Questions tagged [us-constitution]

The United States Constitution is the primary legal document for the United States of America.

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Is it legal to crowdfund US federal legislation? Like a prize for whoever proposed an enacted law that allows abortions?

Is it legal to crowdfund US federal legislation? Like a prize for whoever proposed a law that gets enacted that brings back the protections for those seeking abortions? One way to fix the Roe vs Wade ...
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3 votes
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Could Congress create a court higher than the Supreme Court?

Could Congress create a court that could overrule SCOTUS decisions?
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Is there any legal way for a state to be expelled from the US?

This is similar to my question about legal secession, but with one major difference. Is there any way a state could be expelled from the US without its consent? A Constitutional amendment could do ...
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Is "packing the court" legal?

Why is the idea of "packing the court" so controversial? Wasn't the Constitution specifically designed to allow Congress and the President to "pack the court"?
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Why did the First Amendment not override the Copyright Clause?

Why does the First Amendment not override the Copyright Clause, making copyright an unconstitutional violation of freedom of speech and press?
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What part did the supreme court play in codifying the rights of veterans at a constitutional level?

With respect to the rights of veterans, what part has the supreme court played in codifying or striking down laws that were deemed to be constitutional\unconstitutional at either the state or federal ...
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What are the limits to extraterritorial jurisdiction of US states?

For the sake of argument, let's say a US state tries to criminalise a medical procedure that is completely legal in many other states. Has the Supreme Court ruled on the specific limits of that state'...
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After the fall of Roe vs. Wade, are women at risk of criminal prosecution?

The Supreme Court has reversed its previously held opinion of a constitutional right to abortion. Determining the legal status of abortion is now a matter of state law, and several states are likely ...
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What is the shortest possible time in which the Constitution could be amended?

What is the minimum amount of time required to amend the US Constitution? If the process needed to be expedited for some reason, and enough state legislatures agreed, could it be done in one day (or ...
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How has sneak-and-peak warrants been constitutionally defended?

There was a famous scene in the Sopranos where Tony Soprano got his house broken into by law "enforcement" with a sneak-and-peak warrant. I for many years thought this was fiction but it is ...
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What was the legal justification for Roe vs Wade?

The US Supreme Court has recently overturned the ruling that abortion is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Given that a layman's reading of the US constitution gives no mention of abortion, what ...
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How are any gun restrictions constitutional?

The Second Amendment says (emphasis mine): A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. How are any ...
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Constitutional Amdendment vs. Federal Law

Federal law -- and even the regulations written up by Federal agencies -- are no less (perhaps even more) binding, than the Constitution. But they are far easier to pass and alter. Are there any ...
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How are plea bargains legal?

The constitution says: The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury... Not: The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment or with the consent of the accused, ...
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If an investigation found that Trump actually won in 2020, would he become President again?

Note: By asking this question, I am not expressing, nor asking others to express, any viewpoint on who won in 2020. I'm asking about the legal consequences of a hypothetical scenario. Suppose some new ...
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How can California not honor a fishing/hunting license or driving instruction permit issued by Oregon?

(These are just examples; the question is more general; it applies to any states and any type of license.) California does not honor a driving instruction permit issued by another state if the holder ...
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What would happen if the entire Constitution was repealed?

What would happen if an amendment to the US constitution was passed repealing the entire constitution? What would the legal status of the states, DC, and the territories be after the dissolution of ...
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What happens if a Supreme Court decision is obviously wrong?

Edited to add this summary: What happens if the Supreme Court issues a ruling that is obviously unconstitutional, such as interpreting a clause to mean something no reasonable person would believe it ...
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Could the US abolish copyright?

I know this isn't politically feasible, but is it legally possible for the United States to abolish copyright? Could the government withdraw from all treaties that require copyright, then repeal all ...
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Is giving birth a function of immigration law in the US?

The federal govt has sole jurisdiction in making and enforcing immigration laws and regulations in the US. "The US immigration policy is regulated at the federal level. Although certain matters ...
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Dreamers legal status vs Unborn

The conservative argument that the Dreamers law is unconstitutional is that it ascribes equal protection to non-US citizens under the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment lays out clearly and explicitly ...
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Does the rebuilding of St Nicholas church building pose a constitutional problem?

One of the buildings that got destroyed during the 9/11 attacks was the St Nicholas Greek Orthodox church. It is busy being rebuilt. I'm assuming that some sort of government funding involved. Is ...
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Is prohibiting possession of obscene publications unconstitutional?

In the Supreme Court Case Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557 (1969), the Court declared that the "mere private possession of obscene matter cannot constitutionally be made a crime", at 559. ...
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Is a state law protecting a non-citizen fetus unconstitutional?

The Constitution and 14th Amendment expressly list protecting citizens as a core responsibility of Government. However, a fetus is not a citizen until it is born. The IRS defines as US person as ...
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How likely would H.R.6930 - Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act be to hold up in SCOTUS?

The bill in question creates an extrajudicial mechanism for asset seizure which seems to directly violate the 8th amendment and extremely similar to the situation deemed unconstitutional in Austin v. ...
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Removal from office through the 14th amendment

The 14th Amendment, Article 3 of the US Constitution: No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, ...
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Tinker Standard: Theoretical or Actual?

So, when applying the Tinker standard, is the question whether or not a student’s activities is theoretically disruptive, or actually disruptive? Case: Tinker v. Des Moines To put the question into ...
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What is the SCOTUS's standard of *dangerousness* in decisions of involuntary psychiatric commitment?

It seems that the standard of immediacy/imminence of the dangerousness was not ever that well defined by the SCOTUS. This is the best, most comprehensive reference on the matter that I've been able to ...
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Does the "Interstate Commerce Clause" prohibit local or state government from "boycotting" another state

Recently I read that some municipalities in California are restricting "official travel" to Florida and Texas, presumable over legislation they consider objectionable. In the past, I know ...
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Why doesn't the U.S. sanctions against individuals violate the bill of attainder law?

Recently the United States has been applying sanctions against individuals, such as Vladimir Putin's adult daughters. This isn't a new thing by any stretch, but I wondered recently why this isn't ...
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What is the meaning of the Contracts Clause?

The contracts clause establishes that no state may make any law "impairing the Obligation of Contracts." I am curious about the use of language here. In particular, the use of the verb form &...
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How do states sue each other?

As I understand it one of Scotus jobs is to mediate inter-state litigation. Did this happen with equal regularity over the years or was this something that happened mainly when the union was new? Is ...
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Can a rape victim's DNA be used against them in criminal proceedings?

This question arose after a recent revelation from the San Francisco DA, who said that DNA of rape victims that were gathered when performing a rape kit test1 was used to identify a criminal suspect ...
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What does it mean to "hold and enjoy" an office?

US Constitution, Article 1, Section 3, Clause 7: Judgment in Cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, ...
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Can the Vice President vote themselves into positions of power?

With the retirement of Stephen Breyer from the Supreme Court, and Biden's promise to nominate a Black woman to fill the vacancy, some of the most far-fetched speculation about the nominee has involved ...
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Does the United States Constitution allow the President to refuse to enforce a law on the basis that they don't agree with it?

Article 2 section 3 of the United States Constitution states, in part: "[The President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" (Source: https://constitution.congress.gov/...
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What happens if no one gets 270 electoral votes in the U.S. presidential election and the Congress fails to elect a president and vice president?

This link explains how the House of Representatives elects the president and vice president if nobody gets at least 270 electoral votes in the election. But what happens if the Congress fails to elect ...
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Can the Senate conduct a quorum without informing the Senators they don't get along with?

Suppose party X holds 50 seats in the Senate, and party Y another 50. Party Y always tries to get in party X's way and has some backing in doing so by a minority from Party X Suppose most senators of ...
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Legality of IRS requiring taxpayers to swear to statements

The IRS requires taxpayers to swear under "penalties of perjury" to their statements and figures given concerning their income. Since obviously this constitutes a potential incrimination, it ...
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Does US law make a distinction between fair and unfair discrimination?

In South Africa the term fair/unfair discrimination is often used to illustrate between lawful and unlawful discrimination. I get annoyed when they have the anti racism campaigns in English football ...
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Forced to sign an affidavit not to violate the law in the future?

I applied to my Connecticut city’s Building Dept. for a permit to finish my basement, which will not have a bedroom and therefore not require an egress window. In order to issue me a permit, the ...
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How does the gridlock protect minorities?

In this video, at 6:32, Justice Scalia was talking about the separation of powers. In fact, the Bill of Rights was an afterthought, and the "initial" Constitution did not include a Bill of ...
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2 votes
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Are agencies controlled by the President or not? How much control is enough for a textualist to accept the Chevron doctrine?

In this video, at 11:20 Justice Scalia says: Congress created a series of agencies insulated from presidential control In the same video, at 57:06, in answering a question about the Chevron doctrine,...
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What did Scalia mean when he said that the Constitution "explicitly" protects racial minorities?

I was watching this video of Justice Scalia's remarks. At 1:10:36, Justice Scalia answers a question about Brown v. Board of Education. Because Justice Scalia has previously said that it's not the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Would a person born in a state which later joined the United States be considered a natural born citizen of the United States?

Suppose that a person was born in a independent state and later (i.e. after the birth) this state was admitted into the United States. Would such a person be considered a natural born citizen of the ...
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Why would the founding fathers allow women to be president but not to vote?

The only requirements to be president are 35 years of age, 14 years of residence, and being a natural born citizen. This has been in the Constitution since the original ratification in 1789. But women'...
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Constitutional Basis for Federal Criminal Law and Illegalization of Murder at the Federal Level

I'm curious about the constitutional basis for federal criminal law (in America). The necessary and proper clause seems to be such a basis: "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper ...
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7 votes
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Can you plead the 5th in a civil case?

There seems to be the idea that the right not to self-incriminate does not apply to civil cases. Is that true?
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Can your silence be used against you?

Miranda rights say you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say can be used against you. My question is, can the exercise of this right be used against you at a trial? It seems that ...
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Is civil disobedience advocacy protected by the "imminent lawless action" test?

It is well known that speech is protected in the US unless it is both intended to cause imminent lawless action and likely to bring about/cause imminent lawless action. My issue is that by this ...
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