Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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18
votes
2answers
451 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
203 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 ...
19
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1answer
3k 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
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1answer
462 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 ...
9
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4answers
5k 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
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2answers
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
398 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
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2answers
133 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: ...
19
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2answers
22k 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 ...
9
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1answer
3k 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 ...
3
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0answers
234 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 ...
18
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6answers
2k 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
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3answers
803 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. ...
6
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1answer
588 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
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2answers
675 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 ...
11
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2answers
768 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 ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Could raising the tax on the wealthy, without cutting spending, balance the federal budget in the US?

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
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4answers
435 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
13k 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
824 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
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1answer
2k 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 ...
14
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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
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4answers
1k 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 ...
0
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1answer
300 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
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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
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1answer
220 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
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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
1k 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 ...
2
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3answers
3k views

Granting Search Warrants after the suspect has been pronounced dead [closed]

The recent mass shooting at a school in Connecticut weighs heavy on our minds, but when listening to the coverage I noticed something that I could never understand. When the State is prosecuting a ...
10
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1answer
586 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
609 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
424 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
549 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
16k 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
133 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
283 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 are, ...
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 ...
5
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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
384 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 ...