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Questions tagged [us-constitution]

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

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Additional question regarding state authority and masks

This is a followup to this question It shall be unlawful for any person over 16 years of age to, with the intent to conceal his identity, wear any mask, hood or other device whereby a ...
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Can guns be controlled asymmetrically?

The Second Amendment is oft quoted as the reason that guns cannot be completely removed from American society, at least not without some sort of further amendment to the US Constitution. But what ...
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Requirement that members of the US Electoral College vote for candidates from two different states [closed]

In Art. II, Sec. 1 of the US Constitution, what is the reasoning for the requirement that the Electors vote for two persons, "of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with ...
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US Constitution - Art. 1 Section 7

Why the duplicative language at the end of Art. 1. Sec. 7 as to the process for presenting and vetoing legislation in the last two paragraphs? Article 1, Section 7: 1: All Bills for raising ...
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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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Who actually enforces the bill of rights

The US bill of rights was constructed to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public ...
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Does the sixth amendment protect the right to compulsory process for other types of evidence?

As an example, would it protect the right for a defendant to get a subpoena for phone company records to try an establish an alibi? Read literally, the compulsory process clause only provides "...
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Can Congress authorize suits against states in pursuance to the Fifteenth Amendment?

In Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer, 427 U.S. 445 (1976), the Court held that Congress may, in determining what is "appropriate legislation" for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of the Fourteenth ...
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What is prospective relief and executory decree?

In Plaut v Spendthrift Farm the court decided that a federal statute that requires federal courts to reopen final judgments that were ordered before the statute's enactment is unconstitutional on ...
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The necessary and proper clause

The Necessary and Proper Clause grants Congress broad authority to enact federal legislation” (U.S. v. Comstock) by “adopt[ing] any means, appearing to it most eligible and appropriate” (James Everard’...
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is a state-run monopoly a market participant?

Hypo: A state wishes to tax alcohol to raise revenue while at the same time protect their local producers. They have settled on accomplishing this by prohibiting the sale of liquor in privately-owned ...
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Are civil ICE detainees unconstitutionally punished, if the conditions in ICE centers are more restrictive(punitive) than maximum security prison?

Jurisdiction: Texas Facts: Juan Martinez at 19 years of age pleaded guilty to distribution of undisclosed controlled substance in exchange for 5 years of probation.( Lets say violation of Texas ...
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Is there a gap in the office of Speaker of the House?

In the current Congressional elections, the control of the House of Representatives is changing from one party to another, and the current Speaker did not run for re-election. In this situation, is ...
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The “compact” in “Agreement or Compact” (U.S. Constitution): legal terminology

The word compact is used in the "Compact clause" of the Constitution of the United States: "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress [...] enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State ...
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Potential indictment of Assange and jurisdiction

I was discussing this sealed indictment against Julian Assange with my wife and she was making the argument that this is not an attack against freedom of the press as granted by the Constitution. She ...
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Is the removal of Jim Acosta's White House press pass a violation of the 1st Amendment?

Jim Acosta of CNN asked President Trump a question. Trump ordered him to put the mike down, and a young intern tried to take it off him. Acosta's press pass was subsequently revoked. Let's assume the ...
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How can the President appoint Whitaker as Acting Attorney General?

Today the president asked for and received the Attorney General’s resignation. Then it was announced that the DOJ Chief of Staff, Matthew Whitaker would be the Acting AG and according to the Hill, ...
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Is American citizenship automatic when born on US soil?

The US constitution states that All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they ...
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Confirming a new vice-president

Whenever the Office of President of the United States becomes vacant, whether by resignation, impeachment, ill health, whatever, the reason is immaterial. Naturally, the Vice President takes over ...
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What is the meaning of “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” in the 14th amendment?

In the fourteenth amendment, what does the phrase “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” contribute? What people born in the United States would not have been subject to the jurisdiction of the ...
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How is 14th amendment applicable to tourists and illegal immigrants?

14th amendment states "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States...". Given this wording how is it that foreign ...
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What does “corruption of blood” mean?

Having read this question, it makes reference to treason, to which part of it states: The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work ...
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Would it be considered treason to help plan the movement of a migrant caravan to the border?

Stefan Molyneaux, on Twitter, said: If even one American is found to be one of the forces behind the Honduran ‘caravan,’ that’s straight up treason. He is referring to the migrant caravan that ...
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Can a government sue it's citizens for “libel”?

If a citizen of a nation is deliberately spreading lies against a given government of a country (let's say U.S. federal or state government) to undermine it's capacity to act properly then can the ...
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How are cryptocurrencies not illegal by the US Constitution?

The United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8 reads in part, The Congress shall have Power To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin. From this passage, I understand ...
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Could the Supreme Court prohibit abortion? (And other misconceptions about overturning Roe v Wade)

Here's my layman's understanding of Roe v Wade: A state had a law prohibiting abortion; That law was challenged all the way up to the Supreme Court; The Supreme Court found a right to abortion in the ...
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How are Trump's actions against NFL protesters not a violation of Constitutional rights?

I've been casually following the NFL player protests against injustice in modern America. Often the controversy is centered around players like Colin Kaepernick, whose career seems to be over even ...
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Does prohibition on titles of nobility make presumption of guilt impossible?

The US Constitution prohibits the US government from granting titles of nobility (article I, section 9, clause 8). Has it ever been formally established that giving any group, X, a priority of ...
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Are there only two, or are there three, forms of conventional involuntary servitude in the antebellum U.S.A.?

In 1865 the 13th Amendment provided that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime, shall exist in the United States. I have heard it said that slavery and indentured ...
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Are government fees considered taxes?

Are government fees, like the one for getting a passport or a drivers licence, considered taxes from a constitutional perspective? To clarify I am not asking for income tax purposes. I suppose it ...
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Procedure if two separate district courts issue nationwide and contradictory injunctions?

One issue that has not been conclusively decided by the courts is the constitutionality of DACA protections. For example, the Supreme Court has not ruled on whether or not DACA is constitution. Since ...
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14th Amendment and citizenship

Would it be fair to say that the 14th Amendment had the effect of simplifying laws pertaining to citizenship in the U.S.A.? Can the contrasts between the nature of citizenship before and after the ...
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Can a sitting U.S. president be imprisoned without impeachment?

A sitting U.S. president can not be indicted for federal crimes as a matter of constitutional separation of powers and DOJ policy, among other reasons. The president's constitutional protections and ...
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Broadness of definition of treason in the US constitution

Does article 3 only refer to adhering to state enemies, or can these enemies be corporate, or individual? Corporate as akin to private armies before the barons got checked (even say aiding ISIS ...
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What establishes the U.S. as a common law country?

Its well known that the U.S. is a common law country, but I'm not sure if that's codified anywhere (like the U.S. constitution) or if just happened organically because that's the way its always been. ...
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What is the meaning of “High crimes and misdemeanors”

I have searched the internet for a coherent statement of the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors”, especially in the context of presidential impeachment. I have not been very successful. ...
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When was pretrial detention first declared constitutional?

I assume that early on in American history, pretrial detention was at some point challenged for its constitutionality. Is that the case? I have also heard that pretrial detention is illegal as a ...
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Does the oath to “defend the Constitution” impose any extra responsibility on Judges?

As per Article Six of the United States Constitution, ... all ... judicial Officers shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution ... (the text is codified in 5 U.S. Code § ...
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Is social security constitutionally protected public debt?

Section IV of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution says "The validity of the public debt of the United States... shall not be questioned." The Social Security trust fund is currently projected ...
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At what point do immigrants acquire the right to due process

I am asking this because president Trump is calling for sending immigrants who approach the border from Mexico to be sent back without due process. I strongly suspect that it is illegal but a lot of ...
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Why is sports gambling not considered interstate commerce?

It is generally agreed that the United States can prohibit intrastate sales of goods it feels might affect interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause. How does intrastate gambling differ? ...
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How did John Marshall utilise "the trick of first announcing a novel rule in a case in which he concludes that the rule does not apply?

Source: Richard A. Posner, How Judges Think (2008), pp. 363 Bottom - 364 Top. Yet without a secure constitutional basis, Barak created a degree of judicial power undreamt of by our most aggressive ...
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Can Congress issue a legislative pardon?

Suppose that the President did not want to pardon someone, but Congress passed a private bill excusing a person from a violation of a law. Suppose this bill became law (either through inaction of the ...
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Can a Presidential pardon nullify a search warrant?

Where the US government has seized private property pursuant to a search warrant in a criminal investigation, what would happen to that property if the President were to pardon the suspect(s) under ...
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How is the “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017” constitutional?

H.R.1865, known as the "Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017", recently passed both chambers of Congress and was signed into law by president trump. I'm not a lawyer, ...
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Does interpreting a law differently violate equal protection?

A woman in South Africa was recently sentenced for yelling very racist slurs at four black police officers. According to a New York Times article, “Past racists who have come to court have been ...
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Legal Right to Own Nukes

As per the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution one has to wonder if there are any restrictions with regard to the type (or destructiveness) of arm you shall bear. If someone could ...
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Voting while serving a sentence for felonious refusal to pay taxes

Last I heard (but my information may not be up to date) in 49 48 of the 50 states in the U.S., persons serving a sentence for a felony are not allowed to vote. Suppose a person is convicted of a ...
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Are US states bound by the US constitution when it comes to gun rights?

I am confused by a basic feature of US constitutional law. Does the US constitution restrict state laws as well as federal ones? Specifically, can a state law (or even a city law) ban the ...
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Is there a precedent or contingency to re-do an election disrupted by war, natural disaster, epidemic, terrorism or fraud?

I'm wondering about a situation where the election process clearly failed or was disrupted, leaving multiple people claiming to have won, and nobody confident in the result. Is there any plan in place,...