Questions tagged [legal-history]

For questions related to how and why law has evolved over time.

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0answers
41 views

what are the most famous lawsuits made when someone makes jokes based on a person's race/identity\historical past? [closed]

what is the term\terms to describe borderline jokes related to a person's nationality? e.g. if you are indian - you must like curry, wear a turban etc "blacks can only play basketball and rap&...
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3answers
9k views

Could the federal government ban people from drinking coffee?

Which amendment does this statement violate? The federal government refuses to allow anyone to drink coffee.
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189 views

Which amendment does this violate?

Bob requests a lawyer to be present while the police interview him after being arrested. The police just laugh.
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1answer
128 views

Belgium's historical Charter for indefinite access to UK waters

In 1666 King Charles II granted 50 fishermen from the city of Bruges ‘eternal access’ to British waters, and the EU are now trying to 'grandfather' this treaty. Is this treaty valid under all possible ...
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30 views

Why didn't Justice Robert Jackson just finish his 2-year law degree, when he already completed his first year? [migrated]

Philip Halpern. Stanford Law Review, Dec., 1955, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Dec 1955), pp. 3-8. JSTOR. p 3. Robert Jackson was born February I3, 1892, on a small farm near Spring Creek in Warren County, ...
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3answers
109 views

Why do lawyers ask “Is it not true that …”

I am aware of this previous related question Alternative to "Isn't it true that...?" when questioning witnesses The most upvoted answer to that question gave alternative ways of speaking....
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1answer
93 views

Is there any legal obligation for companies to provide firmware?

I am currently trying to get firmware from a company called Sunfire a formerly Washington State corporation, which makes home theater products. They have a discontinued line of products, and have ...
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13 views

Was Federal Equity Rule 48 ever invoked against a corporation, or it's like, before the modern era of class action suits?

The Federal Equity Rule, specifically Equity Rule 48, promulgated in 1842 is seen to be the one of the earliest instances of a predecessor of class action suits in the United States. It states: Where ...
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32 views

Pollard v USHS: Tuskegee under the cudgel

While reading up about infectious diseases, I came upon the case of the Tuskegee study, which in 1932 was set out to observe a group of people for 6 months and then cure them of the observed ailment ...
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1answer
45 views

What is the term for when a leader being responsible when they suggests something and someone acts on it?

I recall there was a term for a very specific thing that can happen when the person in charge - king, president, dictator, etc - suggests something be done and someone does it, that might make the ...
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1answer
49 views

Focus on arson in New Mexico Constitution — why? typo?

In the State Constitution of New Mexico, Article II Section 24 Rights of Crime Victims, all the victims' rights are listed specifically for "a victim of arson" (see https://law.lclark.edu/...
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Historically, has the Categorical Imperative been used to establish “personal judicial precedent”?

Has the Categorical Imperative, or something similar, even been used historically to establish something that could perhaps be termed, “Personal Judicial Precedence”? By this, I mean a practice ...
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96 views

Why is the manufacturer of a wireless radio device responsible for preventing end-user modifications? [closed]

One of those things that irks me about the FCC regulations is that manufacturers are responsible for preventing, and can apparently be held liable for, end-user modifications to wireless radio devices ...
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80 views

Why weren't the US Navy and Marines added to the Posse Comitatus Act in 1956?

The Posse Comitatus Act was originally enacted in 1878 to restrict the use of the United States military in many domestic matters. Originally, the act only covered the Army, which doesn't seem ...
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32 views

In British India, was abducting a Hindu girl and then marrying her considered legal?

When the Indian Subcontinent used to be a British Colony, was it legal for a Hindu man to abduct a girl and marry her? I think the British applied different laws to followers of different religions so ...
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1answer
70 views

Would a jury have been used in a divorce trial in 1920s England?

Alfred Hitchcock's silent film Easy Virtue opens with a divorce trial, interspersed with flashbacks. The film is set in the 1920s, and the trial is in England. It seems to show a jury meeting and ...
39
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4answers
9k views

Can a soldier refuse to carry a weapon?

During WWII, Desmond Doss joined the US Army as a combat medic. Due to his religious belief in nonviolence, he refused to carry a weapon and was eventually allowed to do so, going on to win various ...
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2answers
84 views

What is the origin of trials by jury?

What is the origin of trials by jury? Were juries used in Old Testament, Greek, Roman, or Inquisition trials?
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1answer
43 views

What are some examples of important/influential Amicus briefs?

I've been digging through Supreme court documents and it got me wondering - does anybody know any specific examples of Amicus briefs that may have changed the outcome of an important case? I couldn't ...
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30 views

Meaning of numbers in UK Parliament Sessional Papers

I have a (scan of) an 1858 volume of papers drawn from Sessional Papers of the British Parliament. These appear to be Command Papers, which, according to various sources, were numbered [1] to [4222] ...
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48 views

What does “dormant” mean in the Dormant Commerce Clause?

I think I understand the clause itself, but I'd like to develop some intuitive understanding of why Marshall used the word "dormant." I read the quotes of his decisions where he introduced the word, ...
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1answer
71 views

Historical examples of retrial for longer prison sentences? [closed]

I've asked this question on the History SE, which resulted in some members commenting it might be better suited on the Law SE. Today I've read in 'Journey into the Whirlwind' by Eugenia Ginzburg, ...
2
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1answer
46 views

FCC: 1975 Rules Relating to Multiple Ownership ( 47 C.F.R. § 73.34, 73.240 and 73.636 ) source? does it exist?

Where can I find the original/historical 47 C.F.R. § 73.34, 73.240 and 73.636? To clarify, I'm looking at wikipedia: Cross ownership rules of 1975, but cannot find the primary source: Amendment of §§...
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68 views

Why is an attempted violent crime judged less harshly than a successful one?

There exist crimes that bring great damage to the victim, such as murder, rape, aggravated assault, theft, etc. If anything had escaped that list, I'm sure it's intuitive what that would be. In most ...
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1answer
40 views

On Irish marriage property and divorce law circa 1939

My questions arise from a scenario in Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, published in 1939, and hence pertain to Irish law around or before 1939. As a young Dublin girl, Anna inherits property from her ...
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When was homosexuality as the reason for institutionalization outlawed in the US?

In the United States, I'm guessing that one can no longer commit a person to a mental hospital (AKA insane asylum) with the only reason for commitment being: "said person is gay". Homosexuality is no ...
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1answer
75 views

What is Legal Theory? I am asking for its concept, its definition by some Oxbridge or Ivy League Legal Dictionary

People talk about Legal Theory and I do not understand what it is. The Theory Part. In Physics, Chemisty, Geology, Economy, Sociology... Theory is an explanation of a phenomenon( why it occurs and ...
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1answer
151 views

Does the iconic WWII-end “Kiss” photo depict sexual assault?

One of the most famous images from the end of World War II was of a sailor kissing someone who looked like a nurse in Times Square, celebrating the victory. As described in a featured article in ...
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1answer
64 views

Does annexation of state apply to territories under dispute e.g. Kashmir?

I am not clear on the legal definition of annexation. Can we say India is annexing Kashmir, or Jammu and Kashmir? Or does the word strictly apply to two nation-states only? Many definitions are ...
4
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1answer
107 views

At what point could courts in England no longer legally create new Common Law offenses?

Common Law offenses, of course, were crimes created solely through case law rather than statute. At what point was the legal authority of courts in England to create new Common Law offenses abolished?...
2
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1answer
54 views

How was entrance to the bar monitored in the 19th Century?

I am seeking historical information on the process as to how individuals such as my grandfather Judge Lewis (H.) Blackledge were admitted to the bar. He graduated in Jun 1888 from high school at ...
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1answer
68 views

Are State-Authorized Century Farm Programs Titles of Nobility?

Both the Federal and State governments are prohibited from granting "titles of nobility" under the US Constitution (Art. 1, Sec. 9 & 10). My understanding is that "titles of nobility" are ...
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2answers
450 views

Why US apostille is not valid for use in US?

I've got an apostille and bottom line says: "...this apostille is not valid for use anywhere within the United States of America..." What was the reason for this? Is it applicable for all countries ...
6
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1answer
186 views

Why does the US patent law have a section about inventions in outer space?

I came upon a curiously exorbitant statute, Inventions in outer space (35 USC 105). To summarize my question, what was the story and the rationale behind this law? The section reads, in part: Any ...
4
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3answers
193 views

Are there any contemporary examples of jurists “riding circuit?”

Historically, in Great Britain and the United States, some judges would "ride circuit," traveling around a region holding court on some schedule rather than asking plaintiffs to travel to a fixed ...
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1answer
138 views

Was defamation legal in Russian empire in the 19th century?

In Dostoevsky's Idiot, it seemed that it was perfectly legal to publish articles of slanderous nature. Was there any legal protection of a Russian's rights in publicity in the 1800's?
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2answers
56 views

Are there books or sources on how laws are evolving in a way that current laws have little to do with original purposes?

I am seeing pattern where laws that used to serve some purposes is now serving very different purposes. I wonder if there is a name for these patterns. According to Why are there distinct burdens of ...
2
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1answer
147 views

What is the history of rules requiring prosecutors to disclose evidence?

I was surprised to discover that Brady v. Maryland was decided as recently as 1963. Not knowing enough about the context in which it was decided, I am having trouble understanding exactly what ...
3
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1answer
230 views

Using hash functions to bypass Cold War-era crypto export restrictions

During the Cold War and up until late 1992, export restrictions prevented the distribution of strong cryptographically secure ciphers. These export restrictions required that all symmetric ciphers be ...
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2answers
20k views

Why do judges use a hammer in court?

In many movies featuring a court scene, the judge is seen pounding a wood hammer on the desk to either silence the court room, or to announce a decision. Why do judges use a hammer? Is it only a ...
2
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1answer
49 views

Searching for the term for an anecdotal “simple person”

Maria Theresa and the Law Many years ago, I was attending a university course about legal aspects for computer scientists. It was a very basic course and in order to make the topic digestible more ...
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1answer
88 views

What semantic notions underlie '(equitable) tolling' and the lay meanings of 'toll'?

I quoted this lawyer as seeing use of 'toll' as a noun and verb, educates more than seeing its use as a noun. What connects the lay meanings of 'toll' to the legal definition? What explains this ...
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4answers
4k views

Why 12 Jurors, why not 11, 10, 9, 1?

The question might seem basic, but why do juries in the United States consist of 12 members? Was there an experimental determination of this number? Would the addition or removal of a juror ...
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0answers
46 views

California non-compete laws: where do they come from?

I once read that California non-compete laws come from the gold rush era, and yet I was not able to find any more information about the subject. It would be interesting to understand what ...
2
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1answer
127 views

Congressional History and Legislative Intent of Statute 18 U.S.C.1832

To start off, I am only a high school student helping a friend of mine with a little predicament. She has asked me to research about the Congressional history and the legislative intent of a statute: ...
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1answer
249 views

Why don't Nordic countries have codes of private law?

I'm aware that there are some major differences between Scandinavian law systems and other European systems, e.g., the fact that Roman Law had very little influence in Scandinavian countries. But why ...
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2answers
62 views

latin expressions in jurisprudence

I'm from Austria, which is a german speaking country. In the german language, in jurisprudence, we have lots of latin terms / expressions, because latin expressions seem to be more exact. Is this ...
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33 views

UK gun licenses prior to Firearms Amendment Act 1988

The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 came into force as a response to the Hungerford massacre of 1987. The perpetrator had legally owned some firearms, including a semi-automatic assault rifle. Before ...
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1answer
188 views

Why was my digitized signature rejected?

I really dislike printing out an electronic form (i.e. PDF) just to sign and re-scan it, especially if I'm going to just send out a digital copy anyway. So, usually I just paste a scanned image of my ...
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2answers
1k views

Explanation of “habeas corpus”

What body? And who has to have it? For what purpose? And then (it might be obvious once you've answered those questions, but please spell it out anyway) why is habeas corpus so central to the law?