42

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 than that? First of all, the United States Code is generally not designed to be used by non-lawyers. Second, one of the main ways to research case law ...


29

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, don't have handles.) It is used in both courts and public meetings (most often city council meetings or legislative body committee meetings, but also, for ...


23

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 mandate for positive law codification. Here is a brochure. You describe "Congress repealing everything and passing the exact same laws again" as "ridiculous", ...


21

Nope. Even if we were to accept this definition of law as some written decree, and I'm unsure that's the case1, there are civilisations with written law that predate the Ten Commandments. Babylonian Law (c.1800 BC) predates the Ten Commandments. Also, the Code of Ur-Nammu predates even that (c.2050 BC). 1. Most definitions of law don't require that it be ...


19

Quoting from here, Jury nullification occurs when a jury returns a verdict of "Not Guilty" despite its belief that the defendant is guilty of the violation charged. The jury in effect nullifies a law that it believes is either immoral or wrongly applied to the defendant whose fate they are charged with deciding. In essence, a jury decides that a law ...


12

tl;dr: The terms have separate etymologies. Majesty derives from greatness, while magistrate comes from mastering something (people or a trade). Majesty Middle English (in the sense 'greatness of God'): from Old French majeste, from Latin majestas, from a variant of majus, major. Also, c. 1300, "greatness, glory," from Old French majeste "grandeur,...


12

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 means by "Titles of Nobility". In particular, it was mostly aimed at preventing a monarchy from arising in the U.S. This said, there is extremely little case law ...


10

The legal term for premarital sex, as a crime, is fornication. I found a paper that gives an extensive and well-referenced history and analysis of such laws: Sweeny, JoAnne. Undead Statutes: The Rise, Fall and Continuing Uses of Adultery and Fornication Criminal Laws. Loyola University Chicago Law Journal 46 (2014), 127–173. http://www.luc.edu/...


9

Not with your age estimate of the Ten Commandments (3000-3750 years ago). The Code of Hammurabi dates to around 1750 BC, which would make it over 3750 years old, which is older.


8

In the U.S, at least for some time in our not too distant history, there were a substantial number of jurisdictions that allowed people to "read in" to a law degree, meaning exactly what @cpast said in his comment - that people who were so inclined and with the intellectual aptitude to understand old english common law and modern stare decisis (essentially, ...


8

There are many countries / states / provinces in North America, each with their own laws on this subject, so this question is potentially quite broad. I will focus on the United States. To this day, it is legal in all 50 US states for a parent to strike a child as a means of discipline ("corporal punishment"), but laws generally include a requirement that ...


8

To extend what @ohwilleke said, I have a little bit more information that's hopefully useful. Gavels are a feature of U.S. courts: they don't exist in courtrooms of the UK or Commonwealth countries (e.g. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.; link from the UK Judiciary, but also found in Wikipedia articles on Canadian courts). While doing some brief (couple ...


7

Australia For an alternative jurisdiction (Australia) see https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/corporal-punishment-key-issues. I quote: In most states and territories, corporal punishment by a parent or carer is lawful provided that it is carried out for the purpose of correction, control or discipline, and that it is "reasonable" having regard to: ...


7

Answering the question title, a Texas law enforcement officer can certainly make arrests in Louisiana these days under the right circumstances (I'm not about to look up the laws as of 1934). For starters, Louisiana law grants any person the authority to make an arrest when the person being arrested has committed a felony, whether or not that felony was ...


7

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 friend are wrong. In addition, many of the cases proceeded on solid legal foundations based on war crimes (e.g. the Commando Order) and treatment of prisoners-...


6

This language is almost certainly included in an attempt to make the agreement comply with the Charter of the French Language. The Charter is the legal document that sets French as the official language of the Canadian province of Quebec. Chapter 7, paragraph 55 of the Charter states that adhesion contracts, such as software licenses, must be in French, but ...


6

The validity of the execution of a contract is governed by the law of the place where it was signed. A location next to the date establishes that place and hence often, the governing law for the validity of that signature. If the contract does not expressly state what law governs, the contract itself is governed by the law of the place where the last ...


5

See jury-nullification. I'm not a legal historian, so I can't say for sure what the laws on jury acquittals were at that time in that jurisdiction. However, when a jury has final discretion to acquit a defendant of a crime that's it: They can effectively ignore laws if they want to acquit someone. Such acquittals do not set a precedent or have any bearing ...


5

According to Wikipedia, duelling was legal in Uruguay from 1921 to 1971. It cites this article and I have found in the source that the law was passed in 1920, although I haven't found that it ended in 1971. However, several politically motivated duels were fought in Uruguay in 1971, and one newspaper claimed at least one to be legal.


5

The notion of a peer for purposes of the jury is someone who "walks in the same shoes" as the defendant or litigants. A freeman was to be juried by other freemen, a Peer of the Realm by other (capital P) Peers, a landsman by other landholders, and a marine by other sailors. The ancient origins of a judgment by jury were rooted in removing allegations by ...


5

ZIP and ZIP+4 are registered trademarks. ZIP Code is a common law trademark or the USPS has an application pending. Source: Subset of USPS trademarks in Postal Explorer


5

The ability to create such an office derives (according to Roosevelt, who invoked the power), from the constitutional authority of the president and the Trading with the Enemy Act amended by the War Powers Act, 1941. A president cannot repeal a part of The Constitution or an act of Congress, but he can undo an act by a president (as long as Congress hasn't ...


5

The Act was enacted on August 2, 1937. Pub. 238, 75th Congress, 50 Stat. 551 It had an effective date of October 1, 1937, specified at Sec. 17: This Act shall take effect on the first day of the second month after the month during which it is enacted. As soon as a law defining a crime is in effect, you can be arrested for that crime. Calder v. Bull, ...


5

On April 30, 1790 (during the 1st Congress) a statute was passed (An Act for the Punishment of certain Crimes against the United States, pp. 112-113 of the entire acts), the third section of which reads ...And be it [further]enacted, That if any person or persons shall, within any fort, arsenal, dock-yard, magazine, or in any other place or district ...


5

It is short for habeas corpus ad subjiciendum, and refers to "the great writ" in Medieval Latin Praecipimus tibi quod corpus A.B. in prisona nostra sub custodia tua detentum, ut dicitur, una cum die et causa captionis et detentionis suae, quocumque nomine praedictus A.B. censeatur in eadem, habeas coram nobis ... ad subjiciendum et recipiendum ea ...


5

The origin of the jury is a complex mix of Saxon, Danish and Norman custom which morphed and melded along with English Common Law, which is the basis of the law in all ex-British colonies including the USA. Danish towns in the north and east of England had hereditary “law men”, often 12 in number who decided legal disputes. In parallel the West Saxons (...


5

This is still common practice in most, if not all, of the mountain west states in the United States in rural areas, although, obviously, nobody rides horses from court house to court house these days. I don't know if it is done in rural areas in other states. Typically, general jurisdiction trial court judges in these areas are assigned to a multi-county ...


4

From what I can tell, both are correct. The RPS refers to two different things as Black Acts: laws printed with a printing press using a heavy typeface (hence, "black") in 1541, and laws that established Parliament as supreme over the church (called "black" because they were bad for the church) in 1584.


4

A jury is charged with finding fact, and is supposed to take the law as given to them by a judge. "Jury nullification" occurs when a jury bends the law to produce a desired result. This was made possible by English common law, which gave juries great latitude in determining what they would rule on. The underlying power may go all the way back to the Magna ...


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