52

Short Answer SIMPLIFIED AND UPDATED BASED ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN THE QUESTION: The marriage is valid, but their marriage will not allow the girlfriend to refuse to testify as a witness in the case. She can be compelled to testify against him under oath, but does not have to testify about the confidential communications that they have with each ...


36

Generally, the legislature is not restricted to passing laws that are a good idea. This has been remarked on by the Supreme Court (in Justice Stevens's concurrence, emphasis added): But as I recall my esteemed former colleague, Thurgood Marshall, remarking on numerous occasions: “The Constitution does not prohibit legislatures from enacting stupid laws.” ...


25

Under Article VI of the US Constitution, the federal constitution and valid federal laws are the supreme law of the land, and judges in every state are bound to apply them regardless of anything in the laws or constitution of any state.* If a state legislature passes a law banning same-sex marriage, a state court is required under the federal constitution to ...


24

So what relevance if any does standing have in criminal trials? E.g., are there any examples of criminal cases/charges dismissed for lack of standing, by which I mean that the court decided the government lacked standing? Let's restrict the discussion to federal proceedings, for the sake of not making this too broad. Almost none. Conceptually, this is ...


22

Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (Rule 11(b)(1)), a federal court may not accept a guilty plea without first addressing the defendant personally in open court. During this address, there are 15 things that the court must ensure that the defendant understands (if they apply in the case); one of these is the nature of every charge the defendant is ...


14

If a plaintiff brings a civil suit against another party (aka say the Gorilla glue hair suit), what role does the court play in whether to permit a trial, how has that role changed over the decades, and are there large inconsistencies between federal judicial districts? Federal, as I believe this type of suit would be brought there. I understand and know ...


13

The question of whether they can ask these questions will be left to the trial judge. If the parties can make any kind of reasonable argument that consumers of one product or the other are likely to be partisans, the judge should allow the question, though it would not be error to refuse. For a good comparison, look at Ham v. South Carolina, 409 U.S. 524, ...


13

The Answer in Question The answer on politics.se supported its claims by citations and links to the Wikipedia article on Standing and the LII page. But the Wikipedia article while not specifically mentioning a civil vs a criminal context refers over and over to the standing of the plaintiff, not of the prosecutor. The LII article does the same. Neither ...


11

American courts generally go through two main stages of pretrial review. First, the parties file their initial pleadings. The plaintiff files a complaint laying out his allegations and identifying the laws violated, and the defendant files an answer saying what allegations are true and which are not. After this happens, the court will entertain either a ...


11

I am not convinced that all of the examples are indeed valid laws. There are also conceivable grounds to invalidate a law (at least as applied to particular circumstances) beyond the law being unconstitutional. For example, if the law conflicts with another law on the books, the court has to decide how to apply them together, the court could determine that ...


10

According to https://www.baezlawfirm.com/can-your-spouse-be-forced-to-testify-against-you/ Section 90.504 of Florida’s Evidence Code includes the privilege to exclude "marital communications" from the testimony of a spouse, but does not include the "testimonial privilege" which Federal common law and the laws of many US states do include, that permits one ...


10

A US state could prevent its own courts from overturning laws for violations of the state constitution. But the supremacy clause in Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution reads: This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the ...


9

Governments have automatic standing as the sovereign to enforce its laws, be it criminal or civil. One of those background principles is the concept that a sovereign government must have standing to enforce and defend its laws in court. Indeed, this principle is so uncontroversial that the Supreme Court rarely considers the standing of the state or federal ...


9

Standing is critical in criminal cases, but the government always has it. Article III gives federal courts jurisdiction only over "cases or controversies." The Supreme Court has interpreted this to mean that the courts may only hear cases where the plaintiff has standing, i.e., a particularized interest in enforcing the allegedly violated law. ...


8

What are the things that I should prepare for this session, in terms of order of dress, language, content? Dress In an actual court room, suit and tie is preferred for men and formal dress for women for lawyers and professionals. Your "Sunday best" or what you would wear to work on a typical day would be appropriate if you don't have a suit and tie or ...


8

Your interpretation is correct. The constitution says that judges stay in office "until and unless they are impeached." That means that congress cannot impose a time limit on any judge's term of office. If it did so, it would be contrary to the constitution. The only grounds for removal are those to do with misbehavior. Therefore, judges have life ...


8

The courts can't intervene, period. If someone files a suit or an appeal related to a law, then the courts might have jurisdiction and do something, but somebody else has to get the ball rolling. That somebody has to "have standing", and not just be unhappy: they have to have been injured (actually or imminently), there has to be a causal relation ...


7

Because cases challenging actions of almost any Federal agency or department are typically filed at the head office of that agency or department, which is usually in DC. Similarly, national organizations of all kinds who are affected by some government action often file a case from their own national headquarters, which is often in DC. Thus the DC circuit ...


7

Yes. The U.S. AG can decline to prosecute an indictment at any time until jeopardy attaches when a jury is sworn in to consider the charges at trial. The AG can also abandon a prosecution mid-trial but then cannot retry those charges later. The AG might abandon charges, for example, because the evidence does not appear to support the charges when presented ...


7

A federal court may dismiss a complaint sua sponte (i.e. without a request to do so from a party) if it is beyond its subject matter jurisdiction (a category of defenses including lack of standing) or fails to state a claim for relief on its face. A Motion to Dismiss filed in the case provides a roadmap for the judge to dismiss the entire case. It argues in ...


6

To answer the more general question in the title: What happens if federal courts contradict each other? It depends on the context. In some cases, like this, the outcome is the same. If one district court decides to issue an injunction (or restraining order) then the injunction exists even if other courts decline to issue a similar injunction. Only a ...


6

After a defendant is convicted at trial in a federal court and when the death penalty is off the table (if it's on the table there's a different process), a sentencing process starts. This process is based around the US Sentencing Guidelines, which is a book of rules to calculate how serious all of the defendant's conduct was (on a scale of 1 to 43) and how ...


6

It is certainly not the case that all accused plead not guilty. Some plead guilty, often as part of a plea bargain. Some plead "no contest" meaning that the accused does not admit guilt, but will not argue the point in court. For many purposes this has the same effect as a guilty plea, but may matter later when the accused can truthfully say that ...


6

Barela was convicted of robbery affecting interstate commerce and faces a sentence of up to 20 years and $250,000 in fines. I assume your issue is that you think this is too high (although I don't see what it has to do with the 14th or 6th Amendments). Fortunately, it's also almost completely unrelated to the actual sentence. The number that was quoted is ...


5

You could bring a motion to compel for failing to respond substantively to a motion to admit which is objected to, just as you could for an interrogatory. The process is the same. Normally, a request to admit would not be deemed admitted if a substantive objection was filed by the deadline, even if there was no express admission or denial. Only if the ...


5

Jury nullification (for example, a jury simply ignores the law) developed and is legal in the US precisely because certain laws were passed that were felt to be unjust. The Wikipedia article on this subject has some interesting cases, for example the Fugitive Slave Act and Prohibition as well as maritime and free-speech cases just prior to the American ...


5

Those are two ways of referring to the same law. "INA 101" refers to it as a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 as amended; most changes to US immigration law since then have been amendments to that act. "8 US Code 1101" refers to it as a section of Title 8 of the US Code, an official compilation of US laws based on ...


5

Generally, you may only file an action in the Western District of Virginia if the actions or inactions that you believe violated your rights occurred within the boundaries of this District. When a lawyer uses the word "generally," it typically signals the existence of exceptions. The specific statutory provision of 8 USC 1447(b) supersedes the ...


4

Article III, Section 2 of The Constitution requires that The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed ...


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