Questions tagged [us-constitution]

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

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1answer
154 views

Has a sentencing manipulation defense ever held water?

Has a sentencing manipulation defense ever held water? It seems as if this form of injustice is considered possible but being ignored by the courts.
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Can a public defender threaten a defendant into signing a plea using false promises?

Can a public defender threaten someone into signing using strong methods such as this? "If you don't sign this plea for 15 years, I promise the state will prosecute you for 25 years and win!!!"
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Is not raising a mitigation argument, ineffective assistance of counsel?

If a defendant's counsel does not raise a mitigation argument, is that considered ineffective assistance of counsel?
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Does prior illegal police action render possession of prescription medication involuntary?

Does prior illegal police action render possession of prescription medication involuntary? For example, police filling a fraudulent prescription through a pharmacist instead of making an arrest.
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How can felons be denied Constitutional rights?

The 2nd Amendment grant all people a right to bear arms: 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 ...
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What does "without apportionment" mean in the 16th amendment of U.S. Constitution?

Here's the text of the 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the ...
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Does the US Government have the constitutional authority to ban alcohol?

This is something that has always confused me. In 1919 the US Constitution was amended to ban alcohol. That amendment was repealed in 1933. Then in 1970 an act of Congress banned a large number of ...
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1answer
208 views

Video Recording Cops

I was wondering of the USA legalities of maintaining recorded video with audio when it comes to cops pulling you over while driving for whatever reason? I wasn't sure if you have to verbally tell ...
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Can the President be removed from office if he is deemed, by competent authority, to be unfit to carry out his duties?

Suppose, for example, that a sitting President is diagnosed with a mental illness that a competent authority decides makes the President unable to carry out his duties, but the President refuses to ...
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What argument supports a right to bear arms but denies a right to bear nuclear weapons?

Per the second amendment: A lot of people really want to be able to declare that they can own any weapon they want but then the argument absurd is always, "Well that means you could own a nuke too." ...
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1answer
217 views

Can a US government official legally deny they are a US government official

I was wondering if it is illegal or legal for a US government official/employee to deny that they work as a US government official/employee, even if they are requested to deny this information(I'm not ...
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2answers
254 views

Who enjoys freedom of the press?

In the 18th century it was decided that in the U.S.A. "freedom of the press" would prevail. "The press" is the printing press, a technology for mass-producing copies on paper. Thus freedom of the ...
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261 views

If a lesser crime imposes the same or greater sentence as a more severe crime, is the punishment considered cruel?

If a lesser crime imposes the same or greater sentence as a more severe crime, is the punishment considered cruel? One example, possessing a bottle of pills imposes a harsher sentence, longer term of ...
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What (if any) position is the highest office in the line of succession that someone ineligible to be president could hold?

"Can a young US Vice President follow in the line of succession?" was a question that sparked my interest. The answer to that questions is that a VP must actually be legally able to be President, as ...
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Can a young US Vice President follow in the line of succession?

As far as I know, the VPOTUS (Vice President of the United States) has no age limitations. With that, could a 30 year-old VPOTUS serve as president under the line of succession in the event the POTUS ...
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2answers
161 views

To what extent can a public college regulate the speech of its students?

My community college's "Student Rights" webpage states that the College District will not tolerate any discriminatory behavior on the part of its students. Now, I'm not advocating discrimination, but ...
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1answer
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Is what constitutes outrageous conduct clearly defined in the statutes?

Are there any objective rules or guidelines used to determine whether a police officer's conduct was outrageous?
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816 views

Full faith and credit to Vermont

In 1777 the politicians of Vermont published a litany of grievances against the government of New York and declared that thenceforward they considered Vermont a separate state pledging no allegiance ...
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Does the Fourteenth Amendment give community college students the right to distribute election materials at any time?

I am a student at a local community college that is, to my knowledge, owned and operated by the county's department of education. One day, the student organization was hosting a barbecue. Student ...
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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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5answers
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Is slavery Illegal in the United States?

I have been bothered by the phrasing of the 13th Amendment since I first read it, in particular the bold: Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime ...
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Does the "a well regulated militia" part of the 2nd Amendment apply only to militias?

I'm currently debating the topic of gun control with a few people I know personally, and someone in the debate brought up the "a well regulated militia" part of the 2nd Amendment, saying that it's ...
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1answer
109 views

Does Congress have the authority to enact laws that govern small businesses?

Suppose Mike's Bikes, a store that attracts primarily customers from the local area, is in violation of some provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Mike's lawyer challenges the ...
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Can a police officer authorize the sale of a pharmacy's drugs to a suspected criminal without paying for the drugs first?

Can a police officer authorize the sale of a pharmacy's drugs to a suspected criminal without paying for the drugs first? Does this violate the United States or State Constitutions?
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What's the constitutionality of the debt ceiling?

Section IV of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution says the validity of the debt "shall not be questioned." Yet, Congress plays politics with the debt ceiling (as put in this Atlantic article, ...
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How could Congress legally abolish the death penalty in all states?

Let us suppose that a sufficiently large majority of the US Congress, with the agreement of the President, decided that the death penalty should be abolished throughout the nation, both at the federal ...
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Does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights override the United States Constitution?

Does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights override the United States Constitution when it comes to the rights of civilians?
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If a federal bill reduces a sentence for a crime, can a prisoner get relief at the state level?

If a federal bill reduces a sentence for a crime, can a prisoner get relief at the state level, possibly by stating the original sentence was cruel and unusual punishment?
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2answers
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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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2answers
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Are US Senate/House rules legally enforcible?

Suppose, for example, that the Senate is considering the passage of a law. A Senator has decided to open a filibuster. After a half hour, the majority leader tires of hearing this Senator speak. He ...
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2answers
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What is the justification for curfew laws?

It's Halloween, and some municipalities are creating curfew laws intended to prevent people under 18 from being in public during the late night hours, for example South Brunswick, NJ. It seems like ...
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4answers
489 views

Do I have a Constitutonal right to refuse to answer questions asked by CBP - whether they are on the declaration form or in person

The Fifth Amendment states "no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself". The Supreme Court, in US v. Miranda, ruled it unconstitutional for law enforcement officials to force a ...
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Does the right against self incrimination mean you can't be forced to file a tax return?

Irwin Schiff claims that because you have a right against self incrimination and therefore it is wrong for you to have to reveal anything about what you make. Therefore, the government can levy the ...
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Does the 14th Amendment give people the liberty to break laws and constitutions?

Are laws and constitutions themselves a violation of the 14th amendment? Can the government deprive people of their liberty to use drugs for recreational use, hire prostitutes, gamble, etc? Any law ...
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Under the 5th Amendment, how much compensation must a government agency pay after it seizes a piece of land?

I have a friend whose property was seized by the city for public use. We think he was underpaid because it was worth more than the City paid. How could this disagreement be prosecuted?
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Choosing what level of scrutiny to apply to enumerated rights

In court decisions dealing with burdens on enumerated rights you often see a discussion, or at least a reference to a previous decision, as to what level of scrutiny to apply. Why, in the case of ...
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1answer
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doctor fees for lawyer services

I am a physician and almost routinely am inundated with forms from lawyers to fill for my patients so they can get disability. They get paid for these cases but expect me to fill these forms at no ...
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In the United States, when can someone legally search my personal laptop? (Government or private security)

Unlike the United Kingdom, U.S. citizens don't have an explicit right to privacy in the Constitution. Although there are implied privacy rights within "penumbras" of the Bill of Rights this has ...
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1answer
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Will the Iran nuclear agreement become a treaty if passed?

United States. Question Will the agreement between the United States and Iran regarding their nuclear program become a U.S. treaty if passed by a simple majority of Congress? My understanding is ...
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1answer
636 views

Why was the due process clause added to the 14th Amendment?

The 5th Amendment and the 14th Amendment both have due process clauses. The texts are almost identical: The Fifth Amendment: [N]or shall any person . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, ...
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571 views

Can US courts be made to define whether a given search is reasonable (i.e. constitutional)?

In 2014, regarding the forced disclosure of the encryption keys of his email service provider company Lavabit, Ladar Levison wrote: The largest technological question we raised in our appeal (which ...
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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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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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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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How does the US constitution apply to aliens?

Does the constitution of the US extend its protections to— legal aliens in the US (e.g. visitors from overseas), and illegal aliens in the US (e.g. someone who has stayed beyond their visa's ...
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Does the US Fifth Amendment only apply to criminal trials? Do any laws protect a person in civil court when testimony would implicate them in a crime?

Suppose someone is accused of burglary. This person is asked to appear in civil court regarding an unrelated event that occurred at the same time as the burglary but in a different location. If the ...

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