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Library Legal News

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments Remotely and Allow Live Public Access

Posted May 5, 2020

Beginning Monday, May 4, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments remotely by telephone for two weeks. Additionally, the public is allowed to listen to the proceedings live. Both proceedings represent a break from the Court’s traditional practice and are in response to conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The cases that will be heard in the next two weeks involve religion, election law, and access to presidential records. Live to the oral arguments is available online via various media outlets, including C-SPAN. See SCOTUSBlog, NPR, New York Times.

California Bar Exam Postponed to September 2020

Posted May 5, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California bar exam originally scheduled for July 2020 has been moved to September 9-10, 2020. In its order rescheduling the exam, the California Supreme Court also directed the State Bar to work with the National Conference of Bar Examiners to administer the exam remotely or online. The State Bar must submit a work plan for administering the exam to the Court by May 11. See California Courts, ABA Journal.

Divided U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Annotated Codes Cannot Be Copyrighted

Posted May 5, 2020

On April 27, 2020, in Georgia v, Inc. , the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Georgia’s official annotated code is not copyrightable. The George Code Revision Commission contracts with LexisNexis to compile the Georgia code and prepare annotations. In ruling against Georgia, the Court applied the government edicts doctrine, which holds that judicial writings and other official legal works published under government authority are not subjected to copyright. The dissent argued that annotations can be copyrighted in certain situations, although Congress can change the law to close that gap. See ABA Journal, SCOTUSblog, JDSupra.