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Eight hundred years is a long time, even across the Pond in Great Britain. That’s why they—and we—sit up and take notice when a remarkable document reaches 800 years old.

Officially, of course, Magna Carta is now 801 years old. But who’s going to quibble?

News arrived this week that a traveling banner exhibition commemorating the anniversary is headed to Arizona. Titled “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215-2015,” its kickoff reception occurs this Friday, March 4. Sponsored by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, the event will be held at the state Capitol building. All the detail is below.

(And be sure to read our own coverage of the document’s birthday in our recent November issue.)

Though it's unlikely to have happened this way, here is one artist's rendition of Magna Carta being signed at Runnymede.

Though it’s unlikely to have happened this way, here is one artist’s rendition of Magna Carta being signed at Runnymede.

According to the organizers:

The reception begins at 5:00 p.m., and will take place in the Arizona Capitol Museum Rotunda (1700 W. Washington). Michael Bailey, Chief Deputy Counsel for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, will offer brief remarks, and attendees will have the opportunity to preview the exhibit itself.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Developed by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress and by the Library of Congress and its Law Library, the exhibition focuses on Lincoln Cathedral’s 1215 manuscript of Magna Carta, which stands as one of only four surviving original exemplifications from that year.

The banner exhibit will be on display in the Capitol Museum from March 4-23, 2016. The museum is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

RSVP to Kileen Lindgren at klindgren@ij.org.

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After taking Christmas Day off (a holiday miracle), I continue the Christmas theme today by pointing you to some film reviews from an unlikely source—law librarians.

Specifically, today I point you to the blog of the Law Librarians of Congress. Titled In Custodio Legis, the blog ranges far afield on topics that the librarians think may be engaging to legal readers. And so we get movie reviews.

What makes this post oh-so-timely is that the author decides to provide reviews of Christmas movies. And these are not reviews like many other folks would do them. You know, “If there’s any movie I’d suggest curling up with this season, it’s Miracle on 34th Street.” Not even close.

To get what I mean, here is how the assembled librarians examined that film:

“The film concerns a man named Kris Kringle, who works as a Santa Claus for Macy’s and who, by his shining example, inspires even Mr. Macy and his chief competitor to embrace the spirit of giving during the season. Kris, due to an unfortunate event, ends up being the subject of a competency hearing because he believes he is the real St. Nick!”

“New York State at the time of the movie (immediately after World War II) had several methods for committing individuals who were thought to be a danger to themselves or others. One such procedure was upon the finding of ‘… a judge of a court of record of the city or county, or a justice of the supreme court of the judicial district in which the alleged mentally ill person resides or may be …’. Kris is tried in New York City by a Supreme Court judge (in New York the Supreme Court is not a court of appeals). The local prosecutor represents the State and Kris is represented by his friend, Fred Gayley. The procedures followed in court are not very accurate. Fred is able to convince the court, in part through the sage advice of the judge’s political advisor, to accept the existence of Santa Claus. The issue in dispute then shifts to the validity of Kris’ assertion.”

Do you get the idea? These are reviews that lawyers and judges can sink their teeth into.

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Here’s some more:

“The Blog Team suggested Home Alone and Love Actually as other possible candidates. For Home Alone the legal issue would be at what age, if any, does Illinois state law allow children to be home alone. I checked the Illinois code on this point and found that Illinois defined a neglected minor as any child under the age of 14 who is left at home alone unsupervised by a parent or guardian for an unreasonable period of time. However this specific section of the Illinois code, 705 ILCS 405/2-3(1)(d) was not passed until 2009—almost 20 years after the movie originally occurred.”

I’ll leave you to discover what they said about Love Actually, and how they remind us that a viewing of Gremlins could be aided by a close reading of The Restatement of Torts.

Read the entire post here.

After you do that, be sure to bookmark the blog, because these are some brilliantly messed up individuals—exactly like many of my favorite people in the law! Merry Christmas Redux.

Here are two legal happenings worth noting.

The first may be of interest to every citizen whose life will be affected by the redistricting that follows on the heels of a national Census—which should be most of us.

The Brennan Center for Justice is releasing its 2010 edition of A Citizen’s Guide to Redistricting.  Fifty state governments—including Arizona’s—will soon begin redrawing legislative lines. As the Brennan Center says, “Political insiders will invariably seek to tilt the process to partisan ends.”

The new volume has tables, illustrations and maps. According to the center, “It will help citizens and journalists as we try to hold accountable this otherwise murky process.”

More information is here.

(And as a related reminder, you might seek out the documentary film Gerrymandering. More detail about it is here. And it looks like it will be shown on December 17 at The Screening Room in Tucson—but check with the theater first.)

The second event takes place in Washington, DC, but is worth noting.

Tomorrow, the Law Library of Congress will celebrate Human Rights Day with a program on “Cultural Property Rights of Indigenous People.”

As the Law Library says:

“Human rights are rights and freedoms inherent to all human beings without discrimination on the basis of nationality, ethnic origin, gender, creed, religion, language or any other distinction. The panel discussion is designed to promote understanding and recognition of the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. 

“Moderated by Law Librarian of Congress Roberta I. Shaffer, the panel will include Helen Stacy of Stanford Law School; Betsy Kanalley of the U.S. Forest Service; and Kelly Buchanan and Stephen Clarke of the Law Library of Congress.”

The event will be held at the Library of Congress at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10 in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington D.C. 20540.

More information is here.