Questions tagged [constitution]

A constitution is a framework for government, and serves as a set of founding principles for the entity.

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9 answers
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Why is there no process in the United States to remove and re-elect the President?

When a European head of government has too many enemies/doubts about their history, then he or she is usually deposed by the parliament and a new head of government is elected (either by the ...
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3 answers
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Was the change in government in Ukraine legal?

President Putin recently called the change in government in Ukraine an "anti-constitutional coup and a military seizure of power". Obviously, the interim government and their Western allies disagree, ...
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What does Kanye (Ye) West actually mean by "Abolish the 13th Amendment"?

On his Saturday Night Live appearance on the 29th of September 2018, Kanye West spoke on "abolishing the 13th amendment". (This may have been stewing for a while, but that is when I first became ...
46 votes
4 answers
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In the US, is there any crime for which the punishment is slavery?

Article 13 U.S. Constitution: Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the ...
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What is the political reason for the U.S. House to adopt a resolution that essentially reaffirms the Constitution?

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution, H.Res.1155, committing to the peaceful transfer of power after the election. The Resolution text is fairly short: Resolved, That the ...
43 votes
8 answers
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Does the Constitution allow a woman to be President of the United States?

The Constitution of the United States of America frequently refers to the President using male pronouns. For instance: He shall hold his Office Not once is the president referred to with a female ...
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5 answers
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Can a US President declare a "State of Emergency"?

Is there any provision within the US Constitution whereby the President can declare a state of emergency, suspending the powers of the judiciary/congress to override executive actions. What happened ...
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Does this argument against healthcare as a right not apply to a "speedy and public trial"?

People often make the argument that healthcare cannot be considered a right because someone would be compelled to provide it for you. For example, from libertarianstandard.com: When supporters of ...
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1 answer
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Why is West Virginia a state?

First off, I am a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and am completely aware of the circumstances of the creation of the state of West Virginia. In 1863, in the midst of the Rebellion, ...
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4 answers
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Why is Jeff Sessions eligible to become Attorney General?

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the ...
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Can the U.S. Senate hold an impeachment trial if the House "passes" articles of impeachment but does not "transmit" them to the Senate?

After passing articles of impeachment against the President, Speaker Pelosi has announced she will not immediately send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial. What does this actually ...
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4 answers
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In the US, what is the role of and relationship between federal law and state law?

(This is an attempt at a canonical question about an important distinction in US law and politics that is different than many other countries. It was suggested by this comment on another question. I'm ...
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Why are separate bathrooms for men and women not in violation of the rejection of "separate but equal"?

Other than the fact that nobody has challenged it in the Supreme Court, how are separate bathrooms for men and women not in violation of the rejection of "separate but equal"? We conclude that, in ...
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Why was Congress able to create an Air Force without a constitutional amendment?

Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution enumerates the powers of Congress and includes the creation of military forces: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use ...
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Why is the Constitutionality of an Impeachment and Trial when out of office not settled?

The US Senate has voted 3 times, once in 1876 and twice in 2021, that impeachment and trial of an official who has left office is acceptable. Despite this, Mitch McConnell voted to acquit Trump in ...
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Why is the Second Amendment to the US constitution structured differently from all other amendments?

The Second Amendment reads as follows: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. This can be ...
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A new proposal suggests subdividing Washington D.C. into 127 new states so that they can change the Constitution at will. Is this possible?

There is a new proposal in the Harvard Law Review titled: "Pack the Union: A Proposal to Admit New States for the Purpose of Amending the Constitution to Ensure Equal Representation". Lamenting the ...
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Is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact constitutional?

I read recently that Colorado will have a version of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact on their ballot in November. Considering that this bill functionally eliminates the Electoral College, ...
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Why aren't the Alabama Constitution's anachronistic parts removed?

I have stumbled across section 256 from Alabama Constitution: (...) Separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a ...
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Why didn't Barack Obama try to force the Senate to hold hearings on SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland?

US Constitution Article 2 says this about the appointments to the Supreme Court: [the President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint (...) Judges ...
30 votes
2 answers
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To whom does "Madam Speaker" refer during the Trump impeachment debate?

Trump impeachment vote is underway. Every representative is making their case for or against the articles of impeachment. Every one of them is addressing the "Madam Speaker". But what I see is that ...
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Why does the government not introduce an amendment to the constitution to allow abortion?

Since the polls clearly show that the majority of the American people disagree with the Supreme Courts decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, why does the US government not introduce an amendment to the ...
28 votes
4 answers
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Are there examples of democratic states peacefully changing their constitution without abiding by the rules spelled out in the former constitution?

As an example, changing the US Constitution is extremely difficult as it requires the consent of 3/4 of all States according to the text of the existing Constitution. But in practice any law including ...
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Why is "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation" necessary?

In the US constitutional amendments, it is frequently stated that Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Why are these clauses necessary? Are there, for ...
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How did Gödel believe the US could become a dictatorship without the constitution being violated?

Kurt Gödel seems to have proven that this is possible, according to the Wikipedia article: On December 5, 1947, Einstein and Morgenstern accompanied Gödel to his U.S. citizenship exam, where they ...
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Did any of the founding fathers anticipate Lysander Spooner's criticism of the constitution?

In his 1870 work "No Treason" - Lysander Spooner writes: “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we ...
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Why do the supreme court justices have a life term period?

The justices of the Supreme Court of the United States is composed by chief justices which have a life-term period on that position after they are "elected". I have always asked to myself why some ...
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Can the Chinese president be impeached?

According to this article: China has approved the removal of the two-term limit on the presidency, effectively allowing Xi Jinping to remain in power for life. I'd like to know if there is a ...
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25 votes
1 answer
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How can Erdoğan stay in office until 2029?

It has been widely reported that the constitutional amendments approved by the April 2017 referendum will allow Erdoğan to stay in office until 2029: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ...
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3 answers
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Can the vice president of the United States be fired?

Does the vice-president serve at the discretion of the president, such that he or she can be removed from office at the president's will?
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1 answer
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Can a US president give preemptive pardons?

The Trump administration discusses the possibility of pardoning Donald Trump, his family, and loyal members of the administration for crimes that they have not been charged for. Can the president ...
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What happens if the President of the United States is deemed a risk to US national security?

Hypothetically, what happens if the President of the United States is deemed a risk to U.S. national security? If, for example, the President engages in a pattern of (perhaps otherwise entirely ...
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How does DOMA get around the "Full Faith and Credit" clause to the Constitution?

Regardless of what one feels about "gay marriage", the recent decision by the Supreme Court to review the case brings up an interesting Constitutional question. Namely, if, say, Maryland recognizes ...
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Can the President of the US limit First Amendment rights?

The First Amendment to the US Constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, ...
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3 answers
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Can a US president be "re-impeached" by a new Congress on the same charges? Or would double jeopardy apply?

Double jeopardy is a pretty fundamental element to the US criminal justice system, but does it apply to a US President (or other impeachable official) and the trial-like impeachment proceedings in ...
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21 votes
2 answers
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Tie breaking in general election for president in U.S

Suppose the electoral votes for President and Vice-President both ties (as happened in the show VEEP season 5 episode 10), according to Amendment XII of the Constitution, the House vote for President ...
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3 answers
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Must all democratic countries have a constitution?

It seems to me that all democratic countries, e.g. republics and representative monarchies, also have a constitution of sorts. On the other hand, what defines a democratic country is the "power ...
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5 answers
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What protections does the 1st Amendment offer US citizens in terms of local and state law?

With the George Floyd protests going on I keep seeing news about curfews as early as 6pm, police driving by peaceful gatherings and firing chalk rounds or arresting people for illegal gatherings, I ...
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Can the Supreme Court overturn an impeachment?

Article 2, Section 4 of the US Constitution states: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, ...
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Can the US government outlaw the buying, selling and manufacture of arms?

I know the US Constitution covers the right to bear arms, but can the government theoretically ban the buying, selling and manufacture of arms?
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If two U.S. Constitutional amendments conflict with each other, does the most recent one take precedence?

If one amendment doesn’t explicitly repeal another one, does it still take precedence over it the way a new law can indirectly override older laws?
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What are the limits of the second amendment?

The second amendment of the US constitution states: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be ...
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19 votes
8 answers
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Why do Americans care so much about their constitution?

The constitution is evidently a major deal in American politics. It shows up all the time in the political discourse, often used to defend certain opinions and views, or to highlight the grandeur of ...
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1 answer
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Could the second amendment be, well, amended? [duplicate]

Considering the criticism from some regarding the Second Amendment and gun control laws, supposing Americans voted that they didn't want the second amendment anymore or wanted it changed (by majority ...
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What election rules and voting rights are guaranteed by the US Constitution?

Following the recent US Supreme Court decision that gerrymandering for political purposes is not prohibited by the US Constitution, I realized that it can be hard to understand what rules related to ...
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2 answers
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What is the political/legal distinction between a "state" and a "commonwealth" in the United States?

Some of the "states" in the United States are referred to as a Commonwealth rather than State (Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Pennsylvania specifically). The Wikipedia article for Commonwealth ...
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Why can't gun control legislation get passed?

I'm specifically referring to things like closing the gun show loophole and limiting access of those with mental illness to guns. It seems absurd that those representing guns, a consumer product, ...
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On what basis could the US federal government codify Roe v. Wade?

There are proposals to pass a federal law allowing abortion in all states, in case Roe v. Wade is overturned. Ignoring the political feasibility of passing such a law, on what constitutional basis can ...
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How could Philadelphia join New Jersey?

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Senate voted to block a Philadelphia law which would require paid sick leave for employees. This is just one in a long series of examples where the heavily-Democrat ...
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3 answers
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Does substantive due process apply to the Second Amendment?

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states, in part, "No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Since the 1930's, the Supreme Court ...

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