Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Judicial decisions constitute one of the most important sources of legal authority, along with legislative and regulatory enactments, in our common law system. Even statutes must be read in conjunction with case law which construe the correct application of the legislation. Courts follow the doctrine of precedent, or stare decisis ("let the decision stand"), to create and build upon holdings of law so as to ensure that people in like circumstances of fact are treated alike.
Published court reports provide a permanent record of judicial opinions and provide an easily cited source. The U.S. Department of the Interior Library provides access to judicial decisions by means of a variety of print and electronic search tools. LEXIS and Westlaw are available for departmental research; the Internet provides access to many sources for free. Consult with a Reference Librarian for assistance in locating case law. The text below describes the structure of the American judiciary and its publications.
United States Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court stands at the head of the judicial branch of government, and it sits as the court of last resort in the Federal court system. Only a small fraction of the cases in which Supreme Court review is sought are accepted for hearing and result in a judicial opinion.
HeinOnline’s U.S. Supreme Court Library offers the official opinions of the Supreme Court from the United States Reports (1754-2003), as well as United States Reports Preliminary Prints (2002-2006), and United States Reports Slip Opinions (2002-date). It also features the Guide to the Early Reports of the Supreme Court of the United States (1790-1874), the Supreme Court Economic Review (1982-2001), and the Supreme Court Review (1960-2000).
The Interior Library maintains two sets of case reporters for U.S. Supreme Court decisions, digests which assist the location of Supreme Court decisions by topic and one topical, loose-leaf service which indexes current Supreme Court cases and issues and provides the first print version of Supreme Court decisions.
United States Supreme Court Reports
Supreme Court Reporter
Digests (Also help to locate all Federal District and Circuit Court decisions):
Modern Federal Practice Digest
Federal Practice Digest 2d
Federal Practice Digest 3d
Federal Practice Digest 4th
Topical Looseleaf Service:
BNA, U.S. Law Week
United States Courts of Appeal and United States District Courts
The Federal court system has grown extensively from the thirteen District Courts and three Circuit Courts created by the Judiciary Act of 1789. The general trial courts in the federal system are still known as the United States District courts, but there are now ninety-four districts with onr or more in each state. In addition, there are several specialized trial courts, such as the Bankruptcy Courts and the Court of Federal Claims.
The intermediate appellate courts in the federal system are the United States Courts of Appeal, which are divide into thirteen circuits. Each of the First through Eleventh Circuits covers several states. The Federal Circuit, which handles patent and customs matters, and the District of Columbia Circuit comprise the remaining circuits.
The Interior Library maintains a variety of holdings in print, microfiche and CD-ROM to provide access to Federal case law as follows:
Federal Cases (District and Circuit Courts, 1789-1880; on microfiche)
Federal Reporter (District and Circuit Courts, 1880-1932, Circuit Courts, 1932-date; print and CD-ROM; 1st series and 2nd series, volumes 1-450, on microfiche)
Federal Supplement (District Courts, 1932-date; print and CD-ROM; volumes 1-200 on microfiche)
Federal Rules Decisions (District Court cases resolving issues under Federal Rules, e.g., FRCP and FRE; print)
State Cases: the National Reporter System
Appellate decisions from the state Supreme Courts and intermediate appellate courts have been collected and published by the West Group (formerly West Publishing) in a set of regional reporters called the National Reporter System. The National Reporter System divides the states into seven regions as described in the table below. The seven regional reporter sets are supplemented by separate reporters for the two most litigious states, California Reporter and New York Supplement.
The table below reflects the states covered by each regional reporter. The Interior Library holds the last six years of the print editions of the Atlantic Reporter, California Reporter, North Eastern Reporter, North Western Reporter, Pacific Reporter, Southern Reporter, Southeastern Reporter, and Southwestern Reporter. The complete sets of these reporters are available on CD-ROM or microfiche in the Library.
States Courts Included
Supreme and intermediate appellate courts in D.C., Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont
Court of Appeals in New York and Supreme Court and intermediate appellate courts in Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts and Ohio
Supreme and intermediate appellate courts in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin
Supreme and intermediate appellate courts in Alaska, Arizona, California (Sup. Ct. only since 1960), Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming
Supreme and intermediate appellate courts in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia
Supreme and intermediate appellate courts in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi
Supreme and intermediate appellate courts in Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas
Cal. Rptr.; Cal. Rptr.2d
Supreme and intermediate appellate courts of California