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69 votes
Accepted

Were people born in the Confederacy eligible to run for president?

Technically, they were born in the United States, at least under US law, and the law of any existing nation. The United States never recognised the Confederacy, nor did any other country. There are ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
51 votes

Can a soldier refuse to carry a weapon?

Under US Army Regulation 601-210 as of 2016, conscientious objection will normally disqualify someone applying to enlist, but the disqualification can be waived. Under Army Regulation 600-43, if they ...
cpast's user avatar
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51 votes
Accepted

Why do many "No Trespassing" signs say "POSTED"?

"Posted" is a Term of Art "Posted" is a term of art in trespass law, specifically meaning that signs forbidding entry have been placed at the borders of a parcel. The page "...
David Siegel's user avatar
51 votes

Which security is the social security number about?

Social Security numbers are called Social Security numbers because were invented to implement the Social Security Act of 1935, which was one of the important programs adopted by Congress as part of ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
50 votes

Were USA states really this disconnected in 1964, and was bigamy really punished by death?

I'm thirding the "very plausible" on the disconnect. Something to keep in mind is that the US is big. Really big. It's one of the top things people who aren't familiar with the US just don'...
zibadawa timmy's user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

Why is the structure of the US Code so poor? (And would it even be legal to reorganize it?)

Are there any underlying reasons behind the nonsensical structure of U.S.C. titles? Is it simply a case of "This is how it's been for awhile, don't fix what isn't broken." or is there more to it ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
48 votes

Why isn't there financial safety if I am arrested illegally?

The answer is basically, "because the law isn't fair". Arguments that this is a 5th Amendment taking or that there is some other reason that you have a right to compensation have been ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
44 votes

Could the federal government ban people from drinking coffee?

None. The federal government is allowed to prohibit coffee drinking under its power to regulate interstate commerce. Prohibition would not have required a constitutional amendment under modern ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
42 votes
Accepted

What was the original idea behind the practice of courtroom wigs?

The courtroom wig actually dates from an era centuries ago when it was common for the upper classes to shave their heads and wear wigs - a practice that arose for hygiene reasons. That is, at the time ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 2,605
38 votes

Were USA states really this disconnected in 1964, and was bigamy really punished by death?

Were USA states really this disconnected in 1964 Yes. Indeed they still are quite disconnected by the standards of other federated nations. US states have always jealousy guarded their autonomy. ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
35 votes

What is the purpose of pardoning powers?

They are the modern legacy of the Royal prerogative of mercy Or in Commonwealth countries that still have a monarch, it is the Royal prerogative of mercy. Its modern functional purpose is to provide ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
33 votes
Accepted

Do various common law sovereign citizen movement theories have any kernels of basis in fact?

Does this theory have any basis in current or historical fact? Not really. The sovereign citizen movement uses legal terms, but not correctly, and often confounded with Biblical doctrine, and hones ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
29 votes
Accepted

Why do judges use a hammer in court?

The ceremonial hammer is called a gavel and usually looks like this: Stock image used with permission (Gavels in India and in the U.S. Senate which received its gavel as a diplomatic gift from India,...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
28 votes
Accepted

When did criminal discovery rules substantially form?

When did the discovery/disclosure rules as we know them today substantially form? In the United States, the constitutional right to criminal discovery was established in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
26 votes

Why is the structure of the US Code so poor? (And would it even be legal to reorganize it?)

Congress is reorganizing the U.S. Code. Positive Law Codification: Section 205(c) of House Resolution No. 988, 93d Congress, as enacted into law by Public Law 93-554 (2 U.S.C. 285b), provides the ...
K-C's user avatar
  • 4,024
26 votes

Why do many "No Trespassing" signs say "POSTED"?

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has a web page about this. If you read the current law you will see the exact wording of the signs is not specified. But in the past, the exact wording of the ...
Gerard Ashton's user avatar
26 votes

Why isn't there financial safety if I am arrested illegally?

I suggest this is a political outcome, based on the belief that giving police more power helps society. People are extremely surprised when they have to interact with the legal system how punitive ...
Tiger Guy's user avatar
  • 7,042
25 votes

Could the federal government ban people from drinking coffee?

This would almost certainly be within Congress's powers under the Commerce Clause, which has been interpreted quite broadly to encompass virtually anything someone could imagine possibly affecting ...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 10.3k
25 votes
Accepted

Would publicly farting on a picture of the English monarch actually qualify as treason in 1798?

The cartoon may call back to events of 1795, where George III had stones thrown at him while he was on his way to the State Opening of Parliament. In response, the government - headed by Pitt the ...
Leon's user avatar
  • 341
24 votes

What is the origin and basis of stare decisis?

I assume you are asking about horizontal stare decisis: a court following its own previous holdings or those of courts of coordinate jurisdiction (e.g. courts at the same "level" in the ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.3k
23 votes
Accepted

Why don't law collections show who the author of the law is?

Laws are collective works that often have multiple authors. Law do not have, in general, a single author, although minor, uncontroversial legislation that passed more or less unanimously without much ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
22 votes
Accepted

Can a soldier refuse to carry a weapon?

In the UK Armed Forces, conscientious objection is grounds for a refusal at the admission stage and has been since the end of conscription in 1963. Where a person develops an objection to military ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 4,095
21 votes

Why isn't there financial safety if I am arrested illegally?

sweden The Act (1998:714) on compensation for detention and other coercive measures establishes a right to compensation from the Government for those who have been detained for more than 24 hours ...
jkej's user avatar
  • 311
19 votes
Accepted

Which security is the social security number about?

The SSN was originally meant to be used strictly for tracking a worker’s lifetime earnings in order to calculate retirement benefits after age 65 under the Social Security Act of 1935. In fact, until ...
Eugene's user avatar
  • 1,970
18 votes

Were USA states really this disconnected in 1964, and was bigamy really punished by death?

Yes, the Disconnect is Plausible The US has always been quite localized in the collection and retention of vital statistics. Even today there is no central repository or database of such information; ...
David Siegel's user avatar
18 votes

What is the origin and basis of stare decisis?

The underlying idea has been implicit in law for over a millenium in England. The term dates back at least to Sir Matthew Hale who cites his doctrine of stare decisis in Hanslap v. Cater (1673). ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
17 votes

What is the legal case for someone getting arrested publicizing information about nuclear weapons deduced from public knowledge

You are likely thinking of United States v. The Progressive, Inc., 467 F. Supp. 990 (W.D. Wis. 1979) and the related injunction against a letter by Charles R. Hansen. However, these were not ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.3k
17 votes

What is the purpose of pardoning powers?

The purpose was to place in an individual person, independent from the judiciary, the power and individual agency to provide mercy for outcomes that have resulted in "unfortunate guilt." See ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.3k
16 votes

What exactly is a "title of nobility" under the US Constitution?

Overview Generally speaking the Titles of Nobility clauses in Article I, Sections 9 and 10 of the U.S. Constitution, were aimed at barring hereditary grants of special privileges which is what it ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
15 votes

Were Nazi atrocities legal according the German law of the time?

It can (and has) been argued that some of the post-bellum trials of Germans and Japanese (but no Italians because they were Allies now) proceeded on shaky legal grounds. However, the arguments of your ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k

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