- United States" or Ask a Librarian.