Remembering William J. Butler

Last month, UC Law and the world lost a great advocate for human rights. On June 7, 2020, William J. Butler passed away.

“Bill’s great achievement through the Urban Morgan Institute is that there is a squadron of Morgan graduates ‘who don’t like to see the little guy get kicked around!'” — Prof. Bert Lockwood, Director, Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, College of Law.[1]

Who was the man responsible for creating the Urban Morgan Institute graduates who stand up for the little guy? William J. Butler was well known in the field of human rights. He started his career as Staff Counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union where he worked on two landmark civil liberties cases before the United States Supreme Court. In Kent v. Dulles, 357 US 116 (1958), Rockwell Kent was refused a passport to visit England and attend a meeting of an organization known as the “World Council of Peace” in Helsinki, Finland due to his Communist Party affiliations. The other Petitioner, Dr. Walter Briehl, was also denied a passport for the same reason. In the ALUC’s Amicus Brief*, Mr. Butler argued that the Secretary of State’s denial of the passport violated the right of free movement and the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision agreed. Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962), was a prayer in public schools case. Mr. Butler argued that the prayer violated the Establishment Clause and the Supreme Court in a 6-1 decision agreed. You can read/listen to Mr. Butler’s oral argument at the Oyez website. Mr. Butler also represented faculty from Sarah Lawrence University in Senator William E. Jenner’s Internal Security Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee investigations.[2]

Mr. Butler was best known for his work with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). He served as Chairman of the Executive Committee and as founder and President of the American Association of the International Commission of Jurists. On behalf of the ICJ, he led numerous human rights missions and represented the ICJ at the Rome Conference establishing the International Criminal Court. Mr. Butler also served as an ICJ Observer at the Pinochet hearings before the House of Lords and represented the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the trial of Kurdish leader Ocalan in Turkey. In 2000, Mr. Butler was named as the High Commissioner’s Special Regional Advisor on Human Rights for North America. In 2001, he convened a worldwide meeting of experts which resulted in the issuance of The Princeton Principles on Universal Jurisdiction.[3]

Mr. Butler was behind the creation of the first endowed institute at an American law school devoted to international human rights law, The Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, here at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Urban Morgan students serve as editors for the world’s leading human rights academic journal: Human Rights Quarterly. Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, Human Rights Quarterly is overseen by Distinguished Service Professor Bert Lockwood, who serves as editor in chief as well as director of the Institute.[4]

Mr. Butler’s papers reside in the Robert S. Marx Law Library archives. The Papers of William J. Butler include speeches, letters, congressional testimony and other personal and professional writings that document the human rights contributions and other public service of William J. Butler. Also included in this collection are: proceedings of annual meetings of representatives of sovereign nations on human rights and foreign policy held from 1977 to 1999; executive documents of the International Commission of Jurists and the American Association of the International Commission of Jurists; reports of human rights missions to numerous countries; materials generated during international human rights trials observed by William Butler; and more.[5]

Footnotes

  1. Rachel Richardson, UC Remembers Human Rights Defender William J. Butler, UC News (June 15, 2020).
  2. Robert S. Marx Law Library, Biographical Sketch of William J. Butler.
  3. Id.
  4. Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, University of Cincinnati College of Law.
  5. Robert S. Marx Law Library, Papers of William J. Butler.

Qualified Immunity in the Hot Seat

Recent U.S. Supreme Court Actions

In an order yesterday[1], the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in Baxter v. Bracey, No. 18-5102 (6th Cir. 2018).[2] Baxter was a case on qualified immunity. Qualified immunity is defined as “[i]mmunity from civil liability for a public official who is performing a discretionary function, as long as the conduct does not violate clearly established constitutional or statutory rights.”[3] Justice Thomas dissented from the denial stating, “I have previously expressed my doubts about our qualified immunity jurisprudence. See Ziglar v. Abbasi, 582 U. S. ___, ___–___ (2017) (THOMAS, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment) (slip op., at 2–6). Because our §1983 qualified immunity doctrine appears to stray from the statutory text, I would grant this petition.”[4] The issue of qualified immunity has received increased scrutiny recently because of the inability to hold police accountable for misconduct, particularly in regard to the use of excessive force.[5]

Recent Proposed Legislation

Although the Supreme Court has declined to hear Baxter, the issue of qualified immunity is not dead. Congress still has the opportunity to take action. On June 3, Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) and Rep. Ayanna Presley (D-Mass.) announced on Twitter that they would co-sponsor a bill to “eliminate qualified immunity and restore Americans’ ability to obtain relief when police officers violate their constitutionally secured rights.[6] The bill currently has fifty-four co-sponsors.[7] The Justice in Policing Act of 2020, a House bill led by Congressional Black Caucus members, limits qualified immunity.[8]

Executive Branch Response

President Trump and Attorney General William Bar have expressed opposition to the reduction or elimination of qualified immunity in these legislative proposals. When asked “[d]o you think there should be some tweaking of the rules, reduced immunity to go after some of the bad cops?” by Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation, Attorney General William Bar responded “I don’t think you need to reduce immunity to- to go after the bad cops, because that would result certainly in police pulling back.”[9] White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany declared that qualified immunity was “a nonstarter in the Democrat legislation.”[10] President Trump’s executive order signed today addresses police credentialing, information sharing, training, and grants to fund these but does not address qualified immunity.[11]

Learn More

If you would like to read more on the legal doctrine in this context, below are some selected recent law review articles:

Footnotes

  1. Baxter v. Bracey, No. 18-1287, 590 U.S. ___ (2020).
  2. Baxter v. Bracey, No. 18-5102, 751 F. App’x 869 (6th Cir. Nov. 8, 2018), cert. den. (U.S. June 15, 2020).
  3. Qualified Immunity, Black’s Law Dictionary(11th ed. 2019).
  4. Baxter v. Bracey, No. 18-1287, 590 U.S. ___ (2020).
  5. See e.g., Andrew Chung et. al., Shielded: For Cops Who Kill, Special Supreme Court Protection, Reuters Investigates (May 8, 2020 Noon), https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-police-immunity-scotus/ [https://perma.cc/MU3C-7FUH]; Devin Dwyer, “Qualified Immunity” for Police Getting Fresh Look by Supreme Court after George Floyd Death, ABC News (June 4, 2020, 1:04 PM), https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/police-immunity-rule-fresh-supreme-court-george-floyd/story?id=71044230 [https://perma.cc/F9YD-TYL5]; Patrick Jaicomo & Anya Bidwell, Police Act Like Laws Don’t Apply to Them Because of ‘Qualified Immunity.’ They’re Right, USA Today (updated June 9, 2020, 2:36 PM), https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/05/30/police-george-floyd-qualified-immunity-supreme-court-column/5283349002/ [https://perma.cc/37KH-HHR4]; Nina Totenburg, Supreme Court Will Not Reexamine Doctrine That Shields Police in Misconduct Suits, NPR (June 15, 2020, 9:55 AM), https://www.npr.org/2020/06/15/876853817/supreme-court-will-not-re-examine-doctrine-that-shields-police-in-misconduct-sui [https://perma.cc/R6WH-V3XD]
  6. Justin Amash (@justinamash), Twitter (June 3, 2020, 6:26 PM), https://twitter.com/justinamash/status/1268353415295500289 [https://web.archive.org/web/20200604015942/https://twitter.com/justinamash/status/1268353415295500289]
  7. H.R. 7085, 116th Cong. (as introduced, June 4, 2020).
  8. H.R. 7120, 116th Cong. § 106 (as introduced, June 8, 2020).
  9. CBS News, Face the Nation (June 7, 2020), https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bill-barr-george-floyd-protests-blm-face-the-nation-transcript/ [https://perma.cc/E62G-XBEL]
  10. Transcript of June 10, 2020 Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/press-briefing-press-secretary-kayleigh-mcenany-061020/ [https://perma.cc/6L8S-G2G3]
  11. See, Exec. Order No. ____ (June 16, 2020), https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-safe-policing-safe-communities/.

 

What To Do With Library Your Library Books

With campus still closed, you might be asking what do I do with my library books? We, along with the rest of the University, are working on reopening plans. Phase one for the University begins on June 1 and consists of a gradual return to campus of UC researchers. Phase two begins on July 1 and consists of the return of some employees. Phase three begins on August 3 and consists of other employees. Phase four will coincide with the start of Fall semester on August 24. All planning and all processes are subject to change so be sure and check out the following resources for the most up-to-date information:

I am graduating but I still have library books checked out, what should I do?

If you graduated this semester and have library materials checked out to you, you should have received an email with a survey on which method (locker, mail, or special “curbside” arrangement) for returning books is the best option for you. If you fall within this category but did not receive an email, please let me know! If you selected special “curbside” arrangement, you should be hearing from us shortly.

I have a book that was due during the closure—do I need to return it now?

No. We are still being asked to stay off campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so library users are encouraged to keep library materials until it is safe to return them. Due dates for your books should have been extended. If not, please let me know!

How do I see what books I have checked out?

You can see what books you have checked out and when they are due by going to My Library Record.

Will I receive any fines for books that are due during this time?

Fines will not be incurred for UC, OhioLINK or Interlibrary Loan items that became due during the campus closure.

When will I be able to check out books again?

We know that people are anxious to get back to researching and that journals are or will be doing cite checking. Currently most libraries are still not circulating books and this includes UC libraries. Stay tuned for more information on how you can once again start acquiring physical books because the current restrictions will be changing in the coming months. The reopening is still likely to be limited and library users may not be allowed inside library spaces, but you will be able to request and pick up library materials in some fashion. In the mean time here are some things you can do:

  • If there are e-copies of a resource available through one of our subscriptions, the e-copy should be used.
  • In order to make it easier once physical lending resumes, keep a record of the UCLID link or OhioLINK link, or WorldCat link to the item. That way you will be ready to request your books as soon as print collections start becoming available.
  • If you need reference assistance, we’re still working! Contact a librarian!

We hope that you all are staying safe during these uncertain times. We continue to be amazed by your resilience and determination. Even with masks and social distancing, we can’t wait to see you again!

Congratulations Graduates!

Dear Class of 2020,

Although this year did not turn out as expected, the Class of 2020 has risen to the occasion demonstrated to everyone the grit and determination needed in the face of adversity. These are traits that will stand you in good stead as you serve the needs of justice and advocate for those who need it most. We are your biggest fans and we will be cheering you on every step of the way as you move forward. How inspiring you all have been!

Below are resources to help you in your next steps. Be sure and check out our New Law Grad Guide to Law Library Services.

Bar Exam Resources

You have made it through law school and although many bar exams, such as Ohio’s have been postponed, some jurisdictions have not postponed their bar exam or you may just want to get a  head start on studying. Be sure and check out our Bar Exam guide, intended to introduce you to the many ways that the Library can assist you to do more than just survive the bar exam. We can help you succeed!

Database Access for New Grads

Alumni may access UCLID, the University’s online catalog or U.S. Federal Depository resources on the web. Currently, physical access to the Law Library is restricted, however, when we do open to the public, alumni may access selected Law Library and University databases via the public computers.

Lexis Password Extension for Graduates

Full access to Lexis for students graduating in May 2020 will automatically continue for 6-months. Just continue to use the same username and password you used in law school while you study for the bar exam, research employers and prepare to start your career. Note: you must spend your Lexis points by the end of June 2020.

LexisNexis Graduate Program:

Graduates are invited to continue accessing the Lexis Law School Portal with their student ID for ongoing free use of Lexis Advance, including all of the products and features available as a student, through December 31, 2020. All law students have automatic extended access. With LexisNexis, no registration is required, there are no restrictions, and no limits on your research time.

A Graduation Gift

After July 5, graduates will see a new Graduate Homepage. In support of their legal career, graduate can choose between four gifts featured on the Graduate Homepage:

  • Extended access to Law360
  • Lexis Practice Advisor
  • Lexis for Microsoft Office
  • or one of 13 LexisNexis eBooks, such as Corbin on Contracts or Weinstein’s Evidence Manual.

Additionally, the Graduate Homepage provides access to research resources, videos, career support and breaking legal news.

Any graduating student who has verifiable employment with a non-profit organization can apply via Lexis ASPIRE program for 12 months of free Lexis access. Students can visit http://www.lexisnexis.com/grad-access for details on either of these offers.You’ll also have access to exclusive resources related to the transition from law school to employment and a Graduate Rewards Program.

Westlaw Password Extension for Graduates

The Law Library has enabled graduating students to use Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, for 18-months after graduation. Your “Grad Elite” access gives you 60-hours of usage per month, with no restrictions against using them for professional purposes.

These tools include:

  • Westlaw
  • Practical Law
  • Practical Law Connect
  • Drafting Assistant Essential
  • Doc and Form Builder
  • ProView*
  • West LegalEdCenter* -one-year, no CLE

Extend access by logging into http://www.lawschool.westlaw.com and registering for Graduate Elite.

All graduates will also automatically retain access to a number of job searching databases for 18-months following graduation for 1-hour a month. Please contact the Westlaw Representative for more information.

B-Law (Bloomberg Law) Access for Graduates

2020 Graduating students will have unlimited and unrestricted Bloomberg access until June 1, 2021.

Westlaw for Public Access

Members of the public may access a limited selection of Westlaw databases through a dedicated computer located on the third floor of the Law Library.  While this service does not provide access to all Westlaw databases, it does provide access to federal and state primary legal materials, as well as KeyCite.

CaseMakerX Access for Graduates

Student accounts will remain active for 3 months after graduation.

Checking Out Books

  • Although physical access to the Law Library is currently restricted, your library accounts will not expire until May 2021. Once your library account expires you will no longer have the ability to check out books unless you become a community borrower or you are a member of an OhioLINK or Search Ohio library. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is a Search Ohio library.
  • Information on becoming a community borrower and borrowing privileges can be found on the University Libraries Borrow Materials page.

Email & OneDrive Access

Your student email account will remain active as long as you are enrolled as a student at UC.  After you graduate or leave the University, you may continue to use your student email account for as long as you wish, as long as you log into the account at least once every semester. Please note that this applies even if you forward your mail to another address. Students will be able to access their OneDrive accounts as long as their student email remains active.

Where Else Can You Go for Resources?

Local alumni needing remote access to databases such as ALI-ABA Practical Lawyer, FastCase treatises, Ebsco, HeinOnline, Fastcase, and CCH may want to become subscribers the the Hamilton County Law Library. The Hamilton County Law Library also provides on-site access to print resources, BNA, Ohio Capital Connection, Lexis, and Westlaw for its subscribers. You can see a complete list of their services and information on how to join on their website.

Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law, and CaseMakerX Access for Summer & After Graduation

Summer 2020 Access for Returning Students

Lexis Advance

If you’re already registered for Lexis Advance, you don’t need to do anything else to get Summer Access.  Access is unlimited for any purpose.

Westlaw

You can use Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, over the summer for non-commercial research. You can turn to these resources to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills, but you cannot use them in situations where you are billing a client. Examples of permissible uses for your academic password include the following:

  • Summer coursework
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Law Review or Journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-Profit work
  • Clinical work
  • Externship sponsored by the school
You do not have to do anything to gain access to these tools over the summer. If you have any questions, please contact your Thomson Reuters Westlaw Academic Account Manager Sue Moore at sue.moore@tr.com

B-Law

If your workplace has a Bloomberg Law account, you are expected to use that, but there are no restrictions on your student Bloomberg accounts over the summer.

CaseMakerX

Current students are permitted to use their CasemakerX accounts during the summer without restriction.

Access for those Graduating

Lexis Password Extension for Graduates

Full access to Lexis for students graduating in May 2020 will automatically continue for 6-months. Just continue to use the same username and password you used in law school while you study for the bar exam, research employers and prepare to start your career. Note: you must spend your Lexis points by the end of June 2020. No registration is required, there are no restrictions, and no limits on your research time.

After July 5, graduates will see a new Graduate Homepage. In support of their legal career, graduate can choose between four gifts featured on the Graduate Homepage:

  • Extended access to Law360
  • Lexis Practice Advisor
  • Lexis for Microsoft Office
  • or one of 13 LexisNexis eBooks, such as Corbin on Contracts or Weinstein’s Evidence Manual.

Additionally, the Graduate Homepage provides access to research resources, videos, career support and breaking legal news.

Any graduating student who has verifiable employment with a non-profit organization can apply via Lexis ASPIRE program for 12 months of free Lexis access. Students can visit http://www.lexisnexis.com/grad-access for details on either of these offers.You’ll also have access to exclusive resources related to the transition from law school to employment and a Graduate Rewards Program.

Westlaw Password Extension for Graduates

Your access is “normal” until May 31st. Starting June 1st, 2020 the Law Library has enabled graduating students to use Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, for 18-months after graduation. Your “Grad Elite” access gives you 60-hours of usage per month, with no restrictions against using them for professional purposes.

These tools include:

  • Westlaw
  • Practical Law
  • Practical Law Connect
  • Drafting Assistant Essential
  • Doc and Form Builder
  • ProView*
  • West LegalEdCenter* -one-year, no CLE
To check if you signed up, graduating students can go to lawschool.tr.com, sign on with their user name and password, and click on their name in the top right corner. They will see a link there for “Grad Access Status” and they can see if they have already extended. Any questions about Westlaw grad access, please email Sue Moore at sue.moore@tr.com.

B-Law (Bloomberg Law) Access for Graduates

Graduating students will have unlimited and unrestricted Bloomberg access for 6-months following graduation.

CaseMakerX Access for Graduates

Student accounts will remain active for 3 months after graduation.

Library Exam Resources in a Pandemic Part 2

We hope that exams are going well for everyone and we are wishing you all the best of luck. Below are additional subject specific study aids for exams, as well as a reminder of the subject specific study aids from last week.

Subject Specific Study Aids for Upcoming Exams

First Year Exam Subjects:

2L & 3L Exam Subjects

Sample & Practice Exams

Currently a few sample and practice exams by UC Law professors are available on the Law School Sample / Practice Exams TWEN site. If you have trouble accessing this page, please send me an email. Sometimes you can also find old exams on other websites. Check out our Exam Study Guide — Practice & Sample Exams page for more information.
You can view all of our study aids, as well as other resources for studying for exams on the Exam Study Guide.

Law Library Exam Resources in a Time of Pandemic

Although the exam period is different this year than in the past, remember that the Law Library still has exam study resources to help!

Sample & Practice Exams

Currently a few sample and practice exams by UC Law professors are available on the Law School Sample / Practice Exams TWEN site. If you have trouble accessing this page, please send me an email. Sometimes you can also find old exams on other websites. Check out our Exam Study Guide — Practice & Sample Exams page for more information.

Subject Specific Study Aids for Upcoming Exams

You can view all of our study aids, as well as other resources for studying for exams on the Exam Study Guide.