Questions tagged [us-state-laws]

Questions related to any laws enacted by any of the 50 states in the United States. Use the [united-states] tag alongside this.

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7answers
11k views

In most U.S. states, female genital mutilation is illegal. So why is male circumcision legal?

Hello new users from around the Stack Exchange Network We are aware that this question is about a very emotionally laden topic. So we would like to make sure you are aware of the purpose of ...
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8answers
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Why is bestiality illegal in the United States?

This is a question I have wondered more than once while browsing statute. Many states have laws against bestiality. For the life of me, I have never heard of this practice actually occurring and I ...
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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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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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4answers
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Why are Kinder Surprise Eggs illegal in the USA?

In the USA, Kinder Surprise Eggs are banned by the government. What is the reason?
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What would happen if every state had a law requiring it hold the nations first primary?

Quoting https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/11/politics/iowa-new-hampshire-primary-monopoly/index.html: The vote-counting meltdown in Iowa's antiquated and haphazard caucus system -- a process used partly ...
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2answers
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Why do so many US States have a relaxed vehicle inspection policy?

According to Wikipedia, many US states have a relaxed policy for car inspection regulations: Maryland requires an inspection prior to registration or transfer of ownership only. Several states ...
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1answer
989 views

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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3answers
2k views

Why does the US government not enforce federal laws against Colorado's legalization of marijuana?

As far as I know, possession and trade of marijuana is illegal in the United States according to federal law. However, the state of Colorado (as well as some others) recently legalized marijuana for ...
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3answers
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What are the powers of mayors in the US?

I know very little about US government and state system and only in general. I heard that, for example, US town mayor also rules town police and can change taxes. Is it true? The fact about ruling ...
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3answers
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Why do US local laws vary so much regarding the Second Amendment but so little regarding the First Amendment?

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms. Although the Constitution applies to all the United States, individual States, cities and other jurisdictions vary ...
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Why don't unions negotiate members-only contracts in right-to-work states?

How unions are generally formed is that the workers at a company take a vote, and if a majority vote for collective bargaining, then all the workers get represented by a union in negotiations with the ...
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4answers
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Where does the right to refuse service come from?

I'm curious where this comes from, is it written law somewhere? Where is this right defined? It's normally written as we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone in restaurants or other ...
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1answer
797 views

Have congressional Republicans taken a position on whether they will give “consent” to the United States Climate Alliance as an interstate compact?

The United States Climate Alliance is an effort by state governments to support the Paris Climate Accord and help reduce emissions in the United States. There is however a constitutional problem with ...
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Since they have large autonomy, are U.S. states responsible for international policy and relations in any way?

I never see States' representatives at international meetings or in any diplomatic relations. Are they responsible in any way for foreign policy?
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4answers
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Can state governments be overthrown without national government involvement?

It is my understanding that the state and national government of the United States are separate entities (that's what federalism is, combining smaller states into a larger one). Could unhappy ...
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757 views

Why should I care about federal vs state rights?

The premise behind most arguments about Obamacare, and other programs is that it's a "Federal" vs "State" rights issue. I come from a corporate business background, and it seems to me that if enough ...
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1answer
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Why are emergency service professionals exempt from CA prohibitions on texting while driving?

When I first read the article headlined "Police Officer Will Not Be Charged For Killing Napster Exec While Texting And Driving — Because It's Apparently OK For Police To Do That" I expected it would ...
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3answers
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Why did Mississipi ratify the 13th Amendment so late?

I read recently - to my surprise - that Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment to abolish involuntary servitude and slavery in 2013. In fact, there was a move to ratify it in 1995, but the paperwork ...
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Can a U.S. state criminalize activity that's legal in another state?

In the United States, there are many states which have laws prohibiting things which other states permit - gambling, marijuana, same-sex marriage, and gun ownership, for a few examples. Obviously, if ...
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3answers
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Why are drinking laws so strict in the USA?

In the USA, alcohol laws are very strict and specific, while in most other parts of the world they are very lax. What's the reason?
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1answer
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Which US states prohibit vote trading by elected officials?

Apparently vote trading is illegal in California when done by elected officials: Recent amendments to the Penal Code extended the prohibition to local officials: Any member of the legislative body ...
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1answer
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What are the arguments for and against Statutes of Limitations?

I was reading this article earlier today about the alleged Golden State Killer which mentioned that the State of California passed a law a few years ago which eliminated the Statute of Limitations for ...
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1answer
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Can a bill that has passed the US Senate or House expire?

The Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 in 2013; however, the house has still not acted on it. Is it possible for the bill to expire? ...
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Why do people say the Indiana Religious Freedom Act will be used to discriminate against gays?

Indiana's recent Religious Freedom Restoration Act has cause a bit of a stir. Political leaders such as Clinton, business leaders such as Benioff and Cook, celebrities as well as protestors have all ...
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1answer
459 views

Does a state have a right to criminalize someone's illegal presence within their borders?

Suppose the state of Texas, disappointed by the US federal government's handling of illegal immigration, decides to enact a law that criminalizes one's illegal presence within the state. Meaning if ...
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1answer
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Can private entities directly fund federal organizations?

Hypothetical: With congress stalled or unwilling to pass a new budget, could a sufficiently wealthy organization donate money to a government department, say the Department of Education or NASA and ...
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475 views

Is the President of the United States bound by state laws?

The state of New York is currently in the process of passing a law allowing Congress to access the state tax returns of elected officials and top appointed officials. This is seen as a potential "end-...
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594 views

Can Florida ban Trump from visiting?

Trump's consistent weekend trips to Mar-a-Lago in Florida are apparently wreaking havoc on the economy of the city it's in, Palm Beach. This is of course due to the fact that his visit, due to his ...
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How would the United States of America grant Puerto Rico statehood?

What would need to happen for Puerto Rico to be the 51st State of the U.S.A.? Statehood movement in Puerto Rico. After their last hurricane how would the help from the US differ if they were a ...
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2answers
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Does the Arizona bill grant a religious exemption to discrimination laws?

The Arizona state legislature has just passed a bill called SB 1062, designed to protect religious liberty. Opponents claim that it will allow businesses to refuse to serve people on the grounds of ...
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2answers
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How do felony disenfranchisement laws differ state by state?

Why is it that for felony disenfranchisement only certain rights seem to be lost and they differ state by state. Such as voting, jury duty, weapons. But some rights are never affected such as ...
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2answers
263 views

Instant runoff voting in US presidential elections

User Thunderforge recently remarked: (emphasis mine) Of interest, Maine approved a ballot measure for Instant Runoff Voting for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate, and State ...
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1answer
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How Does Wisconsin's Bail Bond System Differ From Bondsmen?

Recently in Wisconsin there has been a lot of discussion on how commercial bail bondsman could/will become legal as an earmark to a budget bill. While looking into this matter, one side argues that ...
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In U.S. , what happens when a party doesn't endorse first-term president as nominee in the next election?

Let's assume that a president of U.S. who has been elected for the first term isn't nominated by his own party in the second term then what will happen? Has this happened before in U.S. elections?
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1answer
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Why is Nevada asking Congress for permanent DST in Pacific Time, instead of adopting Mountain Time and abolishing DST on their own?

Reading "Daylight saving time in the United States" on Wikipedia, it is my understanding that Uniform Time Act of 1966, as per the weights-and-measures power, prohibits the states from extending DST (...
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1answer
227 views

What happens to existing state laws if a state splits (United States)

Brought to mind by this question regarding the vote for splitting of California into three states. What happens to existing California state laws if it is split into three states? Does each state ...
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3answers
365 views

In terms of US politics, has protecting taxicab operations from competition been a left-wing policy?

Because of the limited space available, the title could be raising an unanswerable question. Given changes over time and the variety of viewpoints within the left wing, the answer could depend on ...
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1answer
138 views

In Massachusetts, if a US Senator resigns midterm, how is their replacement selected?

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, is generally considered a top contender to be Joe Biden's running mate. If she was elected Vice President, she would have to resign her ...
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1answer
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How many US states still prohibit transportation of alcohol across state lines without a license, even for personal use?

Apparently Ohio still prohibits transportation of alcohol (even for personal use) across its state lines, without a license ("H permit"), while Pennsylvania legalized it in 2015/2016 and ...
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1answer
203 views

Passing state laws that conflict with federal laws. How is it possible? [duplicate]

California passed a law this election year allowing the recreational use of marijuana. However, at the federal level, marijuana is still illegal. How can states pass laws that conflict with federal ...
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2answers
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Can a city in Colorado decide to legalize more drugs?

Colorado and many other states legalize weed. I wonder, just like some states in the United States can legalize weed, can some cities in those states decide to legalize other drugs too?
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2answers
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Why does mostly liberal California vote for death penalty?

On Election Day 2016 in California: Proposition to legalize cannabis won Proposition to repeal death penalty lost The rest of the propositions were mostly liberal, and most of them won; also the ...
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3answers
541 views

Why does each US state handle car registrations and driver licensing separately rather than delegating it to the federal government?

Despite the high level of economic integration between US states, for some reason all of them insist on having their own rules for driver licensing and car registration. When moving to a different ...
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1answer
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Why does Georgia not have a hate crime statute?

Context Reading Man who threw boiling water on gay couple will spend 40 years in prison: The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Wednesday before finding Martin Blackwell guilty of eight counts of ...
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2answers
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If a law is found to be unconstitutional; can an amendment to the state constitution matter?

In the general sense, let's say a state law is passed, and the courts decide that the law is unconstitutional because the United States constitution prohibits such laws. Can a state amend its own ...
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How can Indiana already be won even though only 8% of polls have reported?

Not that I would expect Indiana to swing blue here, but with 8% of polls reporting, Donald Trump has already clinched Indiana. NY Times How does this happen?
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2answers
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Can the US states veto Congress legislation?

As said in the title: Can the US states veto laws approved by the Congress? For instance, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 while it gave 90% of the funding from a Highway Trust Fund, however, ...
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1answer
405 views

US Supremacy Clause: does it apply for administrative law?

According to Wikipedia, The Supremacy Clause is the provision in Article Six, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution that establishes the United States Constitution, federal statutes, and ...
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2answers
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How often are state constitutional amendments overturned by federal judges?

I live in a state in the United States that just had a constitutional amendment that I voted for overturned by a federal judge and am suitably ticked. How often does this happen to American ...