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A living constitution is a concept that is found in the United States, it is also referred to as loose constitution. This is because it is a constitutional interpretation that the constitution is dynamic in meaning. It claims that the constitution has human properties since it constantly changes .I hold a strong opinion for the constitution to be interpreted as a living constitution due to several reasons. The idea of a living constitution is often associated with the views that a society which is contemporaneous should be factored in when key constitution phrases are being interpreted.
My argument is based on several issues one, interpreting the constitution according to the outdated views is not acceptable as a matter of policy. It is very necessary for the constitution to be interpreted from an evolving perspective. Secondly the people who wrote the constitution originally wrote it in terms that are…… [Read More]
Constitutional Rights of Prisoners
he hands off doctrine that existed throughout the United States through the 1960s was the notion that the law did not apply to prisoners. It Convicted offenders, who were incarcerated, were not eligible for the same rights that applied to liberated U.S. citizens. he doctrine mandated that prisoners had forfeited those rights when they were convicted of whatever crime they committed. his doctrine made it impossible for the court system to intervene with prison administration or the daily affairs that took place in prisons throughout the country.
he Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed in 1993 and that was supposed to prevent laws being passed that would impede on a person's free right to practice whatever religion he or she chose to practice. It was fairly broad in its original incarnation, until it was deemed unconstitutional at the state and the local level of authority in…… [Read More]
Kennedy referred to international as well as domestic standards in defense of the court's majority opinion. He wrote: "Our determination that the death penalty is disproportionate punishment for offenders under eighteen finds confirmation in the stark reality that the United States is the only country in the world that continues to give official sanction to the juvenile death penalty. This reality does not become controlling, for the task of interpreting the Eighth Amendment remains our responsibility. Yet at least from the time of the Court's decision in Trop, the Court has referred to the laws of other countries and to international authorities as instructive for its interpretation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of 'cruel and unusual punishments'" (Roper, 2005, University of Cornell Law School).
Holding: The court overturned Stanford v. Kentucky, stating that society's mores had changed, and thus executing individuals for crimes committed while juveniles was cruel and unusual…… [Read More]
Constitutional Law Debate: The Legislative Branch
The Legislative Branch of government is the most powerful for many reasons. Of course, there would be people who would argue against that and state that other branches are more powerful because of specific powers that those branches possess. Despite that argument, the Legislative Branch of the U.S. Government clearly has more power because of the types of decisions that have been entrusted to them. Discussed here will be some of those decisions, along with how they apply to the "real world" and how they are viewed by people who have to live with the decisions that the Legislative Branch makes.
The Legislative Branch is the one that levies taxes (Trethan, 2011). Taxes are important and they pay for many government programs. They also allow crews to keep up roads and bridges, along with other structures that are owned and operated by the government.…… [Read More]
IS OUR CONSTITUTION A "LIVING" DOCUMENT?
Americans are hugely proud of and greatly revere their Constitution, and so does the rest of the world stand in awe at the economic and political might of the United States in adherence to its Constitution. Founding Fathers poured out their highest and best during the Constitutional Convention held in 1787 in fashioning a most precious document (Patton 2000) that would define and establish the role of government. The standards set were high. George Washington said "Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the event is in the Hand of God (qtd in Patton p 1)." The Preamble ordained and established a government "to promote the general welfare" and "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. (Patton)"
That liberty meant economic freedom or a free-market economy. This free-market economy would in turn be…… [Read More]
Berkin clearly writes a book that covers the details of the Constitutional Convention, how deals were struck, what compromises were put together and why.
Another of the leading characters in Philadelphia during the convention -- John Adams -- is briefly introduced by Berkin as "feisty" and "outspoken" (p. 11); Adams observed "his nation's circumstances with more than his usual pessimism" (p. 12), Berkin writes. Adams is mentioned again in several brief passages (pp. 17, 30, 48-49, 52) albeit most of her early narrative paints a picture of the dynamics within the convention, the arguments, the grandstanding, the axes to grind and other differences -- and not so much with the characters per se.
As for Middlekauff's descriptions of Adams, he of course has many more pages to devote to the more powerful and interesting characters, and John Adams certainly was among the aforementioned participants. On page 239 Middlekauff offers the…… [Read More]
Nelson -- the decision in which was binding on all lower courts -- was decided in favor of the state law in Minnesota banning same-sex marriages (UMT 2010).
The issue of the rights of gay, lesbian, and transgendered people are still in a state f flux and some confusion, based on the Supreme Court's rulings on the various matters. On the one hand, there is a legal mandate in place that affords same-sex partners to engage in consensual conduct with each other, but at the same time there is no legal requirement that same-sex couples be afforded the legal protection of marriage. Essentially, the constitutional stance on same-sex marriage as it now stands is one of complete laissez-faire -- the government does not want to become involved either privately or civically n the affairs of same-sex couples.
Cornell University Law School. (2010). Lawrence v. Texas. Accessed 22 January…… [Read More]
The prima facie evidence provision in this statute blurs the line between these two meanings of a burning cross. As interpreted by the jury instruction, the provision chills constitutionally protected political speech because of the possibility that a State will prosecute -- and potentially convict -- somebody engaging only in lawful political speech at the core of what the First Amendment is designed to protect. Id. At 556.
In his dissent, Justice Thomas disagreed with the Court's reasoning. In fact, Thomas accuses the Court of ignoring the realities of cross burning. Justice Thomas points out that "in every culture, certain things acquire meaning well beyond what outsiders can comprehend. That goes for both the sacred and the profane." Id. At 388. Thomas points out that the Ku Klux Klan is a terrorist organization, "which, in its endeavor to intimidate, or even eliminate those it dislikes, uses the most brutal of…… [Read More]
For example in "Bonita P. Bourke, et al. v. Nissan Motor Corporation in U.S.A.," (California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, Case No. B068705, July 26, 1993). The plaintiffs said the company's review of e-mail messages over a company system constituted an invasion of their right of privacy in violation of both the California Constitution and common law. But the court found that plaintiffs lacked a reasonable, objective expectation of privacy that their sexual and explicit e-mails would be private, because the company had given them notice e-mail could be reviewed without their knowledge or consent.
It should be noted that the right to privacy is not explicitly protected by the Constitution, but is generally accepted to exist implicitly in the penumbra of the Constitution. Another legal protection sought by employees embroiled in email workplace privacy issues is the 4 thAmendment which explicitly provides for "[t]he right of people to…… [Read More]
To date, President ush still asserts the authority to hold enemy combatants with little or no chance of having their case heard before a court. However, some strides have been made to curtail the president's assumed power.
In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the president's war powers are not "a blank check." The court said that a U.S. citizen held in a Navy brig in South Carolina and nearly 600 suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives held in Cuba have a right to contest their detentions.10
Despite the ruling, there is still a fight going on whether the detainees have the right to receive legal counsel indicating that the ush administration is not likely to let go of its newly claimed authority.
The Future of the Presidency
It seems likely that given the trends toward increasing power for the executive branch of the government that similar developments will occur in…… [Read More]
However, the courts did find that police officers at any time may be forced to appear in a lineup, although this constituted a seizure of the officer's physical person.
Explain how the free exercise of religion can pose problems for criminal justice administrators.
Police work requires individuals to assume certain duties, at certain times, which may conflict with religious prohibitions and proscriptions. Officers must work weekend and night shifts and also act with violence, when necessary, to protect the public. For example, merely because a person is an observant Orthodox Jew, Seventh Day Adventist, or a member of another religious sect which requires an individual to observe certain behaviors (such as attending church on Sunday or not riding in a car on the Sabbath) does not mean that a police department can be forced to accommodate all of the officer's requests. When an officer assumes his or her employment, he…… [Read More]
Georgia (428 U.S. 153). In that case, the Supreme Court finally ruled specifically that capital punishment was not inherently necessarily cruel or unusual, and therefore, was not a violation of the Eighth Amendment in and of itself (Schmalleger, 2008).
Since Gregg, the issues surrounding the Eighth Amendment constitutionality of capital punishment relate to the specific methods of implementation in light of evidence that lethal injection, the most common method used by states, may violate the prohibition against cruelty by virtue of the frequency of mistakes that prolong suffering unnecessarily (Schmalleger, 2008; Zalman, 2008). In addition to Eighth Amendment issues, capital punishment also raises equal protection issues in connection with suggestions of differential application with respect to minority defendants and those who are economically disadvantaged (Dershowitz, 2002).
In many ways, the extensive constitutional protections afforded by the Bill of ights interfere with efficient law enforcement efforts by the state.…… [Read More]
Northern states hoped that slavery would eventually prove unprofitable and wanted the Constitution to ban the (external) slave trade. This would not have banned slavery outright, merely banned the import of new slaves. The Constitution gave congress the power to ban the slave trade only 1808, presumably to give the southern economy time to 'adjust' or to determine how necessary the trade was to the economy in the future. Also, the North felt slaves should be counted for the purpose of taxation but not for representation, as slaves could not vote. Regarding population census of slaves and taxation, the most infamous compromise was arrived upon, namely that "delegates agreed to count slaves as 3/5ths of a person when apportioning representation and taxation" ("Constitutional Compromises," 2008, NY State Regents).
Economic tensions also existed between Southern and Northern states irrespective of slavery. Southerners, who then produced a wide array of exported cash…… [Read More]
Briefly, statutes that seek to prohibit or regulate conduct that is not constitutionally protected need only satisfy the lowest level of constitutional review: the rational basis test. According to that standard, as long as the state has a rational basis for the regulation and the manner of regulation is logically related to achieving those rational bases, the statute is constitutional (Dershowitz, 2002; Friedman, 2005). For statutes seeking to regulate conduct that is constitutionally protected but not as fundamental rights or the rights of protected "suspect" classes of individuals, courts apply the intermediate level of scrutiny. That test requires that statutes be related to important governmental interests and that the law furthers those interests in ways that are substantially related to those interests (Dershowitz, 2002; Friedman, 2005).
However, when it comes to fundamental rights (such as voting, liberty, and privacy), any statute seeking to curtail those rights must serve a compelling…… [Read More]
Constitutional, Legal and Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
Police abuse remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States. The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment and often to repeat their offenses. Police or public officials greet each new report of brutality with denials or explain that the act was an aberration, while the administrative and criminal systems that should deter these abuses by holding officers accountable instead virtually guarantee them impunity.
However, there are some things that need to be mentioned in order to fully understand the nature, role and importance of policing. Police work by its very nature involves the slippery slope (the potential for gradual deterioration of socio-moral inhibitions and…… [Read More]
The United States Constitution impacted the development of American freedom in a number of different ways. It established the basic format for that freedom which has only been altered in the ensuing centuries by amendments and landmark Supreme Court rulings. In doing so, the Constitution provided the scope of the limited focus of American freedom which was far from freedom for all regardless of gender, race, and economic status. In fact, one can successfully argue that prior to its numerous amendments and to the Supreme Court cases that affected various interpretations of the Constitution, this document impacted American freedom by establishing the boundaries of the federal government and by establishing the superiority of economically viable Caucasian males.
The aforementioned thesis is probably best supported by a brief examination of the document that preceded the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation. This document had a number of weak points that…… [Read More]
Griswold appealed her conviction, arguing that the Fourteenth Amendment's due process and equal protection clauses prohibited the anti-contraceptive legislation. The Supreme Court agreed. While the Court acknowledged that the Constitution never explicitly mentions privacy, it argued that it was clear, from looking at provisions of the Constitution, which it was meant to protect privacy. The concurring opinions, while not expressing the majority of the Court, argued that the Ninth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment provided support for a right to privacy (See generally, 381 U.S. 479).
The Griswold decision was specifically limited to its facts, and applied to the use of contraceptives between married people. However, relatively quickly the Court expanded that holding. In Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972), the Court was called upon to determine whether it was legal to deny unmarried couples the right to use contraceptives, when married couples had that right. The Court, building…… [Read More]
In this regard, Wexler (2002), points out that the "reliance by many deeply religious citizens on religious sources of authority raises important civic problems" (p. 1159). Among these problems is the ability of the state to "see your face" when it comes to providing official forms of identification that are routinely used by law enforcement authorities. Indeed, taken to its logical extreme, other religious adherents could present themselves for driver's license photographs wearing Halloween masks or nothing at all, claiming religious authority for such actions. It is a matter of dispute, however, whether the Koran demands that Muslim women cover themselves. Furthermore, the issue of whether the plaintiff's claims that religious imprecations prohibited her from having her face photographed were carefully considered by Judge Thorpe but were found to either be spurious in the instant case or otherwise open to interpretation. As Weiner (2004) points out, the requirement to wear…… [Read More]
(The Sixth Amendment, http://civilliberty.about.com/od/lawenforcementterrorism/p/6th_amendment.htm. etrieved 6 December 2009.)
The Fourteenth Amendment, although not (obviously) a part of the Bill of ights, presents rights that are as central to our democracy as those outlined in the Bill of ights, including an expansion of the definition of citizenship to include the slaves freed after the Civil War, and what is known as the "due process" clause. This clause argues that the government cannot act against its citizens without allowing them the protection of the "due process" of all applicable laws and other protections.
In the case of the Fourteenth Amendment, as is true for those of the other Amendments discussed here, the courts (including both the lower courts -- which have a great deal more power than many people realize -- and the Supreme Court have a rather mixed record on upholding what seem clearly to be the intentions of the amendment.…… [Read More]
In the case of Bowers v. Hardwick the United States Supreme Court failed to strike down Georgia's sodomy laws, as they applied to homosexuals, because rather than treat the matter as one of privacy rights, the court instead viewed the case from the perspective of whether there existed within the United States and its traditions, a right to engage in homosexual activity.
In the Supreme Court's opinion, privacy in this case was defined by,
hether the act you wish to commit is fundamental, meaning "traditional," necessary for "ordered liberty," or "deeply rooted" in history -- valued by the majority of people in our nation over time. It relies on an act-based conception of privacy and ignores spatial boundaries entirely.
Similarly, privacy issues have frequently been raise din regard to abortion rights. Ever since Roe v. ade, many states have enacted laws restricting access to abortion and abortion procedures - including…… [Read More]
y taking the problems one by one and identifying solutions that would be accepted by all parties at that given time, the Founders identified a balanced approach to the entire issue of regulation. As lack of trust for a central government was high in virtually all states, a system of power-sharing was created in which the three branches of the state would control each other, thus creating an equilibrium in which none is stronger than the other two. In a system of checks and balances, the legislative, executive and judicial powers offered all representatives the assurance of a fair distribution of power. esides this, federalism, as a concept of political culture was put in place, as to further reduce the fears of a centralized government.
Obviously the Constitution was not perfect from a modern point-of-view, and one could argue that some of the Founders should have pushed more for ending…… [Read More]
adical abolitionists began springing up all across the nation. They started a movement early in the 19th century and gained power and strength as more people began to speak out against the owning of human beings.
Many abolitionists defied the original Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, as well as the later Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, and actively sought to assist runaway slaves in their quest for freedom, most notably through the auspices of the Underground ailroad (the abolitionist (http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h477.html)."
Famous abolitionist leaders include:
William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Still (the abolitionist (http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h477.html).
The slave issue was not void of controversy even among those who were against the institution of slavery. The "American Colonization Society (ACS) was founded in 1817 by Charles Fenton Mercer, William H. Fitzhugh, Francis Scott Key, John Marshall, and James Monroe. All of the founders of the ACS were extremely rich…… [Read More]
Law Is a Reflection of the Morality of the Time:
The evolving judicial interpretation of the Constitution
Constitution has become such a respected document and holds such an important place in American life it is often conceptualized as a transcendent, ahistorical work of literature. However, the ways in which has been interpreted over the years have been profoundly influenced by cultural values and morality. These ideas can be highly specific to the age when various Supreme Court decisions are written. Perhaps the best example of this is desegregation, whereby the 19th century Supreme Court allowed states to enforce the separation of the races by virtue of its Plessy v. Ferguson precedent. Plessy was later overturned in Brown v. Board of Education, in deference to changing ideas about race. As the case was argued, the most common legal contention "was that separate school systems for blacks and whites were inherently unequal"…… [Read More]
Earl M. Maltz, Dred Scott and the Politics of Slavery. University Press of Kansas, 2007.
Eric Maltz's book Dred Scott and the Politics of Slavery is a standard history of the key issue of slavery in the western territories in the United States from 1785 to 1860, and the treatment of fugitive slaves. It contains no new or startling information on these subjects, which have been thoroughly studied by historians for decades, nor is his central thesis particularly controversial. Slavery in the est was already an issue before the 1787 Constitution and would continue to be in 1820, when the Missouri Compromise resolved the issue in the Louisiana Territory by drawing a dividing line at the southern border of Missouri north of which slavery would be banned. It nearly split the Union after the Mexican ar on 1846-48, when the Northern members of Congress supported the ilmot Proviso banning slavery…… [Read More]
Constitutional government Creating a system of checks and balances
A constitutional government places limits upon the exercise of power in writing. Power is invested in institutions, not simply in people or customs. According to President oodrow ilson: "A constitutional government is one whose powers have been adapted to the interests of its people and to the maintenance of individual liberty. That, in brief, is the conception we constantly make use of, but seldom analyze, when we speak of constitutional governments" (ilson 1908). ilson notes that "Roughly speaking, constitutional government may be said to have had its rise at Runnymede, when the barons of England exacted Magna Carta of John; and that famous transaction we may take as the dramatic embodiment alike of the theory and of the practice we seek" (ilson 1908).
The Magna Carta of 1215 was a written document that placed limits upon the exercise of the king's…… [Read More]
Constitutional Structures of U.S. And Canada
In a well-organized essay of no more than ten double-spaced, typewritten pages:
Describe the essential differences in the constitutional structure of the central government in the United States and Canada.
One of the main differences is that while both countries have a federalist system, Canada has a parliament while U.S. does not. Canadian elections can be called every four to five years, either in the winter or spring, while in the U.S. The terms of office are absolutely fixed by the Constitution -- two years for the House of Representatives, four for the president and six for the Senate. These elections are always held on the first Tuesday in November and cannot be changed or delayed, not even during wartime. Even during the Civil War, when eleven Southern states had left the Union, these elections were still held as scheduled. In Canada, the Prime…… [Read More]
Constitutional Democracy / Presidential or Parliamentary System
Social and Economic Sources of Democracy
For the successful development of a democracy, two major factors come into play regarding the sources of said democracy. Of course, some of the factors are also indications of other regimes -- fascist and communist -- though as argued by the various papers, there is a distinct difference in the political structures that determine democracies over fascist and communist regimes. Because of the major results created by such factors, the most important sources of democracy would have to be the economic, industrialized, and educational values within the nation.
"The level of economic development, as measured by per capita income, is by far the best predictor of political regimes" (Przeworski). While there appears to be a similarity between the development of economic countries in dictatorships and democracies, Przeworski maintains that a dictatorship eventually dies and paves the way…… [Read More]
Rowan County, North Carolina had a prayer policy that was aligned with Christian norms as well as the prevailing values of freedom and liberty in the United States. The policy pertained to the opening ceremonies before public meetings, which include the Pledge of Allegiance. During these meetings in Rowan County, individual commissioners were offered the opportunity to pray in whatever manner they preferred, have a moment of silence instead, or abstain from either. No commissioner or member of the public was required to pray; it was a voluntary provision. Yet federal courts recently ruled that Rowan County’s practices violated the First Amendment of the Constitution, particularly the Establishment Clause. The Establishment Clause states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” (“Introduction to the Establishment Clause,” (n.d.). Even a cursory reading of the Establishment Clause shows that prohibiting commissioners from praying during…… [Read More]
Constitutional Models and Political Parties
Constitutionalism and noble representative government are concepts and practices that have existed longer than the American epublic. The existence of these concepts provided the foundation for the formation of the American Democratic Experiment through acting as ingredients towards this process. Since the foundation of American epublic, there are various constitutional models that have been established. These different models have been established in attempts to respond to several governance issues that emerge from time to time. Actually, these different models have provided the foundation for governance models and practices for better governance of the society. Some examples of constitutional models include the 18th Century Madisonian and Hamiltonian constitutional models and Barker's normative democratic theory, which differ with regards to their major components.
Madisonian and Hamiltonian Models v. Normative Democratic Theory
The 18th Century constitutional models basically relied on principles introduced by Madison and Hamilton. Madisonian constitutional…… [Read More]
PROTECTION OF CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER IN THE U.S.A.
In spite of the fact that the constitutional order puts across a series of elements from which the American public (as a whole) benefits, it is also responsible for enabling many individuals to freely express religious fanaticism through criminal acts. It is very surprising that matters in the U.S. were relatively peaceful for the last two centuries, with the recent decades marking a significant change in nation's connection to religion, especially considering that many individuals have come to associate the country with Christianity and with elements favoring the discrimination of other religions. The constitutional order is of no use to the well-being of the public in particular situations, as it can be overridden by some, regardless of the morality in their behavior.
The First Amendment of the Constitution (ratified in 1791) says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,…… [Read More]
violation of the student's Constitutional rights
The issue is whether there has been a possible violation of a student's "constitutional right to education" due to the fact that during the time she had to stay in the cage based on Mr. Billups' order she had to miss all of her other classes for that day. R: The rule is that unlike various state constitutions the federal Constitution does not contain a "right to education." The U.S. Supreme Court addressed itself to this issue in 1973 in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez. In this decision the U.S. Supreme Court held that education is neither explicitly nor impliedly guaranteed as a "fundamental right" in the U.S. Constitution (Constitutional Requirements Governing American Education -- Federal constitutional Requirements, State Constitutional Issues, Conclusion, p. 1). Therefore, a constitutional right to education of student Li could not have been violated by Mr. Billups. I:…… [Read More]
The main Woolworth's store was already on strike, and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) was threatening to escalate the strike to all of the stores in Detroit." (Cobble, 2003)
Myra had been nicknamed the: "attling elle of Detroit" by media in the Detroit area because Myra is said to have:.." relished a good fight with employers, particularly over the issues close to her heart. A lifelong member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) she insisted, for example, on sending out racially integrated crews from the union's hiring hall, rejecting such standard employer requests as 'black waiters only, white gloves required." (Cobble, 2003) Myra was involved in many more organized protests and strikes and is stated to "consider herself a feminists...outspoken about her commitment to end sex discrimination...lobbied against the ERA until 1972...chaired the national committee against a repeal of women-only state labor…… [Read More]
students opportunity discuss a key political science concept, show a basic understanding academic research reporting skills.
Define "loose construction" and "strict construction" methods of constitutional interpretation, and describe how each perspective aligns with formal vs. informal methods of change.
The 'strict construction' view of the Constitution has traditionally been aligned with conservatives such as Robert Bork who argue that "a judge interpreting the Constitution" should only consider "the words used in the Constitution [as] would have been understood at the time [of enactment]" (Linder, citing Posner, "Theories"). In contrast, the 'loose construction' view (traditionally aligned with more liberal politics) stresses the need to interpret the Constitution in a manner beyond the letter of the law. There are a number of factors which justices traditionally consider when making constitutional interpretations, including the text itself; likely intentions of the founders; precedents; consequences of the decision in the 'real world;' and so-called 'natural…… [Read More]
British constitutional history has largely been a slow and deliberate process of evolution over a period of centuries. The following comments of a political scientist are thus largely true:
Nowhere else has the world witnessed a political evolution so relatively free from great civil commotion. Britain has not had a revolution comparable with the French Revolution of 1798 or the Russian Revolution of 1917. It is true that there have been threats of Revolution and so-called revolutions in Britain, but they did not deflect the main current of political development.
In this essay we shall discuss why the above comments are a reasonably accurate observation of the British political history.
Until the Middle Ages, Britain was a feudal kingdom that gradually transformed into a strong centralized monarchy. The monarchy came into its own in the middle ages and the monarchs felt secure enough in their position to seek the advice…… [Read More]
It is the pursuit of happiness that the Constitution guarantees with respect to a person's right to pursue a free life. The words are written this way (Von Eckardt, Ursula M., 1959, p. 2):
e hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are empowered by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
These words should dissuade the most adamant lawmaker from proposing, or creating a federal law that would ban same-sex unions. Likewise, those seeking same-sex unions should look long and hard at the legalities involved in what they are seeking. "One way to destroy the spirit of anything is to sanctify that thing. Sanctify the code, the institution, the constitution, or the doctrine, and it is thereby arrested. It becomes unchangeable, incapable of development, resistant to new influences, rigid (Maclver, R.M., 1955,…… [Read More]
Patriot Act Homeland Security Act 21st Century form foundation United States' domestic response terrorist attacks September 11, 2001. Many legal political voices advocated acts resulted a reduction rights citizens a loss civil liberties.
The Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act:
Are they a violation of our constitutional rights?
According to the U.S. government, the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act gave the government the necessary tools to investigate acts of terror, including greater leeway in the use of surveillance technology; greater leeway in sharing information between law enforcement agencies, and increased the penalties for terrorist-related crimes (The U.S. Patriot Act, 2014, Department of Justice). However, it is very difficult to establish whether a law has genuinely prevented crime, particularly a crime with such complex causality as terrorism. Furthermore, civil liberties groups have criticized the Act for limiting the freedom of innocent Americans. ather than improving the safety of…… [Read More]
Reforms in France and Germany
Divided Government and Constitutional Reform
hen it comes to government, there are many forces within the framework, which influence political change for a nation and its people. hen it comes to the governments of Germany and France each are structured and managed differently, however, the same force of divided government has resulted in profound constitutional reforms for both countries. This paper will discuss the forces that expand the potential opportunities for change to result and influence the legislative process. This issue of divided government is present in both governments and its effect on legislation has both short-term and long-term ramifications. How each country is willing to accept divided government as a part of the political machine is where each country forms its own identity and path for the future decision-making environments. It is the country's ability to embrace divided government or its ability to reject…… [Read More]
Minor's Constitutional Rights
courts have recognized some Constitutional rights for students attending public schools that school officials need to be aware of. Even though, school officials have been given the right to control student conduct on school grounds, school officials can cross the line when it comes to student rights. The Supreme Court case Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding (2009) is a prime example of school officials crossing the line concerning violation of a student's Constitutional rights when the Arizona middle school had strip searched 13-year-old Savana Redding under suspicion she was hiding ibuprophen pills in her underwear (arnes 2009).
The fact was another student had been found with prescription strength ibuprophen and told the Assistant Principal she received it from Redding. After being pulled into the office by the Assistant Principal, Redding had consented to a search of her backpack and outer clothing. When the search found…… [Read More]
An early draft of the Constitution initially did not permit Congress to rule on the issue of slavery at all, but later versions gave Congress the ability to ban or regulate the practice after 1808.
There was also the issue of the Presidency. The Congress created the idea of the Electoral College as a way to help elect the President in a country where communication was still difficult at best. It took nearly four months to agree on the College, and only then, could the term, the powers, and the re-election of the President be discussed and agreed on.
There were also issues regarding the powers of Congress, and how much power the states would retain. The Committee of Detail created the division of powers between the federal and state governments, as well as the separation of power between the President, the Congress, and the Courts. This was vital to…… [Read More]
It is also argued that the insurance mandate is not constitutional since the government does not have the right to tell the United States citizens what products to purchase, even when these products are beneficial for them, and even less when the socio-economic impact of purchasing the respective items is questionable (Savage, 2009).
Arguments against changing the direction of the policy
Once again delaying any measures to restructure and resolve the two impending problems in the health care system (raising costs and insufficient coverage) does not constitute a constructive approach to resolving the impending problems
Aside the socio-economic problems it raises, the mandatory health insurance would ensure that all the U.S. citizens benefit at least from the basic health care services and this does not put tremendous strains on the federal budgets.
5. ationale of the suggestion to change the direction
Despite the benefits the mandatory health insurance would generate…… [Read More]
The government has no right turning a blind eye to criminals who possess arms, allowing innocent citizens to live unprotected in their own homes. It is far too late to restrict access to guns, anyway. The market has already opened its arms to criminals who have stashes of weapons. Those weapons aren't going anywhere and so American citizens must have unrestricted access to the weapons that can protect them from being killed by criminals.
Gun control also prevents objective education surrounding the proper use of guns. If young adults are taught how to properly store and use a firearm they are less likely to use them indiscriminately. espect for guns helps create a more educated, enlightened society instead of one that cowers in fear from the very thought of a weapon that has been around for centuries.
The original purpose of the Second Amendment was to empower the citizens of…… [Read More]
Homeland Security / Constitutional Issues
Civil Liberties: These are fundamental freedoms interpreted by policymakers and courts over the years or assured by the Constitutional Bill of ights (Pearcy, 2003-2016).
Bill of ights: This is an official statement of American citizens' fundamental rights, integrated into the U.S. Constitution in the form of ten Amendments, as well as into the constitutions of all states (Bill of rights, n.d.).
Thought Police: This denotes a cluster of individuals holding totalitarian views regarding a particular subject, and who continuously keep an eye on others for noting any deviations from the way of thinking approved (Thought Police, n.d.).
Thought Crime: This refers to a case of controversial or unconventional thinking, which is regarded as socially unacceptable or as a crime (Oxford Dictionaries, 2016).
Big Brother: A 'big brother' is an ever-present, apparently benevolent personage who represents the tyrannical control over the lives of individuals as exerted…… [Read More]
There are limitations on the destruction of wiretap records. The numbers of crimes for which wiretaps can be used, the types of judges who can authorize taps have both however, been expanded.
What Does the Constitution Say?
The United States Constitution states many principles of constitutional law that must be present in for Democracy to truly exist. Democracy is characterized by freedom and liberty to think and believe individually and the freedom to express those beliefs through speech that does not trod upon or offend others. The travesties against justice n committed in the name of Democracy is an affront to all that was intended, fought, and died in attaining in America.
Freedom, liberty and justice not only in America indeed, for the entire world. ut there are limitations within the realm of freedom and justice, for it is not freedom or justice in the forcing of what is termed…… [Read More]
Impact of the Slaughter-House Cases
The adoption of the constitution of the United States of America faced opposition from groups that feared the takeover of a centralized government. This opposition arose from the fear that this new centralized government would demean and embarrass the states by forcing or administering and contradicting the state's decisions, laws and policies. Opponents of the constitution feared that "the powers granted to the proposed government were not sufficiently guarded, and might be used to encroach upon the liberties of the people" (McClain 18). After the ratification of the constitution by the states the desire for amendments and regulations that restricted the powers of the new government was voiced by representatives of those states.
There was extreme fear that the everyday rights and liberties of citizens of a state would be impacted, restricted and oppressed by a centralized form of government. The desire to…… [Read More]
Of fundamental concern to the Court in Goss was the issue of procedural due process as opposed to substantive due process. By not providing a formal or informal hearing for the students explaining the reasons for suspension, and not offering the students an opportunity to present their contravening opinion, did the school violate the fourteenth amendment's procedural due process requirements?
The Court held in a five- four majority opinion that the school district had violated the student's rights by suspending them without proper notice or hearing. The Court's logic in this decision is particularly interesting as it speaks to the student's "property and liberty interests that qualify for protection under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment" (Cornell University Law School- Goss v. Lopez. N.D.). The property concern is of paramount importance in the decision as the court found that "because Ohio had chosen to extend the…… [Read More]
In Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, Congress was limited from prohibiting the importation of slaves, at least until 1808. For twenty years, Congress was, by virtue of the Constitution, enjoined from any attempt to limit slave importation. Finally, however, Congress did pass a law outlawing the slave trade as of January 1, 1808.
The final mention of slavery in the Constitution virtually prevented slaves from gaining freedom by escaping to a non-slave state. The Fugitive Slave Clause states that the laws of one state could not excuse a person from "service or labor" in another state; in short, escaped slaves were to be extradited from free states back to slave states because the escapees were not truly human with rights to liberty, but rather property with no rights.
Three of every four Southerners lived, after 1808, in the coastal states of Maryland, Virginia, and North and South Carolina;…… [Read More]
For all Americans, the Fourth Amendment is an essential element of the U.S. Constitution that protects everyone's rights. This has influenced the way that the criminal justice system is interacting with defendants and the tactics that are utilized by law enforcement when conducting investigations. To fully understand how this is impacting society and legal proceedings requires studying various sources. This will be accomplished using academic information (i.e. books, case law and journal articles) to highlight the issues. In the future, this paper will contribute to a greater understanding as to how it requires maintaining a balance in protecting individual rights and giving the government effective tools for enforcing the law. (McInnis, 2009) (Lively, 1999)
The Fourth Amendment is designed to provide Americans with protections against unreasonable search and seizure. It has several different provisions that have been subject to various legal interpretations to include: the use of…… [Read More]
Unfortunately, the support gained by these two divisions were not based on the opinion, instead immoral activities including bribes were offered in exchange for the support of individuals, irrespective of their class and affiliation. The failure of the Gracchus brothers highlighted the failure of the constitution, the people and class emerged which was involved in such immoral activities, and lauded corruption for the political gain including influence Senate. The removal of the Tarquins was responsible for the social and political unrest, and after the election of the Tiberius Gracchus by the assembly as the tribunes, different policies with reference to the land allocation and ownership were restricted to 640 acres, and therefore the rich had to compromise, and lost their part of the wealth through different imposition and restriction. The rich compromised over their wealth and the state and poor were considered to be the beneficiary, therefore previously where the…… [Read More]
Administrative Search Exception
Administrative Search Exemption
Administrative search exception: Why it applies to airport searches
The 'administrative search exception' has often been called the TSA's attempt to circumvent the Fourth Amendment. However, "while the new TSA enhanced pat downs may violate the Fourth Amendment on the surface, what most people are not aware of is that the 9th Circuit Court of the United States ruled on the search of passengers in airports back in 1973, which effectively suspends limited aspects of the Fourth Amendment while undergoing airport security screening" (Frischling 2010). The U.S. Supreme Court case which established the exclusionary rule as a rule of law (the idea that 'fruit of the poisonous tree' evidence obtained illegally could not be used against a defendant in a court of law) was not found to be applicable in this particular category of searches. The U.S. Supreme Court had already established in 1968…… [Read More]
ainwright v Gideon
In 1961, a man named Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested for stealing coins and alcohol from a Panama City, Florida, pool hall. He was a poor man and could not afford a lawyer. Following his conviction, he served five years in prison. During that time, he sent a handwritten letter to the Supreme Court in which he explained that he had been forced to fend for himself in court, without legal representation. Because of Mr. Gideon, the Supreme Court justices declared that criminal defendants have a right to legal aid (Gest). It was a right decision by the Supreme Court. The United States was founded on the principle that all men should be equal. By providing criminal defense to the poor, the court is leveling the playing field so that everyone receives the same fair treatment. Since crimes are committed disproportionately by the poor, the Supreme Court's…… [Read More]
9/11 terror attacks was characterized by enactment of new laws and executive orders that focused on enhancing homeland security. However, these laws and orders have become controversial because they have ceded power to the executive branch and limited people's rights. Some examples of these limitations include restrictions on privacy, limitation of free speech and association rights, and limitation of religious freedom. While these actions were necessary to help prevent another attack, they are inappropriate since they compromise civil rights and checks and balances established in America's democracy. The federal government would have taken less drastic measures through reordering priorities of law enforcement instead of generating fundamental changes in law.
Week 5: Discussion
In the American judicial system, the Supreme Court reviews very few cases most of whom are appeals from lower courts. It should not be mandatory for the Supreme Court to review more cases despite having appellate jurisdiction. The…… [Read More]
Effective strategies after the 13th and 14th amendments
The 13th amendment to the constitution was widely welcome by many Americans and the world at large as it gave the surety of freedom from slavery in the legal standing of it. The most famous and important section of the Declaration of Independence read that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable ights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." This was an assurance that the freedom of each person living in America would be guaranteed and that no person will live under the command or control of another person due to the race or color. Further, the 14th amendment came into place to entrench and ensure the equality among the Americans (Hole ., 2001). It was one of the…… [Read More]
Constitutional Government in Great Britain
In the case study, the UK constitution is Unique because the laws are unwritten. However, the law of the Great Britain has the following roles.
• The constitution identifies the rights of the citizens and the responsibilities of the state. In the constitution, the teenagers of age above 18 have a voting right.
• The constitution of the Great Britain identifies the body responsible for making the constitutions. In the case study, it is apparent that the law state how the power is shared in the UK. The main institution of the state includes the Judiciary, Government, and the Parliament.
• The case study state when and why the citizens are punished. In the UK, when an individual breaks the law, he/she deserve the punishment. However, the constitution guarantees every citizen the rights such as freedom of speech, conscience, and thoughts.
The case study identifies…… [Read More]
Right to Carry Handguns for Self-Protection:
The right to carry handguns for law abiding citizens has been a continual social and political debate about the restriction or availability of firearms within the country. Actually, the right to carry handguns has developed to become one of the major controversial and intractable issues within the social and political environments in the nation. The main reason attributed to the development of this controversial issue is the constitutional provision regarding firearms and the government's responsibility to prevent criminal activities, maintaining order, and safeguarding citizens' well-being. The debate has been characterized by different reasons that have been raised by intellectuals, social activists, and advocates in support and opposition of the controversial issue.
The debate regarding the right to carry and keep firearms can be traced to the inception of the gun culture, which explained the affections of American's citizens in adopting and celebrating…… [Read More]
Opposition to same-sex marriage is strong and vocal, while support for same sex marriage is equally strong and vocal. An understanding of constitutional arguments will be helpful in determining whether or not federal or state government should have the right too define marriage.
The overturn of a statute prohibiting homosexual sodomy, in Lawrence vs. Texas, opened the constitutional debate over same sex marriage in the United States. Lawrence vs. Texas, however, left prohibitions on same-sex marriage. At the same time, Lawrence vs. Texas may "the door wide to challenges of the same-sex ban on due process and equal protection grounds" (Thomas, 2003). In time, suggests Thomas (2003), arguments of due process and equal protection will likely make their way to the Supreme Court.
Given this eventuality, opponents of same-sex marriage are proposing a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to same sex couples (Thomas, 2003). Gerstmann (2004) argues that such an…… [Read More]
By enacting the Black Codes, starting in 1865, following the 13th Amendment, however, and by giving birth, in 1866, to the Ku Klux Klan and its reign of terror over the freedmen, the southern states successfully circumvented the actual enjoyment by blacks of most of the freedoms granted them by the 13th Amendment.
The Constitution of the United tates of America [Article II]. A History of the American People.
Ed. Harry J. Carman et al. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. New York: Knopf, 1960. 776.
Hill, Elias. "Testimony before Congressional Committee Investigating the Ku Klux Klan, 1871." Reading the American Past: elected Historical Documents. Ed. Michael
Johnson. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. New York: Bedford, 2002. 9-13.
Jefferson, Thomas. The Declaration of Independence. A History of the American People.
Ed. Harry J. Carman et al. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. New York: Knopf, 1960. 759.
Mississippi Black Code, November 1865." Reading…… [Read More]
Views on devolution and who may decide the issue are changing. In the Constitutional eform Act 2005, the idea was advanced that the independent supreme court and decide about devolution cases, constituting an internal limit (Bradley and Ewing 2007 pp.384-385) .
The concept of original principle is being increasingly affected by internal and external limits. The UK is very sensitive in particular upon external limits. Probably nowhere is this represented more than in issues that face the UK's burgeoning relations with the EU. Britain sees the courts upholding Parliamentary power and interpreting it only in the implementation and not with regard to whether or not power was wielded rightly or wrongly. This flies in the face of the European concept of the primacy of laws coming from Brussels (Allan 2011, p. 159). One very big issue currently is with regard to European business mergers. This has particularly been an issue…… [Read More]
History has shown that the form of government which emerged out of the American evolution was by no means perfect, but to recognize this does not diminish the importance of what was achieved as a result of the Constitutional Convention. Instead, it allows one to appreciate the disruptive and groundbreaking nature of the compromise government established by the various delegates while realizing how much it represents a continuity with the past. By examining Berkin's 2002 account of the creation of the American Constitution in her book A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution alongside Middlekauff's 2005 study The Glorious Cause, one is able to better appreciate the process and goals that went into the creation of the American Constitution, and how the problems that existed at its creation continue to plague the country to this day.
Before beginning this discussion of the Constitutional Convention and its details, it…… [Read More]
Court Opening Argument
It is humbly submitted to the Hon'ble Court that this respondent as per the issues and syllabus cited submit that the issues of the litigation pertain -- not only to the law of marriage, but also to the recognition if it must be accorded to same sex marriages and unions, and whether no recognizing this social development amounts to denial of the constitutional rights of a group of citizens. It is also pertinent to question if the states in allowing adoption to opposite sex couples and denying the same to same sex couples. The question then becomes still deeper with the challenge of the validity of same sex marriages.
It is still with various states to give effect to the Defence of Marriage Act -- DOMA and the definition of marriage as per section 3 of the act makes marriage between a man and a woman alone…… [Read More]
Government and Elections
Should foreign interest groups be banned from attempting to influence the course of American government? Are foreign interest groups always opposed to the interests of U.S. companies and citizens?
It is reported in the work of Benen 2010) that a speech delivered by President Obama warned of "corporate takeover of our democracy" in the form of "shadowy groups raising millions in secret to help buy elections for Republicans. Benen notes the publication of 'ThinkProgress' which states that the trade association "organized as a 501c)6)…the U.S. Chamber of Commerce…that can raise and spend unlimited funds without ever disclosing any of its donors…has promised to spend…" the amount of $75 million to defeat specific candidates including such as "Jack Conway, Sen. Barbara Boxer D-CA), Jerry Brown, Rep. Joe Sestak D-PA), and Rep. Tom Perriello D-VA). As of Sept. 15th, the Chamber had aired more than 8,000 ads on behalf…… [Read More]