Questions tagged [us-constitution]

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

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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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968 views

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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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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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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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Can’t Justice Roberts even veto unusual hours for impeachment trial?

Granted that the Senate sets all the important rules for the trial, John Roberts is still the presiding officer. I would have thought he has more authority than a court stenographer has. Since there’s ...
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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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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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Why isn't stalling an impeachment considered an obstruction of justice?

First and foremost, is it correct to consider the process of impeachment and removal, in the US Constitution, a process of justice, but one administered in a political context? (That is, the opposite ...
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What prevents the DOJ from charging Democrats in Congress under U.S. Code § 2383?

18 U.S. Code § 2383 states Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or ...
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Consequences of Article VI, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution and the 11th Article of Confederation

Article VI, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States, known as the Engagements Clause, says: All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, ...
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Does the concept of fairness and due process apply only to the defendant or to the prosecution as well?

"Fairness" isn't mentioned in the constitution but due process is and I would think typically applies to a defendant - someone who has been accused of a crime. But is there a concept where the ...
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Can articles of impeachment be repealed?

Suppose the House of Representatives of the United States impeaches a federal officer such as the president or a federal judge, etc. Can they repeal that act before the Senate tries the case?
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By what legislative process could the United States of America be renamed?

A country retains an identity when its name is changed. There are institutions in a country that exist independently of the name of the country. What processes would these institutions accept as ...
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Could the administration justify a rescission of DACA with being anti-Latino?

Let's assume that the Supreme Court will let stand the lower courts' decisions: That rescinding DACA for the bare-bones reason that it is illegal does not meet the criteria laid out in the ...
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What does the US Constitution mean by “bribery”?

The US Constitution mentions several specific crimes as impeachable offences. Among these is "bribery". In the English language as it existed at the time of the framers, did this single term refer ...
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Does encoding constitutional rights in state law have any effect?

According to https://local12.com/news/local/student-religious-liberty-act-sponsor-says-it-protects-rights-critics-say-its-not-needed, Rep. Catherine Ingram argued that a recent bill in Ohio - ...
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If Virginia ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, would it go into effect?

In the Nov 2019 election, the Democrats won the majority of both Virginia state houses, and there is some discussion that Virginia could be the 38th state to ratify the (proposed) Equal Rights ...
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Could Trump shoot 100 House Democrats and avoid prosecution, at least while in office?

A lawyer for Trump named Consovoy said in court that Trump was immune from prosecution even if he shot someone in the street. If Trump killed 100 House Dems, then the Democrats would certainly no ...
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Bill of Rights protection against mandatory vaccination?

Does the the "privacy" protection afforded by the Bill of Rights covers unwanted medical treatments, including unwanted drug taking, notably mandatory vaccines?
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Does the part of the First Amendment about Free Speech apply to non citizens everywhere?

The question is very simple: does the free speech protection provided by the First Amendment apply to non US citizens and does it apply anywhere, outside US territory, protecting these people as ...
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Is the restriction on receiving a “present” in the Emoluments Clause applicable?

The Emolument Clause: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept ...
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Would a confession obtained via Wonder Woman's Magic Lasso be admissible in US court, or any court?

There's a scene in Justice League (the movie from 2017) where a policewoman is taking down the stories of three criminals who are wrapped in in Wonder Woman's magic Lasso. The Lasso does a couple of ...
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What law grants life tenure to federal judges in the US?

In the United States, what law grants life tenure to federal judges? The Good Behaviour Clause of the Constitution says: The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their ...
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Can Congress overrule Marbury v. Madison by statute?

Can the United States' Congress pass a statute (by simply majority of both houses, then signed into law by the President) which says: Using the power granted to us by Article III, Section 2, clause ...
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355 views

Contours of a national emergency in the United States

Are there any 'bright lines' that prevent an administration (not just the current administration, but future administrations as well) from regularly resorting to the national security argument when it ...
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Legal test of the constitutional authority Congress to impose wage and price controls

In 1971, using authority delegated to him by Congress, President Nixon imposed wage and price controls to try to get inflation under control. This was known as the Nixon Shock. There was a district ...
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Is the US Constitution binding for the US President?

I understand that the President of the United States has some immunity against the law. This makes sense to protect the president from interference and allows for flexibility. To a European cursory ...
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Is the 14th amendment restriction on apportionment applied to women after the 19th amendment?

Part of the second clause of the 14th amendment reads: when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in ...
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Can a business run a contest that excludes residents of certain states?

Suppose a business in a state wants to run a contest for its customers. For this example, say it's a snowshoe race. However in order to make the competition more interesting, they want to limit the ...
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On the federal level, does the Constitution actually mandate that “no one above the law”?

Background In the United States, there is a principle that was popular amongst the founding fathers called "no one is above the law" according to Thomas Paine, and described in the Massachusetts ...
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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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389 views

Which supersedes the other, laws or treaties?

The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution states that the Constitution, laws and treaties are the supreme law of the land. Obviously, the Constitution supersedes both laws and treaties, but which ...
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What do “constitutional” and “unconstitutional” really mean in the US?

People in the US often talk about how some laws, decisions, ruling, executive orders are "unconstitutional", but what does that word mean? Does "constitutional" mean "obeying only the Constitution", ...
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Can a US state pass/enforce a law stating that a group of people owe money to the state government?

What restrictions or prohibitions does the US Constitution or federal law set in place for states requiring citizens to pay money to the government? If my understanding is correct, there are several "...

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