Executive Orders


flickr photo by Scott Ableman

Interest in executive orders has risen over the past few weeks in light of President Obama’s move to use an executive order to grant around 5 million undocumented immigrants relief from deportation (CNN).

Black’s Law Dictionary defines an executive order as “An order issued by or on behalf of the President, intended to direct or instruct the actions of executive agencies or government officials, or to set policies for the executive branch to follow” (9th Edition). Vivian Chu and Todd Garvey note in their Congressional Research Service Report, Executive Orders: Issuance, Modification, and Revocation, that executive orders are one of various instruments, including presidential memoranda and presidential proclamations, that the President can use to implement policy (CRS Report RS20846, Page 1).

Chu and Garvey explain in their report that “executive orders are generally directed to, and govern actions by, Government officials and agencies” (CRS Report RS20846, Page 1). Furthermore, executive orders generally only have an indirect effect on private individuals (CRS Report RS20846, Page 1).

For more information on the authority of the President to issue executive orders, limitations, and revocation and modification of executive orders, read Chu and Gravey’s CRS Report.

You can locate executive orders for online using the following resources:

  • Whitehouse.gov: The current administration’s executive orders.
  • National Archives: Executive orders from 1937 (Franklin D. Roosevelt) – Present (Barack Obama).


Thanksgiving Week Hours

image by Flickr user alasam

image by Flickr user alasam

The library will have shortened hours during the week of Thanksgiving break. They will be:

  • Monday & Tuesday, Nov. 24 & 25 – 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 26 – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday – Saturday, Nov. 27 – 29 – Closed
  • Sunday, Nov. 30 – 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (regular hours resume)

Have a wonderful break!

True Privacy? Touch ID & Biometric Fingerprint Readers

flickr photo by Kārlis Dambrāns

flickr photo by Kārlis Dambrāns

By Darius Wood

Biometric Fingerprint readers like those found on the new iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 have become major selling point in terms of protecting privacy, but they may be providing a false sense of security.

It has already been show that these fingerprint readers are imperfect and are capable of being hacked.  See: Galaxy S5 hacked, iPhone 6 hacked

Further, a phone secured with a fingerprint scan may not be protected from the government. The Fifth Amendment protects against compelled self-incrimination, not the disclosure of private information. Virginia Federal Circuit Judge Steven Frucci ruled last month that unlike passcodes, which are protected by the Fifth Amendment, fingerprints are not.

The judge said that providing your fingerprint does not communicate knowledge like disclosing a password, instead, it is similar to a providing a key or DNA, which are both legal.  The judge granted a motion to compel a fingerprint that would allow the government to search the defendant’s phone but denied the motion to compel the defendant’s passcode.

Judge ruling on Motion to Compel 

Pleasure Reading?

by Meghan Starr

image by flickr user pedrosimoes

image by flickr user pedrosimoes

If you’re thinking about what to do over the break, have you considered reading?

No, seriously.  Think about finding and reading a book FOR FUN!

In this month’s ABA Journal, Bryan A. Garner talks about a common problem for lawyers (and law students) – losing the ability to enjoy a good book.  The volume of reading in law school coupled with what is often poor legal writing make it easy to get in the habit of skimming for the main idea or relevant facts. Do you really read the citation strings that come in the middle of a paragraph?

If you feel guilty about picking up the latest Janet Evanovich or James Patterson, rest assured that many law professors think it is important for your professional, as well as personal, development.  Reading books targeted to a general audience can help you develop a more natural writing and storytelling style that can come in handy when trying to persuade a judge or jury.  The classics can help show you the power of language.

If you have already fallen victim to the syndrome and treat Gray Mountain as if it were written by Judge John Grisham, then try these tips:

  • Listen to audio books to force you to hear every word.
  • Try short stories: you may feel less need to rush through.
  • Read aloud: Not only will you absorb the content, but you will also be aware of the rhythms of the language.

I am fortunate enough to have a son that still loves to sit and read with me.  We have been reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen out loud together over the last month.  We get to sit and snuggle, talk about the plot, and discuss the words Paulsen uses.  My personal tip – find a reading partner.

To read the article in its entirety, you can find it in the November issue.

Bar Prep Notary Public – UPDATED

image by flickr user Louise Python

image by flickr user Louise Python

Attention 3Ls!

The Georgia Office of Bar Admissions no longer requires your paperwork to be notarized — so rather than offer you free notaries as we’d originally planned, we’ll be offering free coffee instead. Stop by the Conference Room during the following times for a free jolt of caffeine.

Where: Library Conference Room (Room 101)


Wednesday, Nov. 12, 10 am-2 pm

Monday, Nov. 17, 10 am-1 pm

Monday, Nov. 17, 5-6 pm


Getting Ready for Thanksgiving: Law School Style

by Murtaza Khwaja

image by Flickr user julesandjoe

image by Flickr user julesandjoe

Woohoo! So you’ve pretty much gotten done with another (or, for 1Ls, your first) semester of law school! Now just for acing those final exams. Before you get there though, here are some tips for making the most of your time and for enjoying a delicious and (relatively) nutritious Thanksgiving dinner!

First, for the classic turkey. Skip the struggle and mess of preparing a turkey and just pick up a traditional Thanksgiving day bird from your local Publix supermarket. Your kitchen and any dinner guests will thank you. And with all the extra time you save, you can focus on outlining, finishing up your Lawyering: Foundations memo or maybe even something more recreational like football. Hey, it is called Thanksgiving B-R-E-A-K.

  1. Don’t forget to pick up a pre-packaged container of gravy when you pick up your turkey. Nothing’s worse than overly-dry mashed potatoes or turkey.
  2. Speaking of mashed potatoes, here’s a link to a quick and delicious recipe for the creamiest, and most savory of dishes.
  3. While Thanksgiving is a time to indulge, there’s no need to not also be healthy if we can help it, so here’s a great recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts.
  4. No Thanksgiving is complete without stuffing. Luckily, Pepperidge Farm Stuffing’s got you covered. Just add celery, onions, pepper and any other ingredients of your choosing based on taste, and you’re good to go.
  5. Keeping rolling along with these easy-to-make dinner rolls from Bobby Flay.
  6. And who could forget the green bean casserole? Paula Deen certainly won’t let you, and her recipe for the dish won’t let you ever forget either.
  7. Last but not least, now to my favorite part of Thanksgiving, the pie. While I’m partial to pecan, pumpkin pie is also a perennial favorite. Edwards Pumpkin or Pecan Pie is an excellent choice. Just let it sit in the oven for 25-30 minutes, and then add your favorite vanilla ice cream and/or cool whip based on personal preference.

With all these delicious dishes, I’m sure your Thanksgiving dinner will be top notch, and hopefully, you’ll be able to use all the time you save to start getting on your study grind.

Don’t forget to be thankful for all the food, friends, family and wonderful opportunities (like being in law school J ) you have in your life.

Wishing all of you the happiest and restful of Thanksgivings.



On Your Radar


By Nirvi Shah

Here are a few suggestions of some of the things that should be on your radar as exams and winter break draw near.

For the scared 1Ls: Yes, your first exam period in law school is intimidating. Fortunately, everyone else in your class feels exactly the same way.   Here are my personal recommendations to help you better prepare for exams.

  • Blond’s Law Guides
    • These books include case clips, EasyFlow Charts, outlines, and mnemonics to help organize students’ notes and learn the information.
    • From my personal experience, the series covers most of the cases you study in class.
  • Examples & Explanations (E&E)
    • This series provides summaries of legal concepts, hypotheticals to practice each concept, and example answers to help students understand the content for which professors are looking.
  • GSU Law Library Exam Archive

For the overworked 2Ls: You’re over the first year hump, but many of you are now trying to fight off anxiety of finding an internship position for the summer. Here are some tools to help you throughout the job application process.

For the “bored” 3Ls: Due to the old law school adage, “in first year they scare you to death, in second year they work you to death, and in third year they bore you to death,” many 3Ls believed the third year would be their easiest year in law school. I know plenty of peers who disagree with that notion. While classes maybe easier to prepare for, there are many peripheral tasks to complete, specifically the bar exam application.

Good luck on exams and see you in the library!