Daily Archives: Thursday 13 June 2013

Great Resources: HeinOnline – American Indian Law Collection

This eighth installment continues our series on HeinOnline’s digital collections.

heinonline-logoThe “American Indian Law Collection” database on HeinOnline includes various resources on the subject of American Indian Law throughout history, going as far back as 1678.  Many of the materials included in the database are from the 19th century, and relatively few of them are more recent than the 1970’s.  The resources include not only legislative and constitutional materials, but also textbooks, journal articles, and narrative accounts of specific individuals or specific events, such as American Indians and their part in the Civil War.  There are also suggested reading lists and bibliographies.  The topics covered are extensive, and do not focus on any one particular group, but rather encompass a great many tribes and nations from around the country.  There are even some resources written in Cherokee.  The collection is comprehensive, and there are various browsing options which make it easy to navigate.  The user can search the collection by type of material, and within that, by title or author.

To access the American Indian Law Collection, go to http://www.law.sc.edu/library/limited_access/ and select HeinOnline.

To read up on other HeinOnline digital collections, see our coverage of the Congress and the Courts collection, the History of Supreme Court Nominations collection, the Session Laws Library/State Statutes: A Historical Archive, the U.S. International Trade Library, the Children’s Law Journal, the State Attorney General Reports and Opinions collection, and the Intellectual Property Law Collection.

Legal News of the Day: SCOTUS Says No Patent on Natural Genes

Supreme CourtThis morning, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.  The court’s unanimous decision held that researchers must create something to get protection to study and apply the phenomenon.  Because the company at question in this case did not create anything, but only isolated genes that were already naturally occurring, the Court struck down its patent isolating human genes from the bloodstream.  As Justice Thomas commented, “To be sure, it found an important and useful gene, but separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention.  Groundbreaking, innovative, or even brilliant discovery does not by itself satisfy the inquiry.”

For more coverage on the case and links to related documents, check out SCOTUSblog’s coverage.

Great Resources: HeinOnline – State Attorney General Reports and Opinions

This seventh installment continues our series on HeinOnline’s digital collections.heinonline-logo

The reports and attorney general opinions for each state (as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) are available in this collection offered by HeinOnline, dating back to at least 1990.  For South Carolina, coverage currently includes the years 1978-1994 and 2004-2013, however many states’ attorney general reports and opinions are available back to inception. HeinOnline intends to continue updating this database until all the reports and opinions of all 50 states are available back to inception.  Also included is access to the Official Opinions of the Attorneys General of the United States (1791-1982) and the Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice (1977-2000).

Attorneys General render requested legal advice, conclusions, and recommendations regarding specific questions of law presented by public officials, frequently the executive branch.  While these are advisory opinions and not mandatory orders, the opinions can carry considerable weight.  They may provide interpretation of a statute and, as a persuasive authority in judicial matters, often have significant impact on the courts in their deliberations.

The database features full-text searching, as well as the ability to search by opinion number.  Users can also browse by state and by year.

To access the State Attorney General Reports and Opinions, go to http://www.law.sc.edu/library/limited_access/ and select HeinOnline.

To read up on other HeinOnline digital collections, see our coverage of the Congress and the Courts collection, the History of Supreme Court Nominations collection, the Session Laws Library/State Statutes: A Historical Archive, the U.S. International Trade Library, the Children’s Law Journal, and the Intellectual Property Law Collection.