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Questions tagged [us-federal-government]

For questions regarding the United States federal government. For questions about US federal law, use [united-states] instead.

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7 answers
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USPS Back Room - Trespassing?

I go to my local post office nearly every day to drop off packages for online purchases. A couple of years ago, I had a van full and it would have taken many trips to bring them inside. I asked a ...
Ed Urbaniak's user avatar
39 votes
3 answers
9k views

What is the legal distinction between Twitter banning Trump and Trump blocking individuals?

For reference, this recent NPR article contains all of the information that inspired this question. The lawsuits referenced in the above article center on then-President Trump blocking individual ...
Geoffrey's user avatar
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28 votes
7 answers
10k views

Does the government control what time it is?

Does the government control what time it is? Recently, I read that the west coast states are considering dropping Daylight Savings Time. Apparently, the process is first for the states to agree, and ...
SegNerd's user avatar
  • 5,163
22 votes
1 answer
3k views

Bright-line or Litmus Test for Sedition?

The media is crediting Donald Trump, Giuliani and Trump's son with inciting the protesters to march from the Ellipse to and breach the Capitol building on 6 January 2021, interrupting the electoral ...
gatorback's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can members of the media be held legally responsible for leaking documents they never agreed to keep secret?

Larry the Leaker is high up in the US government, and has access to highly classified information/documents. He goes to John the Journalist, and tells him to publish all of it. Obviously, Larry has ...
chausies's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
4k views

As a non-US person, what license may I have to use public materials from agencies of US government?

I want to reuse a gif published in this website of this US government agency. I don't see any copyright statement anywhere, except a link to Freedom of Information Act. In my vague understanding of ...
Ooker's user avatar
  • 487
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Where do executive agencies obtain their power to effectively legislate?

Large portions of the Code of Federal Regulations are enacted by executive agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration, rather than by Congress. The ...
Someone's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
4k views

"Murder laws are governed by the states, [not the federal government]." Is Vivek Ramaswamy right?

United States presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy stated he doesn't support a federal ban on abortion, a practice which he understands to be murder, because the U.S. federal government doesn't ...
The Editor's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Once a congressional bill has become law, how is it noticed by and overseen within the executive branch?

Bills, once they become laws, seem to be archived and internally published somehow. I wonder how the executive branch picks up on and implements them when/after this happens. Someone, somewhere in the ...
2080's user avatar
  • 303
11 votes
4 answers
4k views

Could a federal law override a state constitution?

Suppose a state Constitution explicitly states that residents of the state have a specific right (obviously this comes from the abortion debate, but I’m not necessarily focusing on that particular ...
SegNerd's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
5k views

Would it be legal for a US State to ban exports of a natural resource?

I am interested in whether a US state constitution could be legally amended to ban exports of specific natural resources (such as coal, lithium or copper) outside it's own state borders. If such a ...
Brian Topping's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does the "(U)" prefixed to each paragraph denote in reports by the US Senate Select Committees?

To illustrate, here's a screenshot from page 52 of the "Postwar findings about Iraq’s WMD programs and links to terrorism and how they compare with prewar assessment", with the text ...
Pound Hash's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could the US Federal Government open abortion clinics inside Federal buildings in states where abortion is illegal?

As an example, USCIS has dozens of offices around the US, including many states where abortion is expected to be banned soon. Could the US Federal Government dedicate a part of every USCIS building to ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 4,563
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can the Secret Service arrest someone who uses an illegal drug inside of the White House?

In light of the recent discovery of cocaine inside the West Wing of the White House, I am wondering if a person who either lives in, or works in, or makes a visit to the White House, is caught using ...
user57467's user avatar
  • 1,543
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Operationalizing the definition of "dating relationship" in federal US domestic violence law

I read in the New York Times that the US Congress is trying to fix the "Boyfriend loophole" in gun purchase restriction laws after domestic violence convictions. They note that individuals ...
Ian Campbell's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is the U.S. Code copyrighted by the Government?

The age of the internet has brought all of human knowledge to our figure tips, this is only possible because of companies finding profitable reasons for storing all of this information for ...
User37849012643's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
7k views

In the US, can the courts intervene if an extremely destructive (but constitutional) law is passed?

If the US Congress were to pass an extremely destructive (but constitutional) law that the president then signed, what would the result be and would there be any recourse from the courts or the states?...
N00b101's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could the federal government begin registering vehicles and issuing driver licenses, overriding state law?

Currently, vehicle registration and driver licensing are handled primarily by states in the US. However, aircraft registration and pilot certification is handled by the federal government. Could the ...
Someone's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
2k views

What laws apply to Visa holders in the US?

I'm a French citizen currently staying in Los Angeles for studies under an F1 Visa. I was told that in the US, only federal law applies to foreigners which is why despite Pot being legalized in ...
R3D34THR4Y's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
6k views

Title 53, why is it reserved?

Title 53 is currently 1 of 54 titles that make up the United States Code, each title is marked with the topic of law it contains, but Title 53 is marked as reserved. The listing of Title goes: Title ...
User37849012643's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can someone be penalized for an "unlawful" act if no penalty is specified?

If a US federal statute specifies that an act is unlawful without specifying a penalty, without using any of the words "misdemeanor," "felony," or "crime," and without ...
phoog's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
841 views

List of state and federal authorities having regulatory control over microbreweries

Upstate New York (USA) here. I have been homebrewing beer for many years and I am interested in opening up my own microbrewery/brewpub. Before I consult an attorney and CPA I want to do some of my own ...
hotmeatballsoup's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
846 views

HR1 would force states to have independent districting. How does the federal gov't have authority to require this?

Section 2401-2422 of the H.R. 1 - For the People Act of 2021 would require states to set up independent districting commissions in order to prevent gerrymandering. This seems pretty clearly to ...
spacetyper's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
881 views

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, ...
RBarryYoung's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
5k views

Suppose I pay by money order, not debit card. If the mechant scams me, will the Post Office refund me?

I've had some trouble with merchants sending wrong parts or even ignoring orders in the past. Obviously banks won't fight them tooth and nail for a refund. But if I pay a little more for a money order,...
Ethan Miller's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
291 views

In what cases is a U.S. Federal Executive Official named in a lawsuit in their official capacity as a defendant and when is the US itself named?

I was curious under what situations the United States is named as the defendant in a lawsuit as opposed to when a U.S. Federal Executive Official (or agency) is named (in their official capacity) as ...
Dot_plot21's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
173 views

Can a civil disability be applied without a trial?

In an article promoted in this tweet a blue-check attorney makes a claim that some Congressmen can be disqualified from holding public office because of A14.3. He claims that a criminal conviction is ...
Dmitry Rubanovich's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
99 views

Is the Civil Air Patrol part of the United States Government?

I know it's an Air Force Auxiliary, but does that also mean it's part of the United States Air Force or government? Here, they're a "public service organization" And they also have a 501c3 ...
Blue Robin's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
430 views

Can the US Government assert copyright on a government work internationally?

From what I understand, large swaths of US Government works are considered "public domain", but this unrestricted status applies only within the United States, For this question I am assuming the ...
crasic's user avatar
  • 463
6 votes
2 answers
447 views

If someone was charged with 15 counts but was only indicted on 2, can the prosecutor introduce evidence at sentencing of charges that we not indicted?

I just have a question about information being presented that a defendant was not indicted on. If someone was charged with 15 counts of a crime but was only indicted on 2 counts, can the prosecutor ...
Paula Wheeler's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could the federal government mandate state universities to not discriminate against out-of-state students?

I can't see any way to do so through the constitution, but I am consistently surprised by the kinds of laws that the federal government can make, so I'm obviously not well-versed in the possibilities.
user84614's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the legal penalty for "contempt of Congress"?

In reading a recent article that suggested Steve Bannon might be found in "contempt of congress", I realized that there's no information on what the penalty for that might be, unlike the statutorily ...
HopelessN00b's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
692 views

Can the enactment of the 25th Amendment delay a U.S. President from launching nuclear missiles?

I am wondering that if a U.S. President is intent on launching nuclear missiles against a foreign enemy of the United States, and he/she has verbally informed the Vice President and his/her Cabinet ...
user57467's user avatar
  • 1,543
5 votes
1 answer
243 views

Why does the Ninth Circuit court include so many states?

It appears odd that the ninth circuit contains not just so many states, which by itself would not be unique, but so many states with addition of California. Circuit courts for NY, FL, TX from what I ...
paulj's user avatar
  • 1,581
5 votes
3 answers
307 views

Why is it ok to submit false statements to a judge, according to 18 USC 1001(b)?

18 USC 1001(a) makes false statements to the federal government a felony. However, 18 USC 1001(b) says: Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party’s counsel, for ...
Steve V.'s user avatar
  • 686
5 votes
1 answer
118 views

Is the vice-president an employee for the purpose of 5 CFR §2635.502?

It's been suggested on politcs.SE (but the question was closed as off-topic there) that a US vice-president needs to comply with 5 CFR §2635.502 which sets stricter standards for conflicts of interest ...
against very long user names's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
6k views

Is it illegal for the US government to compete with private industry?

I've heard several people say that it's illegal for the US government to compete with private industry. The specific context was about developing and providing software (desktop programs, mobile apps) ...
Sara's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
308 views

Is this trespassing on US government property?

I live on a residential access road off of USDA property. Multiple times a week for the last 5 years, I have taken a walk down my road and on to the USDA property, walking on the main roads around the ...
Karena's user avatar
  • 59
5 votes
2 answers
258 views

Are the federal government or its contractors subject to local building or zoning codes?

Say there is going to be a federal facility, operated by the federal government or by a contractor of the federal government, in a town. Something like a prison, or a place where ICE plans to imprison ...
interfect's user avatar
  • 3,491
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
Alexanne Senger's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can any crime be a federal crime in the US?

As an example, can the US Congress declare that jaywalking is a federal offense? Or would the jaywalker have to cross a state border in order for the crime to become prosecutable by federal ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 4,563
4 votes
2 answers
213 views

Why can't Robert Mueller give the report to congress?

With the recent vote to hold William Barr in contempt of congress, I have one main question. Why can't Robert Mueller just give the report to congress? It's obvious that I don't understand the full ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
2 answers
205 views

Does accused always plead not guilty in federal court?

I've recently been following the case of boxer Felix Verdejo, who pleaded not guilty yesterday in killing of Keishla Rodríguez. Cádiz Martínez, a second person indicted in the killing, also pleaded ...
fdkgfosfskjdlsjdlkfsf's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
220 views

Security clearance of police officers

My question is inspired by this one, but it’s not the same. It is my understanding that the federal law-enforcement officers who seized the boxes of documents held by “45” expected to find some papers ...
Pierre Paquette's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
75 views

What, if any, exemptions exist to 28 U.S. Code § 516?

28 U.S. Code § 516 states: Except as otherwise authorized by law, the conduct of litigation in which the United States, an agency, or officer thereof is a party, or is interested, and securing ...
mpr's user avatar
  • 165
4 votes
2 answers
159 views

How is a "passed" bill translated into a federal code in the US?

After a bill is through the legislative process what occurs for it to be translated from the form it is in when it is debated in Congress to when it is "implemented" or written and published ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 65
4 votes
1 answer
437 views

Serving summons on a defendant who is a U.S. Federal Government official: original or copy?

A civil lawsuit against federal government officials is served by certified mail. This is in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 4 (i): (i) Serving the United States and Its Agencies, Corporations, ...
rapt's user avatar
  • 385
4 votes
1 answer
93 views

Is a corrupt Attorney General able to quash any and all Federal investgations?

(I'll try to ask this in as non-biased way as possible) If an Attorney General is part of a corrupt administration, would he or she be able to quash any and all Federal investigations related to that ...
spring's user avatar
  • 320
3 votes
2 answers
313 views

Naive approach to aggregating all US Federal Laws?

I'm a software developer and I've recently found myself curious about the US Federal Laws. There's a seemingly unsolved question of "How Many Federal Laws Are There?" (https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2013/...
Chartreugz's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
258 views

Can the federal government directly modify state law?

A recent comment inspired me to wonder whether the US federal government has the power to directly modify state law. State legislatures will often pass bills of the form "Section so-and-so of the ...
interfect's user avatar
  • 3,491