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109

He seems to have meant amending it (quote below) to remove the clause permitting slavery and forced labour as punishment for a crime. So let us ask this possibly dicey question: What, exactly, was Kanye trying to say? There is a fair chance he was referring to what’s called the 13th Amendment’s “exception clause,” as many speculated on Twitter. It’s ...


107

One of the main reasons was that the President - even now, never mind in Founding Fathers' time - is not the "head of government", the way Prime Ministers are in Parliamentary systems. The President is the head of Executive Branch of government, and in Founders' time that branch had fairly little power, therefore there was far less possible impact and ...


94

The USA is in a state of emergency, and has been since the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. The state of emergency was declared by former President G. W. Bush: Proclamation 7463—Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, ...


77

One difference is that the trial (and, behind it, criminal prosecution and legal punishment) is something the state is organising for its own purpose in the first place. The right to a speedy trial is not a right to a trial or anything along those lines, it is a limitation on the conditions under which the state can apply punishment and restrict someone's ...


70

The constitution does not say anything about 'separate but equal', for or against, directly. So the easy answer is that separate bathrooms are not a violation because you can't violate something that is not constitutionally required. Of course that's sort of a cop-out, so let's answer the question you're trying to ask without being so overly literal. I'...


61

Benjamin Franklin seems to have anticipated Spooner's argument. When asked what he and his associates had created, Franklin replied, A republic, madam, if you can keep it. The point being that in the final analysis, a constitution (or any law) is just a piece of paper, entirely dependent on the government's willingness to obey its own laws, and the ...


56

In short: separation of (coequal) powers means the President can't order any such thing of Congress. Congress does as it wills, and the constitution has very little to say about whether it does its jobs in any particular time frame, or even in any particular way. Article 2, Section 3 of the constitution details the two things a President can force Congress ...


53

No, it was illegal. Jay Ulfelder discussed this topic among others in a nice blogpost I quote for convenience: The vote to remove Yanukovych doesn’t seem to have followed constitutional procedures. Under Articles 108-112 of Ukraine’s constitution (here), there are four ways a sitting president may leave office between elections: resignation, ...


52

The reason this isn't a loophole is that The President doesn't have the power to make laws at all, only Congress can do that. Thanks to the vast expansion in the power of the Executive branch in recent decades, Executive Orders certainly seem like laws which The President can make on their own. Legally, though, they are actually just instructions to ...


51

Your reading is more or less correct. However, you didn't know that the Senate and House will simply pass the "the Saxbe" fix. In the past, Congress has gotten around this by passing a resolution cutting the salary for the office at stake back to what it was before the nominee’s most recent election. This became known as the “Saxbe fix,” after it ...


48

It's worth noting that Obama actually did attempt an end-run around Congress in declaring that pro-forma Senate sessions were, in fact, a "recess" as defined by the Constitution. As such, he made some "recess" appointments to the NLRB. The Supreme Court, 9-0, ruled in NLRB v. Noel Canning that it was unconstitutional for him to do that. We hold that, for ...


46

Yes, the constitution can be amended. In fact the second amendment is just that: an amendment. You can continue to add new amendments, even on existing amendments. This has actually already happened. The 18th amendment established Prohibition. After a short time the 18th amendment was repealed by the 21st amendment. So it is entirely possible to create a ...


46

Division of Powers Between State and Federal Governments There are some powers that are reserved solely to the federal government, some that can only be exercised locally or by the states, and yet others which can be (and are) exercised by all of the above. Powers Reserved Solely to the National (Federal) Government Several powers are reserved by the U.S. ...


45

@User4012 makes some good arguments, I'll add a few. The Founders greatly underestimated the relative power of the Congress and the President and expected that the Congress would turn out to be the dominant branch, making removal of the President less important. There is a reason that Article I (Congress) comes before Article II (the Executive Branch) and ...


41

The right to a speedy trial just means that the prosecutor may not delay the trial unreasonably. The prosecutor is not actually required to provide a trial. The trial is a requirement to keep the defendant incarcerated or otherwise limited, e.g. by a bail agreement. So a speedy trial is a limitation on the prosecutorial power. If tried, the trial must be ...


41

In Walter L. Nixon v. United States (unrelated to President Richard Nixon), the court held that the judiciary could not review impeachment proceedings. According to the constitution, the House has the "sole power of impeachment" and the Senate has the "sole power to try all impeachments." The Supreme Court considered this sufficient evidence that the framers ...


40

Are prisoners considered as slaves? Prisoners are held in prison due to their breaches of laws, prisoners remain in prison for specific terms, prisoners cannot be traded, prisoners have rights (including to safety and to not be overworked), the offspring of prisoners (even if they are born when their parents are at prison) are not prisoners. No. Prisoners ...


39

In a dissent in the case of Laird v. Tatum, Justice William Douglas argued tangentially that the creation of an air force is legal as per Article of 1, Section 8 of the Constitution: The Army, Navy, and Air Force are comprehended in the constitutional term "armies." Article I, § 8, provides that Congress may "raise and support Armies," and "provide and ...


37

Is there a mechanism (aside from amendments, which, well, can only amend) that allow legislators to update the single most important legal text of the US? The portion that I bolded is where you are incorrect. Amendments can not only amend the text, they make any change to it at all. The 17th Amendment effectively overwrote the first two clauses of Article ...


36

A relevant quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin: Dr. Franklin was for retaining the clause [on impeachment], as favorable to the executive. History furnishes one example only of a first magistrate being formally brought to public justice. Every body cried out against this as unconstitutional. What was the practice before this, in cases where the chief ...


31

The term limits will be reset if the new constitution goes into effect. As the current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is serving his first term, 2014 - 2019, he can run for another term under the current constitution. However, since his term is reset, he can run for another 2 terms - 2019 - 2024 and 2024 - 2029, thus he can potentially serve until 2029 if ...


30

The Senate did decide. They decided by withholding their consent, and they decided that holding a hearing was a waste of time when their consent was not to be given. This is how the Senate was intended to work. The president can only nominate. The Constitution does not say the Senate can only deny its consent by holding an up-or-down vote or a hearing. ...


29

SCOTUS famously works very well together and there are several enforced rules and traditions that get this going. But first, statistically, the 5-4 decisions are actually very rare, with the combined 5-4 and 5-3 decisions making 14% of the case decisions, compared to the 57% of cases that resulted in a 9-0 decision in the 2016-2017 session. Of the ...


28

Based on comments above, Abraham Lincoln wrestled with this same question. In summary, he basically said that the Legislature of Virginia - at least those souls left in the state - did give their assent. The full text of his opinion (see @ymar's link) is below. The key part of his argument is: A body claiming to be such Legislature has given its ...


28

(You've got some terminology confusion: the Chief Justice is the head of the court, the rest are just "justices") When the Constitution was being written the framers were used to Great Britain's monarchy, and were somewhat eager to limit the monarch's (in the case of the U.S., the executive branch's) power. The U.S. government places a high value on checks ...


28

No, there is no provision in the U.S. Constitution for the president to declare a state of emergency. The constitutional powers of the president are in Article 2, Section 2. As noted in the current national state of emergency declaration in adjan's answer (Proclamation 7463), Title 50, Chapter 34 of the United States Code covers the current mechanism for ...


28

West later clarified that he thinks that the 13th amendment is "slavery in disguise", so it seems fair to say that he does not want to return to race-based slavery. Given West's other recent comments and his further explanations in the linked video, it doesn't seem that he has a very clear message yet. As he puts it, it's a "work in progress" based on his ...


27

Each senator is in one of three classes, and at each election all the senators in one class are elected. In the 2018 race, for example the "class 1" senators were elected. That regular elections for different classes happen at different dates is not merely a convention, it is mandated by Article one of the Constitution. In addition to the regular elections ...


27

Yes, the UK has a written constitution. All the parts of it are written down somewhere. What it doesn’t have is a codified constitution. There’s no one document entitled “Constitution of the United Kingdom”. Instead, there’s a bunch of laws, precedents and traditions dating back at least 800 years, which are often ambiguous or conflicting. But they’re ...


26

Constitutional vs. human rights Did the protestors, by effectively making the area surrounding the planned talk so unsafe that it had to be cancelled, infringe on the speaker's first amendment rights Individuals cannot infringe on a speaker's first amendment rights in the United States. The first amendment is a restriction on federal power that was ...


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