A Free, Comprehensive Legal Resource

Courtlistener.com is an open source legal resource curated by the Free Law Project. The purpose of the site is to offer users “…a free legal research website containing millions of legal opinions from federal and state courts. With CourtListener, lawyers, journalists, academics, and the public can research an important case, stay up to date with new opinions as they are filed, or do deep analysis using our raw data.”

The opening page looks like this:

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I began my search with a simple Shelby County Tennessee and got this hit:

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If you look at the encircled field indicated by the arrow you can see in this next screen that I further narrowed down my search with a date and received more specific results:

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You have several different tools at your disposal on this site, which is full of much raw data. This can augment our legal offerings in a valuable way.


Power to the People!

Power to the People!

2016 was a historic year for politics in the United States and more citizens have become involved in political action than there have been in a long time. To assist those interested in sharing their opinions with our representative politicians, this list identifies the key players in national affairs representing the region served by our fair institution, the Memphis Public Library and Information Center. Once you know who your representative is, you can contact them to voice your opinion on important matters, whether it concerns federal, state or local issues. This list will not be exhaustive, that is, it will not cover every possible government agency of every layer of government within the covered counties (so, for some examples, if you are wanting to petition the office of the mayor of Lake City, Arkansas, the school board of Independence High School in Tate County, MS or the powers that be in Yum Yum, TN, then I encourage you to do your own research into how you may contact those bodies). This list is a good start if you want to, for example, call your congressman to try to get them to vote the way you expect them to. To compile this list I used the region covered by the counties served by our LINC/211 service.

Each of the three states are listed alphabetically and include contact information for U.S. Senators and Congress members. Note that these representatives only accept and respond to constituents living within their own districts, so if you don’t live there, don’t waste your time trying to contact them directly.


The state senators for Arkansas are:

John Boozman:            https://www.boozman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/home

Tom Cotton:                https://www.cotton.senate.gov/

Crittenden County is in Arkansas’ 1st congressional district, represented by Rick Crawford.



The state senators for Mississippi are:

Thad Cochran:             http://www.cochran.senate.gov/public/

Roger Wicker:             https://www.wicker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/home

Desoto and Tate counties are within Mississippi’s 1st congressional district, and are represented by Trent Kelly:                                  https://trentkelly.house.gov/

Tunica County is within Mississippi’s 2nd congressional district, and is represented by Bennie Thompson:



The state senators for Tennessee are:

Lamar Alexander:       http://www.alexanderforsenate.com/

Bob Corker:                 http://www.bobcorker.com/

Memphis and much of Shelby county is in Tennessee’s 9th congressional district, represented by Steve Cohen:               https://cohen.house.gov/

Parts of Shelby County, as well as Tipton, Lauderdale, Lake and Obion counties are in Tennessee’s 8th congressional district, represented by David Kustoff:


Happy Lobbying!

U.S. Congress Roll Call Voting Records


Roll call voting records for the United States House of Representatives and the Senate are listed from the 1st Congress until now. The website is a bit tricky to use. You must scroll down until you get to the Roll Call Data Section. When a Congress is clicked on, the format of the files comes up, explaining how to use the site. Scroll down a bit and the Congress Roll Call information comes up. The information is being compiled by a former University of California, San Diego professor, Keith Poole.

State Constitutions


This site provides the state constitutions read aloud for people who do not see well or are visually impaired. Under the State Constitutions header, click on “The Constitutions”. On the left side of the page, you can click the state that you are looking for. Click “submit”. A written narrative of the constitution, along with the time blocks are listed on the page. Click on the speaker symbol on the right side of the page to hear the specific state constitution.

Further down on the page of “The Constitutions” is a place called, “Monitor the Constitutions”. This is a newsfeed that shows current stories from around the country about how the constitution of different states are being amended or challenged.

Online Pedophilia


Statistics on pedophilia or child abuse can be hard to find. This website, from the Counter Pedophilia Investigative Unit, provides just that sort of information. From the site, “The CPIU was formed by a coalition of computer experts, law enforcement agents and counter-pedophilia experts. The primary goal of the CPIU is to educate the public in how to protect their children and increase general public awareness about this important subject.”

Statistics on the website include information about victims of sexual assault, pedophiles, convicted prisoners, students in school and sex offenders. Child internet pornography statistical information is provided and magazine articles are listed.  The statistical information seems to be based off of national statistics from the United States Department of Justice and other organizations.

Pew Research Center


The Pew Research Center provides an unbiased view of different issues that shape America. From the site, ” The center conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies, media content analysis and other empirical social science research.” Besides trending issues of the day, the topic index shows information on demographics, the economy, technology, legal issues and other subjects.