Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [united-states]

Questions relating to the government or the politics of the United States of America

6
votes
4answers
1k views

Would Third Party Candidates in the United States fare better under a proportional representation split of electoral votes?

One major difficulty in winning election as a third party candidate is the first-past-the-post , winner-take-all system of allocating votes in the electoral college. It tends to support a primary ...
5
votes
4answers
708 views

Why are US laws written in such convoluted formats?

In recent times, the fiscal cliff has become a hot topic in the United States, and its resolution was applauded by both parties in Congress. However, upon reading parts of the actual American ...
8
votes
1answer
7k views

How far does in loco parentis extend for schools in the United States?

To my personal opinion, In the United States schools have adopted the position that they have in loco parentis authority over students, at the moment the students leave the company of their parents. ...
37
votes
1answer
2k views

Have any of the “We the People” petitions ever resulted in policy changes?

I was looking at the U.S. White House's "We the People" petition website they had set up shortly after Obama took office, and noticed that most of the petitions are in the ridiculous or at least not ...
7
votes
1answer
571 views

Is the PATRIOT ACT constitutional? [closed]

As noted by multiple civil libertarian groups, the PATRIOT ACT and its associated laws authorize the government to conduct courts in which the interpretation is not made public, and searches may be ...
21
votes
3answers
49k views

Which US states give proportional Presidential electoral college votes to candidates?

The US Presidential election uses an "electoral college" system, where each state gets a certain number of "electors" (votes), and those electors cast the official votes for President. Each state's ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

What exactly was in the 2012 fiscal cliff deal?

So what exactly was in the 2012 fiscal cliff deal that congress passed at the beginning of 2013? I understand that they further extended the Bush tax cuts for people making less than $400 thousand to ...
10
votes
1answer
883 views

Which party did the US citizens who don't pay federal income taxes vote for in 2012?

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury" - unknown (frequently attributed to ...
36
votes
1answer
3k views

If the US switched to the metric system, what would the net 20-year economic savings be?

If the United States were to adopt the metric system of units, as commonly used in all other advanced industrial economies, there would clearly be switching costs for the economy as a whole, and there ...
6
votes
1answer
89 views

Is there a video online that shows the congressional session which confirms the US Presidential Election?

Normally the sessions of United States congress are available online for review by the public. Are the session(s) which involve the certification of the results of the US Presidential Elections (of ...
17
votes
2answers
407 views

What legal impediments might there be to alternate voting systems?

Most jurisdictions in the US use first-past-the-post voting. This appears to me to be a historical artifact; I'm not aware of any legal impediments on a federal level that would prevent states or ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Have any municipalities in the US ever used approval voting?

Approval voting is an alternate voting system which has many advantages over our standard first-past-the-post system. Instead of marking a single candidate, the voter marks every candidate of which ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
406 views

Is legalization of marijuana legal in the United States?

The question posed here is whether the states' partial nullification of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is legal. Under the supremacy clause, federal law and statute should trump state law, but ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Are all retroactive laws, ex post facto laws?

In the United States, Congress' seeming inability to pass a fiscal cliff bill before the 1/1/13 12:00 AM deadline has sparked discussion that Congress could potentially pass a bill sometime in January ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Do municipal and state police have to cooperate with federal police?

To what level do local/state police have to cooperate with federal police when state law differs from national law, especially regarding the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington ...
6
votes
1answer
350 views

How is it that a corporation would not derive rights from the people inside it. (speech in particular)

This is a political issue that I genuinely don't understand very well. I don't have to go very far to hear opposition to the fact that currently corporations are protected under the first amendment. ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

What are the criteria for avoiding the fiscal cliff?

One of the biggest items in the news is that we will go off the "Fiscal cliff" (large amount of tax increases and spending cuts) if Congress doesn't come to an agreement of some kind. My question is: ...
13
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the political significance of FEC fundraising deadlines?

Every so often, I receive mass emails from political campaigns urging me to make a donation in advance of an FEC fundraising deadline. They claim that it's really important for them to reach some ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there polls indicating party preference by major/concentration?

Most of the polls I saw seem to be fairly coarse and (for those that break out people by education) only break out people by whether they completed college, or postgrad, or none. Are there any good ...
2
votes
0answers
181 views

What will it take for a “Third Party” to gain REAL traction at any level in the United States? [closed]

I've been around long enough to be registered to and somewhat involved with a number of so-called "third party" efforts. These include the Libertarian, Peace and Freedom, Green and my very favorite ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

Do dog-whistle politics only refer to racist and right-leaning statements?

I don't think I have ever heard the term applied to statements on the left. Supposedly racists can understand a hidden meaning or applied to the Christian right, but the majority of voters cannot hear ...
8
votes
3answers
765 views

Why didn't Americans Elect field a candidate in the 2012 U.S. presidential election?

Americans Elect was trying to get an alternative candidate on the ballot in the 2012 presidential election. The party was to hold a completely online convention to elect a party ticket to run. ...
5
votes
1answer
450 views

What’s the Constitutional basis for allowing natural-born U.S. citizens to renounce their citizenship?

The 14th Amendment's first sentence reads: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein ...
7
votes
2answers
579 views

What legal benefits do married couples enjoy in US, and what is the rationale for those benefits?

What legal benefits do married couples enjoy in United States, and what is the rationale for those benefits? If it's economic, then why aren't those benefits extended to any set of room-mates? If ...
10
votes
2answers
693 views

Are state laws restricting electors' votes constitutional?

Several states have laws that purport to restrict or punish faithless electors for their electoral votes. See Wikipedia's Faithless elector: Legal position. Michigan and Minnesota even claim the ...
4
votes
2answers
933 views

Can raising the tax on the wealthy, without cutting spending, balance the federal budget?

Some of the stalemate over the Fiscal Cliff has been over whether to raise the tax rate on the wealthy in order to raise additional revenue. One argument that is frequently made is that the main ...
10
votes
4answers
384 views

What are the objections to federally recognized civil unions as opposed to same sex marriages?

My understanding is that gay rights groups want to have the same benefits that are afforded to opposite marriage supporters. Opposite marriage supporters, for the most part, don't want the term "...
9
votes
1answer
11k views

What are the main differences between US First Party System and Second/Third Party Systems?

Apparently, there exist several "party system" partitions of American political history: First Party System - 1792 to 1824. Federalists vs Republican-Democrats Second Party System - 1828 to 1854, ...
4
votes
1answer
571 views

What is the purpose of food stamps, WIC, SNAP, and other related federal programs?

It seems to me that one of the necessary functions required by every organism in order to survive, is to have the means of providing food for itself and its offspring. What was the initial reasoning ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

The assault weapon ban recently expired in the USA, what did it ban?

The Federal Assault Weapon Ban Wikipedia page notes that it banned cosmetic features that make a gun look like a fully automatic rifle, that it only banned 10 such weapons, and those weapons ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

In the U.S., are people with more education more likely to vote liberal?

In the U.S., are people with more education more likely to vote liberal and progressive, or is this merely a perception? If yes, is this true in general, or only for certain disciplines? Are there any ...
4
votes
4answers
719 views

Is preemptive war illegal or just politically untenable?

In the lead up to the Iraq war, and to a lesser degree in the discussion before the military action in Libya in 2011, there was much discussion in the United States about the possibility that any ...
1
vote
1answer
246 views

What is the origin of the Presidential signing statement in the United States?

With the increasingly polarized nature of American politics, modern presidents have increasingly relied on the use of signing statements to challenge or augment the implementation of measures they ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What does it mean for a candidate to be a “tea-party” candidate

What does it mean for a candidate to be a "tea-party" candidate? There are multiple US political personalities who are considered to be "tea party" personalities, such as Jim DeMint, Sarah Palin, etc....
1
vote
1answer
175 views

Is the United States primary system detrimental to moderate candidates?

The argument says that because candidates must prove themselves as the most potent standard bearer for their respective parties in the primary election (to even get a shot at the general election), it ...
4
votes
1answer
221 views

Are recess appointments that occur during a pro forma session really recess appointments?

Recently, President Obama nominated Richard Cordray to be the first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A position created by the controversial Dodd/Frank financial reform legislation, ...
13
votes
3answers
914 views

In the US, why are corporations people?

In the United States, corporations are people. A movie like The Corporation is highly critical of this, and in a reductio ad absurbum, concludes that the corporation as such can be diagnosed with ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the objections to implementing a flat rate income tax in the United States?

Some of the most heated politics debates are about taxes, and who should get taxed more and who should get taxed less on their income. But there rarely seems to be any debate in US politics as to ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why aren't there more representatives in the United States Congress?

The United States House of Representatives has had 435 members since 1911 or so. But the population has increased drastically since then, such that the average citizen is more under-represented now ...
10
votes
1answer
463 views

What is the legality of using foreign law to decide domestic cases?

There has recently been significant discussion in the United States on the use of foreign law, and foreign legal proceedings, being used as a means for informing a domestic judge's rationale for ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Are local currencies unconstitutional?

In many places around the United States, localities and organizations have been printing money as a means to drive business toward local establishments and raise money for the community in times of ...
13
votes
1answer
484 views

How is the European integration process similar to the creation of the United States?

What are the similarities and what are the major differences (economically, socially and culturally) between the current European integration process and the historical formation of the United States? ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Can the Equal Rights Amendment still be ratified?

Given that it took the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution over 200 years to be ratified, would the Equal Rights Amendment that is currently three states short of the required 38 states ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Does Mcullough v. Maryland mean that charitable donations cannot be taxed?

In McCulough v. Maryland, Chief Justice John Marshall promulgated the doctrine the power to tax is the power to destroy. Additionally, as we all know, the Lemon Test prohibits the United States ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

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 ...
35
votes
1answer
2k views

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, ...
14
votes
5answers
993 views

What evidence did the Bush administration have that Iraq stored WMD?

The U.S. and its allies have justified the Iraq war, among other things, by citing the danger of weapons of mass destruction. According to wikipedia (emphasis mine) the U.S. stated that the intent ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

(Why) does the US left promote federal powers over state powers?

This comment states that the modern left is often promoting federal powers over state powers. I assume that the comment relates to the United States. It surprises me, because in Europe, most left-...
12
votes
1answer
349 views

Does the two-party system influence engagement?

In the last US elections, the voting turnout was approximately 57.5% (Bipartisan Research Center). Over the last few decades, it has been shifting between 50 and 60 percent. This is in stark contrast ...