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Moritz Law  /  Law Library  /  Opinio Juris  /May 2009

Opinio Juris - May 2009

Scroll down to learn about Sotomayor nomination information, the Constitutions of the Countries of the World Online database, the Ohio Court Rules wiki, the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center, and Billfinder.

Sotomayor Nomination Information

President Obama has nominated U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor (pronounced "so-toe-my-YORE") to the U.S. Supreme Court. CNN has a page devoted to its coverage of the nomination as does the New York Times. The Washington Post's Opening Arguments blog is also tracking Sotomayor-related news developments. SCOTUSblog is summarizing Judge Sotomayor's opinions in a planned multi-part series. The first installment, Judge Sotomayor’s Appellate Opinions in Civil Cases, is to be followed by a summary of additional civil cases and a summary (or summaries) of the judge's leading criminal law opinions. The Georgetown Law Library Supreme Court Nominations Research Guide contains materials relating to both the current nomination and the process in general.

Constitutions of the Countries of the World Online

The Constitutions of the Countries of the World Online (CCWO) database contains English translations of the constitutions of over 190 countries, political organizations, and economic organizations. Users can access the constitutions of specific nations or run full-text searches of all of the constitutions. Past constitutions, as well as present constitutions, are included in the database. When accessing the database, select the “Constitutions of the Countries of the World Online” link from the Oceana Online page. Once in the database, search by location, text, or both. Also, be sure to check out the various search limiters available, such as date range, and historical or current constitutions. The CCWO database is available only in Drinko Hall.  

Ohio Court Rules Wiki

The Ohio Law Library Consortium, a cooperative of Ohio County law Libraries, has created an Ohio Court Rules wiki. Most statewide court rules (Rules of Evidence, Civil Procedure, Civil Procedure, etc.) can already be found at the Ohio Supreme Court's web site. What makes the Ohio Court Rules wiki unique is its inclusion of local rules for the Courts of Appeals and state trial courts. The list of local rules is not complete, but the wiki is certainly off to a very good start.

Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center

The Urban Institute is an independent research organization that specializes in the social and economic issues of urban populations. The Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center conducts "nonpartisan research to inform the national dialogue on crime, justice, and community safety." The Center is currently focused on issues concerning offenders returning to communities and the juvenile justice system. The Center makes its reports available on its web site. The reports vary in length and complexity from short introductory pieces (“Overview Research”) to complex and detailed investigations (“In-Depth Research”). The website provides many options for searching the resources. Users can browse by topic and publication date, however, full text searching is not available.


Billfinder, provided for free by its parent, Statescape, is a tool that allows users to search text of bills currently pending in state legislatures. Users can search using keywords or phrases, or if specific bills are known, by bill number. As a default, Billfinder searches all states, but users can select specific states if desired. For each bill returned, Billfinder includes the bill number, bill tracking information, and a short summary.