Articles Posted in Publication Announcements and Reviews

Election administrators and their staff, spread throughout thousands of voting jurisdictions in the United States, perform a core service dedicated to maintaining and preserving our democracy. Their work has become significantly more difficult, as our contentious politics have clouded much of what they do with misunderstanding and distrust. These challenges have made clear that election administrators may, and typically do, lack the full range of resources they need.

As election officials gain both increasing  public visibility and scrutiny, it has become increasingly obvious that the time has come for identifying the ethical standards unique to the election administrator profession. It is essential to identify national standards for election officials that provide guidance  in the administration of voting throughout the United States.  It is therefore encouraging to learn that  the American Law Institute (ALI) has provided a forum, released to the public on January 29, 2024, for a working group developing such standards, resulting in a report Ethical Standards for Election Administration

The report sets out seven principles, discussed in detail, along with the basis for each. It is the hope of the working group that these principles provide the professional election administration community with a common vocabulary for communicating the moral underpinning of their work; assist in the training of the next generation of officials; and help guide officials in carrying out their responsibilities when the law does not supply the answer and public scrutiny is keenest. These principles also supply the grounds for specific standards of conduct that reflect these principles and put them into practical effect.

On April 10, 2024, CBO’s Director, Phillip Swagel, testified before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch regarding the Congressional Budget Office’s request for appropriations for fiscal year 2025. This posting includes a summary of the Director’s testimony followed by a link to his complete testimony and links to supporting documents.


Chairman Amodei, Ranking Member Espaillat, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Congressional Budget Office’s budget request. CBO requests appropriations of $73.5 million for fiscal year 2025: About 89 percent would be for pay and benefits; 7 percent would be for information technology (IT); and 4 percent would be for training, expert consultant services, office supplies, and other items. The request amounts to an increase of $3.5 million, or 5 percent, from the $70 million that CBO received for 2024. That increase would address increased costs brought about by inflation, sustain investments in IT infrastructure, and enable CBO to expand its staff in key areas.

Thinking back on my fifty plus years as a practicing law librarian, I have come to believe that criminal law is one of the more humanistic of legal disciplines because it can reach people at such a personal level. Paul H Robinson* and Sarah M Robinson capture this thought in their book, “American Criminal Law: Its People, Principles, and Evolution” (Routledge 2022). It offers a refreshing take on this complex subject.

This book breaks away from dry legal jargon and  instead weaves a compelling narrative that explores the history, core concepts, and ongoing debates within American criminal law. The authors write, “Criminal law is one of the most interesting perspectives on the human adventure,… it requires us to examine how we want people to act, what we will do when they act improperly, and how we decide what we can reasonably expect of people. And to do this, we must assess what makes a successful society, what citizen protections and obligations a society should enforce, as well as the principles of justice that the community shares.”

The authors’ strength lies in their engaging, approach. Each chapter delves into a specific principle, like legality or culpability, by presenting a historical case that illuminates its foundation. This is then contrasted with a modern case, highlighting the evolution of the concept. This back- and- forth through time keeps the reader engaged and demonstrates how the law adapts to societal changes.

Projections of the Congressional Budget Office, 

“The Congressional Budget Office regularly publishes reports presenting its baseline projections of what the federal budget and the economy would look like in the current year and over the next 10 years if laws governing taxes and spending generally remained unchanged. This report is the latest in that series.”

“In CBO’s projections, federal budget deficits total $20 trillion over the 2025–2034 period and federal debt held by the public reaches 116 percent of GDP. Economic growth slows to 1.5 percent in 2024 and then continues at a moderate pace.”

Feedspot has recently updated their listing of 50 Best Law Librarian blogs and websites (updated January 18, 2024). According to Feedspot, the law librarian blogs and websites included in this listing were selected “from thousands of blogs on the web and are ranked by traffic, social media followers and freshness”.

The Criminal Law Library Blog is proud to have been included in this list. As publisher, I  would like to take this opportunity to thank all who have contributed articles to this blog throughout  the years (since 2007) and especially Justia for their continuing support.


“Google launched its most ambitious AI model called Gemini on Wednesday [December 6, 2023], which is described as Google’s “largest and most capable AI model.” The company announced a “Gemini era” where the model will be used widely in companies and consumer devices like Google Pixel phones. Unlike existing AI models that focus on one type of input like text or images, Gemini is “multimodal” and can accept different types of media like text, images, audio and video as inputs. Google’s AI chatbot Bard has been upgraded with Gemini, and Google plans to add Gemini to widely used products like Search, Chrome and its cloud services”

Benzinga News, December 7,


Constitutional Policing: Striving for a More Perfect Union. Michael A. Hardy Editor

Event sponsored by the American Bar Association Legal Education Police Practices Consortium and the ABA State and Local Government Section.

Time and Date:  October 4, 2023, 1:00  PM EST.

The people at The Jury Expert are excited about moving to a new platrorm, WordPress, where they can incorporate a new look and possibly some new features as well. Below is their e-mail announcing the change and providing links so you can see for yourselves. Take a look:

The e-mail:

We are too excited to wait until our next issue to get this announcement out! The Jury Expert has moved to a WordPress platform and we are ready for our close-up. We invite you to visit and see how much easier it is to find what you’re looking for on our new site. One of the benefits of our new platform is we can use categories (see the right-hand side of the webpage for the category drop-down menu) to help you find what you need.

TITLE: The Fear Within

SUBTITLE: Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial AUTHOR: Scott Martelle PUBLICATION DATE: May 2011

PUBLISHER: Rutgers University Press PAGE COUNT: 320 pp.

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