90 votes
Accepted

Was it illegal for Nancy Pelosi to tear up her copy of the State of the Union address?

While there is an act that President Trump and his supporters are citing, titled the Presidential Records Act (PRA), to accuse House Speaker Pelosi of breaking federal law, it is important to ...
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59 votes
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If Congress passed a bill written in a language other than English, would it be valid?

It would indeed be valid and legally enforceable. The Constitution places no limits on what languages bills must be written in. The Constitution specifically allows each house of Congress to make its ...
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  • 1,670
49 votes

Was it illegal for Nancy Pelosi to tear up her copy of the State of the Union address?

44 U.S.C. 22 That copy was probably not a record (B) does not include any documentary materials that are ...(iv) extra copies of documents produced only for convenience of reference, when such ...
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  • 1,593
37 votes

If Congress passed a bill written in a language other than English, would it be valid?

Yes The United States does not have an official language.
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25 votes

Can bills (the documents of laws/legislation) have pictures? Or text only? Can images become part of the legal code?

Regulations - Yes, Acts of Parliament - very rarely In in the united-kingdom diagrams are found in regulations, for example legislation dealing with roadside symbols. There are two kinds of ...
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  • 1,565
22 votes

What happens if Congress declares war, but POTUS refuses to fight it?

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 ...
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18 votes

Can bills (the documents of laws/legislation) have pictures? Or text only? Can images become part of the legal code?

There is no legal reason why pictures couldn't be in the text of a bill. I don't know of any examples in the main text of the US Code. However, it has been pointed out to me that Title 4 of the US ...
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  • 6,089
17 votes

What does "Congress having occupied the field" mean?

There are a number of areas in which the US states can pass laws only to the extend that they do not conflict with Federal laws passed by Congress. When a federal law clearly says that states may not ...
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13 votes

Will a contempt of congress lawsuit actually reach the merits?

"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 ...
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13 votes
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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?

In each State entitled in the Ninety-first Congress or in any subsequent Congress thereafter to more than one Representative under an apportionment made pursuant to the provisions of section 2a(a) of ...
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  • 129k
12 votes

Can Congress disqualify people from Federal office?

The President, Vice-President, Senators and Congressmen are the only elected federal officials, and their qualifications are described in the US Constitution (Art 1, Sect 2, Clause 1 & 2 for ...
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12 votes

Can Congress disqualify people from Federal office?

Impeachment In addition to the Constitutional qualifications, one may become ineligible to federal office by being impeached by the House, convicted and removed from office by the Senate, and having ...
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  • 89.2k
11 votes

If Congress passed a bill written in a language other than English, would it be valid?

Under Article VI of the Constitution, treaties have the force of law, and the United States has sometimes ratified treaties in languages other than English. For example, the treaty signed with Morocco ...
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  • 281
9 votes

Is there a gap in the office of Speaker of the House?

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 ...
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9 votes

What does "Congress having occupied the field" mean?

"Occupying the field" refers to a situation in where federal regulation of a matter is "so pervasive as to make reasonable the inference that Congress left no room for the States to ...
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8 votes
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Does Congress have the authority to grant citizenship to an individual?

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 ...
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8 votes
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(U.S.A.) Removing senators not from your state

The only way that a member of the House of Representatives, or a U.S. Senator can be removed from office (other than by resignation, death, or expiration of a term of office without being re-elected) ...
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  • 129k
8 votes

Can someone plead the fifth regarding impeachment?

Yes Impeachment proceedings (as are all activities of Congress) are legal proceedings in that they are enabled by the Constitution. While it is true that they are not judicial proceedings, the ...
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8 votes
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If a House member is barred from the House for not wearing a face mask, does that House member's constituents lose their representation in Congress?

There is no current authorization to bar any member of the house from the floor, so the answer depends heavily on what actually happens. Since remote voting was approved, no constituency would be ...
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  • 156k
8 votes

Can bills (the documents of laws/legislation) have pictures? Or text only? Can images become part of the legal code?

While it isn't expressly forbidden, it is very rare to see this in legislature adopted statutes, which usually incorporate some other source by reference when there is an intent to do so. In contrast, ...
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  • 129k
7 votes

How is the "Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017" constitutional?

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 ...
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7 votes
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Can Congress dissolve the other branches?

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 ...
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7 votes

Was it illegal for Nancy Pelosi to tear up her copy of the State of the Union address?

18 U.S. Code § 2071. Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally (a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with ...
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  • 195
7 votes

Why there isn't any law resulting from the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2019?

The bill was never passed. According to the list of all actions on Congress.gov, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce in April 2019. Evidently, that ...
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6 votes
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Is there any way a president could be voted in by popular vote more than two terms?

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 (...
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6 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 156k
6 votes

Can Congress legislate the structure of court rulings?

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 ...
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6 votes

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

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 ...
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6 votes

What ever happened to the Nixon Pocket veto case?

The New York Times reported on the veto which I think that the question is referring to on December 31, 1970. The Congressional Research Service reported on the issue on March 30, 2001 and the ...
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