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Right to Attorney in Civil Cases:  Ashby Jones writes on Wall Street Journal's Law Blog that a new California law will give poor residents the right to an attorney in civil matters such as child custody and foreclosure.  Jones calls the law the state's "Civil Gideon" law, after the landmark case Gideon v. Wainwright, which held states must provide attorneys for indigent criminal defendants.  Under the new law, counsel is now available for those living at 200% above the federal poverty guidelines or less.  For a family of four, that means an annual income of $44,100.  The law will be funded by a pre-approved $10 increase in some court fees.  More information can be found in Tamara Audi's Wall Street Journal article.

Justices Debate Constitutional Rights in Tuscon:  Howard Bashman compiles press coverage of Justice Scalia's and Justice Breyer's constitutional interpretation debate at the University of Arizona to debate "Principles of Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation."  Arizona Star writer Kim Smith reports that Justice Scalia held firm to his belief that the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights needs to be interpreted based solely on the words contained within the text, while Justice Breyer said justices need to look beyond the words at such things as tradition, precedent, purpose and consequences.  Justice Breyer argued his point by referencing recent developments in the confrontation clause cases, wondering whether the Constitution meant to preclude a police officer from testifying about statements made by a murdered domestic abuse victim because the defendant has a constitutional right to confront his accuser.  Arizona Public Media provides an online link to the debate.

Behold the Power of Legal Blogs:
  David Kopel has a post on Volokh Conspiracy titled "Legal Scholarship in the Internet Age," where he discusses Denver University's law school symposium on the topic.  He notes law blogs have expanded legal scholarship "beyond the world of law professors and legal professionals."  More information on the topic can be found in his article, Connecting Laypeople with the Law Through Blogs, and DUProcess, the law school's online law review.    

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