15

If President Trump refuses to execute the war, does that become an act of treason on his part? Probably not, but it depends on the definition of treason. Congress could decide that it is, impeach him, and remove him from office. They could also remove him from office without using the term treason. Is he required to act on such a resolution? Not ...


12

"Contempt of Congress" does not extend, in a legal sense, to insulting Congress as a whole, one house, a committee chair, or a member. (Congress and its committees have power to require both members and witnesses to abide by its rules of decorum, which forbid such insults, but as far as I know the remedy is merely to remove the disorderly person.) Contempt ...


9

There will be a gap in succession, but only briefly. Speaker Paul Ryan's term extends past the election through the end of the 115th Congress, to 11:59:59 p.m. on January 2, 2018. From there, the speakership is vacant until the 116th House of Representatives elects a successor. Traditionally, the House convenes at noon on January 3 of the year after an ...


6

A law which punishes a specific person – a "bill of attainder" – is unconstitutional. Private laws, which benefit an individual, are legal. An example is Private Law 112-1, which says Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for the purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), Sopuruchi Chukwueke ...


6

There are two possible scenarios: The Vice-Presidential President and a mass Write In. In the first, if the elected President is removed from office after 2 years in office, than the Vice-President (and the entire eligible line of succession for that matter) would be eligible to run for two terms, giving the Former Veep the ability to serve for a total of ...


6

Congress has the power to propose amendments, but not to enact them. Amendments are only enacted once they're ratified by 3/4ths of the state legislatures. And yes, there's no reason to think it would be unconstitutional for 2/3rds of each house of Congress plus 3/4ths of the state legislatures to make fundamental changes to the Constitution like eliminating ...


6

As for the ex post facto question, an ex post facto law is one that makes an act illegal when it was legal at the time of the commission. Let's now look at the clause: (b) Effective date.—The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and the amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply regardless of ...


6

Probably.* Congress has wide latitude to dictate the procedures of "inferior courts" -- the district courts and circuit courts of appeal. Those courts only exist because Congress created them, so Congress can generally set the terms on which they continue to exist. That power is limited in several important ways by the Constitution, including the terms and ...


6

Mueller was appointed under Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 600, which provides at § 600.8(c), Closing documentation, that At the conclusion of the Special Counsel's work, he or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel. The use of ...


5

Very likely not. Yes, Congress is empowered by Article III of the Constitution to "ordain and establish" Federal courts, as necessary, and the very first Congress did most of the work via the Judiciary Act of 1789, but they pretty much left the nitty gritty details up to the courts themselves. Here's an example: SEC . 17. And be it further enacted, That ...


5

The leaders can't do it unilaterally, but the members collectively can expel other members. It requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate. US Constitution, Article I, Section 5: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member. Normally this would ...


5

2 USC 192 imposes a penalty of $100-$1000 and 1-12 months in prison. That assumes a trial and conviction. Officials were found in contempt under the previous administration, but there was no criminal prosecution (DOJ would have to prosecute, which they declined to do).


4

The right belongs to the federal government because the Constitution says it does, in Article 1 (section 8, clause 3). This, and the other rights listed in that section, are known as enumerated rights - that is, somebody has explicitly listed them out. The section begins The Congress shall have power .. and each clause may be read separately with that ...


4

"One-party consent" law governs recording of conversations in New York state and under federal law. What that means is that a conversation can be recorded, provided one of the parties consent. You can publish any legally-acquired material, or send it to journalists.


4

Specifically, if a committee votes to cite someone for contempt of the committee, a resolution would pass to the full chamber. The full chamber, House or Senate, then may or may not pass it. If the full chamber passes the resolution, there is more than one option with which to enforce it. Although it has not been used since the early part of the last ...


4

A similar question was considered by the Supreme Court in Eastland v. United States Servicemen's Fund, 421 U.S. 491 (1975). The Court held, citing precedent, that if the Committee's activities are within the "legitimate legislative sphere" then the courts cannot interfere with the subpoena, since the Speech and Debate clause of the Constitution forbids ...


3

Usually yes, possibly sometimes no. There is an area of the law where Congress does this exact thing. If a court wants to transfer certain kinds of federally regulated retirements assets titled in the name of one spouse to another spouse in the course of a divorce, this is only effective if the Court follows the exacting requirements of a "qualified ...


3

To answer your question generally, interstate commerce by definition involves multiple states. One state cannot pass laws that are binding on another because individual U.S. states are sovereign (with respect to each other -- they are still subject to the limits imposed by the federal Constitution), and therefore out of each others' jurisdiction to regulate. ...


3

When a US Senator or Congressperson poses a question to a private company about some behavior or action of the company, does that carry any legal weight? In other words, (a) is the company required to answer? and (b) if the result is "bad" (however that is defined), can the Senator or Congressperson impose any penalty. Is it all just "showboating" ...


3

Any court from a municipal traffic court on up can declare a law unconstitutional and the U.S. Supreme Court is almost never the court that does so in the first instance. Also, while the jurisdiction stripping law that you suggest might be unconstitutional, it is not obviously unconstitutional. The relevant language is in Article III, Section 2 of the ...


3

No because clause 1 of section 3 originally said: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote. The legislature could have required a vote (of the legislature) and that could have been regulated. However, if the legislature decided ...


3

Congress has always had the power to conduct an investigation and to issue subpoenas, although that power has just been assumed. It was first invoked in 1795, in the case of Robert Randall and Charles Whitney, in regards to an attempt to bribe members of Congress. This power ultimately follows from Congress's constitutional power to legislate augmented by ...


3

There will be no extended gap in succession. The House will elect a new speaker when or shortly after Ryan's term expires: An election for the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives will take place during the first week in January 2019, during the opening day of the 116th United States Congress, two months after the 2018 elections. 2019 ...


3

The law you cite says that the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request That includes specific individual returns. That it was intended to include such returns is made clear by the provisions restricting identifiable individual data to executive session. Whether this ought to be the law ...


3

This is basically a separation of powers issue. Mueller was operating under the authority of the head of the Justice Department, which is under the executive branch of government. Mueller is not authorized to give copies to the public, give it to Congress, to the Supreme Court, the media, or anyone else, other than his superior. The investigation was ...


2

One example is the law passed by Congress 21 USC 841 which prohibits production, sale or possession of marijuana: prosecutions have been suspended at the federal level by executive-branch decision, in certain states (Washington, Colorado, others no doubt). Obama indicated at the time that such prosecutions were not high priority, a determination that is ...


2

Many executive branch enforcement/implementation decisions are discretionary, but not all of them. When implementation is mandatory, a writ of mandamus can be filed to carry out the act. For example, the executive branch has a non-discretionary duty to release people from prison when their sentence expires and must carry out that law. But, the executive ...


2

There is no way to actually know what would happen (primarily because we cannot know whether someone will actually sue), and a law might be broken with impunity (the violation could be ignored). We can at least say (somewhat) what the legal situation is, esp. what would constitute a violation of the law. To get to the bottom line, if there is any legal ...


2

Anybody can ask the courts to remedy a legal or Constitutional issue regarding the president, if they feel it has harmed them. People sue the president and other executive branch officials all the time. Members of Congress have this right just like everybody else. This lawsuit isn't alleging "high crimes and misdemeanors" and it's not seeking the ...


2

The current law as encoded in 18 USC 1832 is the result of Pub. L. 104–294 Title I passed in 1996, then amended in 2012 and again in 2016. Legislative intent is irrelevant to the question of extraterritorial jurisdiction. In Morrison v. Nat. Australia Bank, 561 U.S. 247 (and prior decisions), the court held that It is a “longstanding principle of American ...


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