53

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 enlist they’ll typically be assigned to the medical field and will receive modified basic training (as conscientious objectors, they won’t be trained in the use ...


47

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 ...


44

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 constitutional jurisprudence either. By analogy, this would be no different (constitutionally) than a law prohibiting putting lithium in sodas (something that used to ...


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 ...


25

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", ...


25

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 interstate commerce, even indirectly. There are two particularly on-point Supreme Court cases: Gonzales v. Raich in 2005 and Wickard v. Filburn in 1942. Gonzales ...


24

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 ...


21

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 service during their term of service, they have the option to appeal for a discharge. Interestingly there's no primary legislation to manage this process but there ...


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 ...


15

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 ...


13

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 "...


12

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.


12

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/...


12

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 ...


12

The Internal Revenue Code of 1954, all 1024 pages of it, was enacted in the course of a year, basically rebooting and rewriting the tax code, contains §1211 in in 68A Stat. 321: (b) OTHER TAXPAYERS.—In the case of a taxpayer other than a corporation, losses from sales or exchanges of capital assets shall be allowed only to ...


11

By default every male Finnish Citizen is liable for military service. The relevant law for Finland has a whole Chapter 6 about unarmed service. Basically, the person who asserts that a serious reason of conscience prevents him from handling weapons is relieved of that part of service. However, the minimal service time is increased from 6 months to 9 months. (...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


8

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-...


8

I am not sure what you mean by "accept". A citizen need not agree that any particular law is desirable, or good policy, or even rational. What a citizen must do is comply with all laws, or risk proceedings to enforce them, criminal or civil depending on the law in question and the specific circumstances. More exactly all valid laws must be complied ...


7

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 of them to be legal.


7

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 ...


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 ...


7

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, ...


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

ohwilleke's answer is an excellent overview. I will attempt to resolve these specific examples you gave. Why is a "machine gun" defined under Title 26 - Internal Revenue Code, when every single other type of firearm seems to be defined under Title 18 - Crimes and Criminal Procedure? It's not as if Title 26 is redefining a machine gun for the purpose of ...


7

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 (...


7

In 1935, the Supreme Court held in Mooney v. Holohan that the prosecution lying about evidence betrays the duty of the prosecutor to seek justice. As such, any evidence that could be in the defense's favor must be revealed to the defense (the defense is entitled to see all evidence against the accused that will be used in trial... and need not turn over ...


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 ...


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