Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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4
votes
1answer
240 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
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3answers
985 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 ...
23
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6answers
3k 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
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2answers
2k 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
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1answer
580 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
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4answers
2k 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
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1answer
603 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? ...
15
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2answers
2k 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
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1answer
75 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
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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 ...
37
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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
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5answers
2k 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 ...
23
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2answers
2k 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 (northern) Europe, ...
12
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1answer
418 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 ...
1
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1answer
533 views

Is the United States Electoral College constitutional?

A question that has long been standing in my mind is whether the Electoral College is constitutional. Republicans in California, or Democrats in Texas, for that matter, actually do not have a say in ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Why is the president unable to grant a pardon for State offenses?

In the US, as in many modern countries, we have a presidential pardon. However, we also have many state government pardons. The constitution states and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and ...
17
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3answers
15k views

Why are Sheriffs elected in United States?

In other parts of the world the police's chiefs are selected by the city mayor or the city council, but in almost all counties of United States they are elected. Why are they elected, and not ...
2
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0answers
132 views

Why hasn't the Senate's “Nuclear Option” been invoked? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: In the U.S., why does the majority party in a new Senate session always approve the filibuster rule? I have heard recently that there is (likely) a parliamentary procedure by ...
6
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1answer
248 views

What is the legal role for parties in the U.S.?

Article 21 of the German Basic Law states Political parties shall participate in the formation of the political will of the people. [...] Details shall be regulated by federal laws. ...and they ...
15
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1answer
2k views

What amendment to the U.S. Constitution removed the provision for slaves to count as three fifths of a person?

One of the compromises in the original U.S. Constitution provided that slaves counted as three fifths of a person for the purposes of computing populations and thus allocating seats to the House of ...
10
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4answers
1k views

Are the viable political alternatives in the US (e.g. Democrats and Republicans) considered (far) left and (far) right?

This question phrases the US political situation as: Today the federal government is in a seemingly interminable pendulum effect going between far-right and far-left. Coming from Europe and ...
2
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3answers
1k views

How does Social Security work in the United States?

There are political discussions in the United States regarding whether Social Security is maintainable over time. I want to know how the Social Security system works in United States, and what the ...
4
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3answers
379 views

Was the war in Iraq legal according to the US law?

Is it true that the recent war conducted by The United States in Iraq was undeclared and illegal? Have there been any rulings by the US courts on this? What are the arguments for and against the ...
4
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1answer
203 views

What do the US and Australian governments gain from a marine presence in Darwin?

The US has decided to establish a permanent marine presence in Darwin. What do benefits do both governments gain from this?
13
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2answers
1k views

Is there any mechanism in USA to prevent someone from voting by mail AND in person?

Theoretically speaking, there are mechanisms that prevent someone from voting twice (you are only allocated to vote to one polling place based on your residence address, and that polling place has a ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Why do the United States have voting districts?

Why do we in the United States have voting districts? Wouldn't it be better to allow people to vote wherever is most convenient and then group relevant votes based on the voters' addresses? Since we ...
8
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3answers
12k views

May the United States Congress remove any secretary?

Is it possible for a United States Secretary to be removed by the House of Representatives or the Senate?
8
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1answer
939 views

Why was the Electoral College the system selected by the founding fathers?

What advantages did the founding fathers see in electoral college that made them pick it over other potential voting systems?
20
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3answers
1k views

What would be required for states to split off and become their own nation?

What would need to happen for a state such as California or Texas to split off and form its own independent nation? Who would need to agree and what would need passing (bills etc.)?
17
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2answers
35k views

What are the conditions required for a territory to become part of United States?

This question is very related to Commonwealth United States Insular Areas, where I asked in detail about the Puerto Rico (and other areas) situation. Now I am interested to know which are the legal ...
14
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4answers
1k views

Implications of governments borrowing from a central bank rather than issuing money directly

Early in the history of the United States the political battle was fought between those who favored a strong central bank of the United States and others who felt the government reserved the right to ...
5
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1answer
384 views

What is the constitutional status of military bases?

Does the United States Constitution have any amendments related to foreign bases? Technically foreign bases aren't U.S. territory, but they must have some laws.
6
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1answer
51 views

Analyzing Governmental Debt

When looking at the Federal debt there are a lot of ways to interpret the data. You can look at the dollar amount which is currently ~16 trillion or you can analyze it as a percent of the GDP. Are ...
7
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1answer
3k views

To what extent has the idea of “laboratories of democracy” worked in the US?

From how I understand it, the idea of "laboratories of democracy" in the US is that state and local governments can better experiment with policies than the entire country can. So we can see what ...
3
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0answers
76 views

What are the practical differences between a US Senator from a party, and an Independent Senator caucusing with that party? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do independents choose a party to caucus with? In the USA, you can be elected to the Senate as an "Independent". Notable examples include Bernie Sanders and Joseph ...
11
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1answer
941 views

In the U.S., why does the majority party in a new Senate session always approve the filibuster rule?

In the U.S. Senate, the Senate rules apparently do not apply to the first day of a new Senate session until the rules are voted in by a simple majority. Given this, and that the filibuster comes from ...
19
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1answer
1k views

In the U.S., how can the filibuster be invoked without continued speeches?

In the U.S. Senate, the filibuster allows a single senator to effectively block a vote by way of the senate rules that allow for unlimited debate, but now, the senate rules have somehow been modified ...
6
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2answers
428 views

Constitutionality of the Income Tax

There is a growing movement in the United States of Americans that call into question the constitutionality of the Federal Income tax in the modern age. Understanding that the income tax first came ...
12
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3answers
9k views

How do independents choose a party to caucus with?

I know that several independents in the US Senate (ie. Bernie Sanders) caucus with the Democrats. Officially, what does that mean? How do independents choose whom to caucus with (both ideologically ...
5
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2answers
592 views

What are the conditions and benefits of U.S. insular properties like Puerto Rico? [closed]

I always wanted to know which is the legal status of the associated states of United States like Puerto Rico. Who is the state head, of this kind of territory? Why can't they vote for the United ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Why are political party memberships public in the US?

It seems strange that a country like the USA that has anonymous voting has the government knowing if you are a member of a political party: " In many states, election officials disclose how many ...
13
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2answers
4k views

What criteria does a US Presidential candidate need to meet in order to appear on the ballot?

The eligibility requirements to run for the office of President are: You must be a native born citizen You must be at least 35 years of age You must have lived in the US for at least 14 years (...
33
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4answers
3k views

In the Electoral College, why can electors vote in contrast to their pledge ('faithless')?

The United States uses an Electoral College system, where electors pledge to cast their vote in a particular way. However, these electors have the ability to vote in a manner that directly contradicts ...
24
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4answers
79k views

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 ...
16
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3answers
21k views

Why and how is the Vice President elected in U.S?

Why is the Vice President elected in the US? Why isn't he chosen by the President like any other secretary? Is there any important reason why the writers of the Constitution made that choice? How is ...
20
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1answer
716 views

What is the “Fiscal Cliff” in the United States?

I've heard a ton of information on the Fiscal Cliff of 2013, and I was wondering what it is, and how it will affect the country?
11
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1answer
762 views

How does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) differ from Massachusetts health care reform (Romneycare)?

These two laws at face value have many similarities, but it is difficult to spot the differences. How are these two bills alike, and how are they different?
12
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2answers
606 views

In the United States, what is the difference between a registered and unregistered lobbyist?

If a lobbyist in the US is simply an unelected person who advocates for legislation, what is the purpose in registering them? And with whom do they register? Are registered lobbyists given special ...
23
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4answers
2k views

Why does the US Congress have two chambers?

Why does the US have separate houses (House of Representatives and Senate) to form Congress? Put another way, what is the reasoning behind a bicameral legislature in the USA?
29
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4answers
16k views

Who was the last US President to oversee a reduction in debt?

As of 2012, the United States currently has ~16 trillion in debt. The last five presidents have all added to the overall debt*. Who is the last US president to decrease the total amount of debt ...

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