Category Archives: Political Science

UTWrites: Could I Vote for a Mormon for President? by Dr. Ryan Cragun

Stop by this afternoon as we welcome Dr. Ryan Cragun to talk about his new book Could I Vote for a Mormon for President?

Dr. Cragun will be speaking in the Macdonald-Kelce Library in room AV2 this afternoon from 4pm to 5. Refreshments will be served.

From the publisher’s description: “Mitt Romney is a Mormon, but does that mean he’s a Christian? Does he belong to a cult? Does he wear funny Mormon underwear? These questions and more are answered in this accessible and concise introduction to Mormonism, in which two sociologists of religion take an objective and often humorous look at 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s beliefs. Geared to voters wondering whether Romney’s Mormon faith should affect their vote, Could I Vote for a Mormon for President? comes at key time for those in search of unbiased information about the candidate and his faith.”

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Reference Question of the Week: Where can I locate the laws of specific states?

There are a variety of ways to access this information.

At Justia you can find codes, statutes, and regulations for every state in the United States. There is no search engine to search specifically within the codes and regulations of a particular state, but there is a search engine which will search all of the material at Justia. This is a free site. Codes, statutes, and regulations for all 50 states (as well as federal law) are freely available. There is a premium version available to law firms which provides help with marketing.

“Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Justia’s mission is to advance the availability of legal resources for the benefit of society. We are especially focused on making primary legal materials and community resources free and easy to find on the Internet. The company provides Internet users with free case law, codes, regulations, legal articles and legal blog and twitter databases, as well as additional community resources. Justia works with educational, public interest and other socially focused organizations to bring legal and consumer information to the online community.”

You can also access State Statutes, Codes & Regulations through LexisNexis, a proprietary databases to which the Macdonald Kelce Library pays a fee. To use this database log in through Esearch. When you find LexisNexis in the list of databases look on the left-hand side for the tab titled US Legal. Click on that tab. Then choose the link titled State Statutes, Codes & Regulations. A drop-down menu on this page provides you with a list of states so you may choose the state you want to search.

You can also typically find state statutes at the official site of their legislature (though each state decides how to make their statues available, and so the way laws are made available will differ from state to state). For example, Florida’s statutes can be found here: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/.

And, you can usually find print copies in law libraries and in large public libraries and some university libraries. Call first or check their online catalogs.

There are a variety of groups working to make the law (and supporting documents, like court opinions) easier to access. You can read about their attempt to create a law.gov site here.