Questions tagged [us-constitution]

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

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Does torture violate the US Federal Constitution, and if so under which theory?

We all know about the tortures that took place at Abu Ghraib prison. However, Justice Scalia explains to us that torture does not offend the US Federal Constitution. As Justice Scalia explained to us, ...
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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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What's the point of a subpoena if you can just invoke the fifth amendment?

I always thought a subpoena was an order to produce evidence or testimony, but I recently realized that you can just invoke the fifth amendment if you're served a subpoena. Given the complicated ...
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Has the fugitive slave clause of the US constitution been used since passage of the 13th Amendment?

The Wikipedia article on the 'Fugitive Slave Clause' of the US constitution (Art. IV § 2(3)) says (emphasis added): The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which ...
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Can Congress restrict which individuals are eligible to serve as federal judges?

Federal judges in the United States are appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. The constitution does not impose any restrictions on who may be appointed and confirmed as ...
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Clarification on Amendment XIV

Amendment XIV says: But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and ...
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Michael Jackson trial and the constitutionality of gag orders

In this page, Wikipedia says that in the Michael Jackson 2005 trial (People v. Jackson) the judge: put a gag order on both sides Erwin Chemerinsky says (link, at the time of 1:53:37) that gag orders ...
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How often, if ever, has the Supreme Court cited the Natural Moral Law in a majority decision?

I think it's cited occasionally by justices like Clarence Thomas, but it seems only when he's in the minority advocating something that most people see as being inline with his Catholicism under the ...
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What distinguishes hate speech from harassment in the US?

In the United States, hate speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution no matter how morally repugnant it is. But harassment is a crime and is therefore not protected. Here are ...
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Would the federal decriminalization of marijuana under the MORE act supersede state-level criminal statutes?

Bill in question I haven't been able to find a clear answer to this question. I'm aware that there exists the Supremacy Clause which says that state laws cannot contradict federal laws. Another way of ...
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U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876) decision

Background According to my textbook: In Cruikshank ... the [Supreme] Court ruled that voting rights remained a state prerogative unless the state itself violated those rights. So long as the civil ...
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Compensation for gays charged under sodomy laws after Lawrence v Texas

I’m not an American or legally trained, but I’m wondering if there has ever been any compensation awarded to homosexuals fined under sodomy laws, after those laws were found to be unconstitutional. My ...
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Can the US Congress subpoena witnesses for any arbitrary reason?

This question was prompted by the headline on October 15, 2020 that the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on whether to subpoena the CEO of Twitter for suppressing certain political content. This ...
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Is the typo in the 25th amendment significant?

The fourth section of the 25th amendment to the US constitution provides for the president to be declared unfit involuntarily. The first of its two paragraphs describes the declaration itself, made ...
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Could the 14th amendment, section 3, keep Trump from holding office for a second term?

It seems widely agreed upon that even if a President breaks a law, he can only be removed from office through the impeachment process. However, could an incumbent president who wins a second term be ...
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Who succeeds to a political party's presidential candidacy if the candidate withdraws before the election?

If a president and simultaneously a presidential candidate Trump would have to quit before the November vote the remainder of his presidency would of course be assumed by Pence, his VP and running ...
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Can a jury find a defendant guilty on a charge for which the defendant was not arraigned?

Can a jury find a defendant guilty on a charge for which the defendant was not arraigned? For example, if a defendant is indicted on a charge of manslaughter can the jury convict him of murder?
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The phrase "by and with the [Advice and] consent of the Senate is defined once in the U.S. Constitution

The constitution introduces the phrase "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate" and clarifies that "consent" means "provided 2/3 of the Senators present concur"...
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Can the Speaker of the House expel senators from the Hall of the House before all electoral votes have been counted?

A recent article in The Atlantic 1 goes through some rather dire hypothetical scenarios in which constitutional crises arise during the upcoming Presidential elections. One of their scenarios ...
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Are US Senate impeachment convictions reviewable by the Supreme Court

Alan Dershowwitz argues that a conviction of any President by the US Senate would be unconstitutional under certain circumstances. Please see his book and his television interviews for those certain ...
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Can the US Senate be abolished without unanimous consent of the States?

Article V of the US Constitution states, in part: and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate. It has been suggested elsewhere that abolishing the ...
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What exactly is a “title of nobility” under the US Constitution?

Article 1, sections 9 & 10 of the US constitution prohibit granting titles of nobility by the federal government or the states. What exactly is a title of nobility for these purposes? Why is (say) ...
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Amendment disallowing more amendments

What would happen if a constitutional amendment were passed that forbade the passing of any more amendments? Would it be able to achieve that, or would something get in the way? I realize this would ...
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How can the US House of Representatives transition to be elected by proportional representation? Would editing “PL 2 USC 2c” work?

Here is context for my question: I am a student studying political science. I am researching policy that could be used to dismantle the stranglehold that the Democratic and Republican parties have on ...
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Were the US Articles of Confederation formally repealed?

The Constitutional Convention was originally intended to revise the Articles of Confederation. At some point, the framers decided to start from scratch instead, and produced the Constitution, which ...
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Has there been a SCOTUS case which clarified the meaning of the phrase “to promote the progress of science and useful arts”?

The US constitution article 1 section 8 gives the Congress an enumerated power "to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the ...
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Who becomes President if no candidate for President or for Vice-President has been selected at noon, January 20th?

The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution , Article 3, deals with the situation where no President or Vice President has qualified on January 20. Section 3 If, at the time fixed for the beginning ...
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How Do States [Arizona] Amend the Federal Constitution?

How do states (specifically Arizona) amend the United States federal constitution? How do states amend the federal constitution without permission/cooperation from the US federal congress? What is the ...
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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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Are curfew-like warrants possible?

I understand that curfew laws are a concern due to the possibility of use of them to violate the constitutionally protected rights of individuals. Even in the face of pandemic-level health concerns, ...
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Can the government outlaw excessive spending on defense counsel?

Suppose a jurisdiction in the United States wanted to pass a law limiting the amount of money that a defendant could spend on counsel, to try to prevent a very wealthy person from assembling a dream ...
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Does “district” in the Sixth Amendment include state judicial districts?

The Sixth Amendment refers to: "an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law" ...
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fortune-telling a NY crime, is it a dead letter?

Fortune-telling for pay is a misdemeanor in New York State if "he claims or pretends to tell fortunes, or holds himself out as being able, by claimed or pretended use of occult powers, to answer ...
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Is US citizenship confirmation required for constitutional protection

I've been watching a lot of 1st Amendment audit videos and I understand that filming in public is guaranteed to any US citizen. I also understand that if no crime is committed, no US citizen cannot be ...
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Could Executive Order 9066 be repeated with other groups today?

In World War II, Executive Order 9066 suspended basic rights of Japanese Americans - even people whose loyalty to the United States was never questioned, though the government feared the group as a ...
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Where is Arizona's [and other states] timezone defined?

Where is the timezone defined for Arizona? Is it in the Arizona constitution? Is it in Arizona Revised Statutes? Is it in the United States constitution? Is it in the United States Code? Where is ...
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What is the Constitutional justification for Federal gun possession laws?

The US Constitution reserves to the states all powers not expressly delegated to the Federal government. What is the Constitutional provision that allows for Federal laws such as the law that felons ...
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Can the US President and Senate redefine the calendar year to extend the presidential term?

I was recently watching a video about what would happen if the US president tried to cancel or postpone the election. From what I gather, the 20th amendment ensures that his term will end on January ...
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Under McCulloh vs Maryland can the Feds do anything?

Under McCulloh vs Maryland (The Bank of United States case) which held that the supremacy clause precludes state taxation of Federal functions; can States and localities enforce traffic rules against ...
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Executive Powers In The United States

Recently, Trump placed a travel ‘ban’ on non-citizens of the US and people from some other countries without direct relations with citizens of the US from travelling to the US during the pandemic. ...
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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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Are there any restrictions on the taxes or duties a U.S. state can levy?

The U.S. Constitution's "Commerce Clause" (Article I, Section 8) grants the federal government authority to regulate interstate commerce. The same section contains the "Taxing and Spending Clause" ...
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Are open letters protected by freedom of speech? Any court precedents?

I would like to know if there is legal precedent protecting the freedom of speech in distributing an open letter or something similar. A friend owns a unit in a condominium, and since day one she has ...
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Freedom of speech vs freedom of the press

Are there any substantial legal distinctions between the First Amendment's right of freedom of speech compared to freedom of the press? I'm specifically looking for any distinctions officially drawn ...
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Who are the “inferior officers” of the federal government?

A part of Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States says this: He [the President] ... shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall ...
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Has the selective draft been tested constitutionally and how has it been defended as being fair gender discrimination?

This question is related to this one. What is the history of the selective draft and how has it's constitutionality been tested and defended? It is not as if women cannot be drafted, it is the case ...
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Does impeachment conviction necessarily imply removal from office?

The relevant bits of Article 1 Section 3 state that: Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of ...
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Can an impeachment charge be dismissed on the grounds of double jeopardy?

Two impeachment articles were drafted by the House and then sent to the Senate Abuse of Power Obstruction of Congress. Now say the senate looks at the original articles and underlying evidence and ...
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What is the theory that allows a state to appeal a judgment of its own supreme court to the US Supreme Court?

Suppose John Doe is facing criminal prosecution in Florida. He raises a 4th Amendment issue, and the Florida Supreme Court grants him relief. At this point, the state of Florida can appeal to the US ...

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