Questions tagged [us-constitution]

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

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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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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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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 ...
-6 votes
1 answer
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What would happen if the entire Constitution was repealed?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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Could the President abolish the Supreme Court?

Article II, Section 2, of the US Constitution states: [The President] shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and ...
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How long can the Senate hold up nominations?

Article II, Section 2, of the US Constitution states: [The President] shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and ...
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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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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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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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Does the Right to Counsel require qualifications?

In the U.S. the Constitution has been interpreted as requiring that anyone arrested be allowed, at their request, to consult with a lawyer before being questioned, and to have one present during ...
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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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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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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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21st Amendment defence against drug crimes

I think it can be argued that Congress, by making the prohibition of alcohol unconstitutional, intended to remove the problems of prohibition, specifically, organized crime. Would my logic be sound ...
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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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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 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 meant by direct Taxes in Article 1 Section 2 in the US Constitution?

I am new when it comes to understanding the US Constitution and I am not comfortable with Section 2, Paragraph 3 of Article 1! [Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the ...
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Can the States be taxed by the Federal Government in the US

Article 1 section 2 paragraph 3 states that representatives and taxes may be assigned to each state based on their population. So this might be the answer to my question. But there are several ...
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Changing the name of one of the United States

Does the law have anything clear to say about changing the name of a state in the United States? What I know is: Maybe a couple of decades ago there was discussion in North Dakota of changing the ...
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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 was the rationale to have the US Bill of Rights only apply at the federal level, not at the state-level?

Originally, the US Bill of Rights did not apply at the state level; only the federal level. For instance, the right for a criminal to be represented by counsel, granted by the 6th Amendment, did not ...
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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 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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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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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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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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What crimes are senators and representatives immune of?

Art. 1 Sect. 6 Cl. 1 of the Constitution states that [Part 1] The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury ...

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