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The LII’s U.S. Code collection received a major upgrade last week with the addition of USC-prelim. Thanks to our friends at the U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Law Revision Counsel (OLRC), the LII now includes all newly codified legislation for each title on a separate tab within each page of the LII U.S. Code Collection, right alongside the most recent official version.

The official version of the U.S. Code as released by the U.S. Government Printing Office can be as many as 15-18 months out of sync with current legislation. The OLRC has long realized that professional users of the code would benefit from access to the most current information available, and now the OLRC has agreed to release this information in bulk, as soon as practical, so we can offer it without fee to LII users. USC-prelim has been available on the OLRC government site for some time, but now you can find it in navigable form at the LII.

Bear in mind that while USC-prelim is far more current than the official release, these updates may be subject to further revision. Users should verify the text against the printed slip laws available from the Government Printing Office, the laws as shown on THOMAS (a legislative service of the Library of Congress), and the final version of the Code when it becomes available.

The  Court hears 4 cases this week. One hot topic being discussed includes immigration law and border control in Arizona v. United States. Can Arizona engage in cooperative enforcement of federal immigration laws and create state offenses for violations of federal immigration regulations? Also this week is a case on whether the Quiet Title Act applies to cases in which the plaintiff’s interest in divesting the title is something other than a claim of ownership to the land.

Monday, April 23, 2012

This week the Court hears cases involving some of our favorite acts like The Fair Labor Standards Act, the Fair Sentencing Act, and the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BulbEvery year, Cornell’s Faculty of Computing and Information Science sponsors a “science fair” called Bits on our Minds (BOOM).  The exhibition showcases cutting-edge student research in all manner of digital realms, ranging from robotics to information retrieval to social applications to game design.   This year, a team of Masters of Engineering students supervised by Dr. Nuria Casellas presented their work on Legal Linked Data. Nuria described it this way:

Linked Legal Data Team Today we presented a poster of the current work in the Linked Legal Data project at Cornell’s BOOM science fair (http://boom.cornell.edu/). The LLD project of the Legal Information Institute applies the principles of LOD to legal information to enhance access to the Code of Federal Regulations. The main goal is to develop an RDF store of CFR data through the implementation of several information extraction and natural language processing techniques: the development of a CFR SKOS vocabulary, the extraction of definitions and obligations from text and the ability to relate specific CFR sections to particular products.

The development of this RDF repository of regulatory data regarding both the structure and content of regulations will allow us to build LOD-based applications to improve navigation, discovery and aggregation of the material in the CFR, possibly enabling the development of regulatory information management applications for products. Also, a public endpoint will offer the possibility to access tailored regulatory information.

Sarah Bouwman, Dallas Dias, Jie Lin, Sharvari Marathe, Krithi Rai, Ankit Singh, Debraj Sinha, and Sanjna Venkataraman are the students working in this project.

The project won a BOOM Sponsor’s Award from Susquehanna International Group, a financial trading firm.  As you can tell from Nuria’s description, the real payoff will be new features in the LII’s edition of the CFR.