Questions tagged [united-states]

For questions specific to the United States as a whole, or that span multiple state jurisdictions. If your question is related to a specific state then you should use that state's tag instead (or as well).

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22
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1answer
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Does copyright law protect a translation of an ancient work from being translated into a third language?

Jurisdiction: California, USA. If a book was written in Greek two thousand years ago, and someone translated it into English more recently (say, yesterday), and then someone else wants to translate ...
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Why does the First Amendment apply to states?

The First Amendment doesn't say "No one can restrict free speech" - it says "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech." You could interpret it as saying, &...
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Could a US state allow non-citizens to vote in presidential elections?

On July 30th, President Trump suggested in a tweet that the US presidential election should be delayed due to COVID impeding in-person voting. Every news article I've read since (Vox, Slate, ...
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Can you libel the dead?

Imagine a situation where Mr. A knows that Mr. Z did something bad. Let's say Mr. Z robbed a bank. However, Mr. A is afraid to say anything, because he doesn't have proof that Mr. Z robbed a bank - ...
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Before the 13th Amendment, could people sell themselves into slavery in the USA?

Classical (non-racial) systems of slavery in Western civilization, such as Greco-Roman, Celtic, etc. typically included provisions for selling oneself into slavery. This might be as a way to escape ...
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In the US are you allowed to impose restriction on the government when they want to enter your house without a warrant?

If the government wishes to enter your house without a warrant and they ask your permission to do so, if you impose restrictions on what they can do or a part of the house they can or cannot enter, ...
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Can one be liable for poisoning food one expects to be stolen?

A friend of mine posted about how someone keeps stealing her food at work, and I recommended she lace it with some insanely hot hot sauce. Someone else commented that she could be liable for ...
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Is it legal to have unpaid volunteer moderators (or other types of volunteers) on a for-profit community website?

It seems like everyone does it. I've never heard of a paid moderator (though I'm sure they probably exist). From what I've gathered, however, it sounds like having any kind of volunteers is illegal ...
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Is it legal for Americans to buy music/movies from those really cheap web sites based in Ukraine?

There are several web sites out there that sell MP3 music files for 10 cents each and FLAC music files for 30 cents each. At least one site even sells Hollywood movies (AVI, MKV) from $0.99 (low ...
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When a criminal statute is struck down as unconstitutional, what happens to people who were convicted under it?

We just had a question about what happens to convicts if a law is repealed. However, that question's example of homosexual behavior wasn't decriminalized in the US by legislative action, but rather by ...
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When will Pfizer et. al. be liable for injuries caused by the COVID-19 vaccine?

According to the PREP act, the companies developing and administering the COVID-19 vaccines cannot be sued for unintentional injuries resulting from the vaccine. I have seen enough commercials ...
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Is it legally permitted to quote from legally restricted materials in US?

Is it legally permitted to quote from legally restricted materials in US? Let’s say, US government banned/censored a site or book X legally. Now if I refer/quote something in my writings, blogs, sites,...
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Can freelancers publish code in GitHub and claim it to be theirs?

I am curious to know the legal process of a collaborated effort for a code at a small startup. Say I am the technical head of a startup, and I have about 90% of the code/commits. The other 10% is by ...
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Can a vaccine be required by law?

This question came up because I read that Bolsonaro, Brazil's president, was criticized by the opposition for saying that COVID-19 vaccinations won't be mandatory. The opposition said that the vaccine ...
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Who owns the washing machine?

This scenario is based on a real life event but is a purely hypothetical question (because this isn't remotely worth going to court or even arguing over). The situation seems surprisingly complicated,...
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Could US President use the Secret Service to gain entry into the Capitol Building for the SOTU address?

If US President was to go to the U.S. Capitol Building for the State of the Union Address, and he was met at the door by the U.S. Capitol Building security personnel with orders to deny him entry, ...
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If it can be proven that someone profiting from spreading conspiracy theories doesn't believe in them are they guilty of fraud?

There are a number of people and websites that make money by spreading conspiracy theories and other 'fake news'. I think InfoWars is probably the most notorious, but it's only one of a multitude of ...
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Is there some kind of disclosure immunity if you violate your non-disclosure agreement to reveal fraud?

Is there some kind of disclosure immunity if you violate your non-disclosure agreement to reveal fraud? In the United States, is there some kind of law that protects people when they violate their NDA ...
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What kinds of sanctions would be applied if you wrongly invoked the Fifth Amendment?

Under the Fifth Amendment, one might say at a hearing, "I refuse to answer on the grounds that it would incriminate me." Suppose the subject matter were embarrassing, but not necessarily criminal. ...
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What are the limits of the Commerce Clause?

In Gonzalez v. Raich, the Supreme Court held that the Controlled Substances Act could apply to home-grown marijuana that started in and never left California because it could still affect the ...
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Can a former United States president be criminally prosecuted for acts committed when he was president?

Just after voting to acquit Trump, GOP senate leader Mitch McConnel said: We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being ...
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Why was Joe Arpaio not given a jury trial?

Joe Arpaio, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ, was found guilty of criminal contempt of court by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton on July 31, 2017. Apparently Arpaio requested a trial by jury, ...
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If you escaped from prison for a crime you did not commit, would you still serve the increased sentence once exonerated?

For example: you were convicted of murder and escaped and were then sentenced to years on top of your original sentence, but you were later exonerated of the crime of murder; would you still have to ...
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In California, if a baseball lands in my yard, is it legally mine?

Say some neighborhood kid was playing baseball and accidentally hit the ball into my yard. Theoretically, if I own the house or my lease permits, I have the right to control access to my yard and, ...
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Is it legal to forge a Permission to Attack during a physical penetration test engagement?

When doing penetration testing (hired as a security consultant to examine and test a company's security by simulating an attacker), it's necessary to have a document called "Permission to Attack&...
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If other party notified me that phone conversation is being recorded, do I need to tell them if I am also recording it?

When I call, for example, AT&T or any other company, then before they pick up the phone they sometimes give me a notice that the phone conversation could be recorded for training or other purposes....
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Is it legal to put a death row inmate in harm's way if their execution is near?

In Death Note, a serial killer named Kira is killing the world's criminals. All he needs is a name and a face. It's not too long before countries realize someone is targeting criminals and hire a ...
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What happens if a prosecutor refuses to file charges?

Inspired by the answer to a previous question I asked. Let's say Alice assaults Bob, and Bob goes to the police. I gather from the answer to the linked question that what happens in principle is that ...
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Could Derek Chauvin be retried?

Given Maxine Water's "abhorrent" conduct in Minneapolis (the judge's word, not mine) and the subsequent guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin, appeal(s) seem a virtual certainty. If a ...
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If my spouse gets arrested for domestic violence but I do not press charges, will that still be on his record?

First time I've ever called the authorities on my husband for Domestic Violence. He was arrested, however, I didn't press any charges, will it still be on his record?
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In the USA, can treason be protected by the First Amendment?

Mildred Gillars was convicted of treason September 10, 1948. As I understand it, first Amendment protects unpopular speech, but is confined and not unlimited. The classic example is that one can not ...
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Can an insurance company drop you after receiving a bill and refusing to pay?

In June of 2018, I had a dental procedure done that ended with a total cost of about $1400. At the time, I was under my parents dental insurance. The dentist office confirmed my policy and claimed ...
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Does the first amendment protect children forced to receive a religious education?

Many parents "force" their children to receive religious education. Does the children's U.S. First Amendment right to freedom of religion allow them to get the police to stop their parents ...
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Are these unsolicited seed packages illegal?

I recently came across an article with the headline "Some mystery seeds illegally sent from China identified." It struck me as odd because obviously sending unsolicited junk mail isn't ...
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I'm a trans woman. When can I deregister from the American draft registry?

When I was 18, I received a scary form from the Department of Defense telling me I had to sign up for something called “Selective Service” (or face prison time and other things). Not knowing any ...
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Which countries' inheritance laws apply?

My mother, a German national with a green card passed away recently. Her husband (my dad) of 59 years is an American citizen (born in US). My mother spent the majority of her adult years in the United ...
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Can a US citizen be required to provide the authentication key for encrypted data on a confiscated computer?

I'm asking this for the sake of a story I was considering writing. Assume that someone has a computer, and within that computer he has some encrypted data. He is accused of a crime and the police ...
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Can U.S. states establish state religions?

The first amendment says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the ...
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Is it illegal to throw away the previous tenant's standard mail?

Is it illegal to recycle standard mail addressed to, presumably, a previous tenant of an apartment? Context: I have received the mail for someone who I assume is a previous tenant of the apartment I ...
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Under which legislation was the NYC travel ban during the Jan 2016 blizzard permitted?

On 23rd January 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a travel ban on New York City roads as a safety measure ahead of heavy snow. James O'Neill, NYPD Chief of Department, stated that people violating ...
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What is the meaning of “Individual-1”?

During the Cohen trial last night, Trump was described as "Individual-1." Now I know they weren't trying to hide who this "Individual-1" was because they deliberately said that Individual-1 became ...
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Can US Supreme Court justices / judges be “rotated” out against their will?

In last night's US Presidential Debate, candidate and US Senator Bernie Sanders asserted the option of being able to "rotate" Supreme Court judges / justices to other courts. As quoted in The Hill: ...
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If elected, could Jo Jorgensen practically/theoretically pardon everybody convicted of victimless crime?

Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian Party candidate for US president in 2020, has said that if elected, she would pardon anyone convicted of a victimless crime. Ignoring the fact that Congress would impeach ...
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Can you get sued for producing excessively violent materials in the form of a book, movie or video game in the U.S.?

I am wondering if there are specific clause in the freedom of speech law in the U.S. that could get you in trouble.
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If I've been prosecuted for a crime by another country can the US prosecute me for the same crime afterwards?

Lets say that I commit a crime in which the USA and another country both have jurisdiction. As an example I, a US citizen, kill Bob, a citizen of country X, while we're located in Antartica. ...
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At an unlawful traffic stop, police searches the car and find the weapon used in a recent murder

Say that a murder was committed. Some time after, without any justifiable reason (perhaps on a hunch, or just by coincidence), a police officer stops a car, unlawfully searches it and stumbles upon ...
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What can I legally do with abandoned cars I found on property I recently bought?

They were not seen while inspecting the property prior to sale, because it's a large property and mostly the same throughout. We looked at aerial photography, but it appears they were left there after ...
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If I have posted my own “homebrew” content on RPG.SE, and plan to publish it (after revising based on feedback), what credits am I required to give?

I have posted numerous homebrew features on Role-playing Games Stack Exchange, and I have used advice gotten from that site to balance most of them. If, one day, I publish the subclass, would I be ...
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Is it legal in the US to watch pornography in public places?

This question popped up on the HNQ sometime over the last couple of days and it started a discussion in one of the chat rooms. https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/66409/is-watching-porn-in-...
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Is it legal to program a published game for educational purposes (and put the source code on GitHub)?

I own a card game that I enjoy playing (not a playing card game using a standard 52-card deck). I enjoy it enough that I thought it'd be fun to write a program (complete with AI!) that plays that game....