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196

As I see it, there are fundamentally three reasons a person would outlaw an action that is currently impossible: To ensure that the first attempt is illegal If you refuse to outlaw an immoral act until it can be shown to be possible, you run the risk that a person can commit this act before it has been made illegal. Essentially, the legislative body doesn'...


181

Because of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (emphasis mine) ...


126

As with many such rights, you should look to pre-modern Europe to understand the context in which such rights were introduced. At that time, without forensic evidence, the best chance of a conviction was a confession, and easiest way to get a confession would be to mistreat a prisoner. There was no police force so magistrates and judges would be greatly ...


93

How do some countries make political laws against the burka but not against nun habits? The nun habit doesn't cover the face, that's the big difference. The usual approach in Europe is to forbid/restrict face covering. Therefore a nun habit usually is allowed. The European Court of Human Rights has allowed bans based on that approach, e.g. the French so ...


91

Nazis are a specific group of people who have committed atrocities in Europe. It is directly linked with the idea of Racial Superiority and Antisemitism. We can agree that Nazism is morally bad. One who subscribes to being a Nazi is suggesting that the holocaust was justified. Communism is a political and economical theory. It describes a supposedly ...


78

Because that's the normal way round for criminal standard of proof? America has the civil forfeiture system on "balance of probabilities", which has become a license for police corruption.


67

The question is not "When can you enforce your laws on your land?", the question is "When can you prevent the United Kingdom from enforcing their laws on your land?". That's the case if any of these is true: You have an army strong enough to keep the UK government forces out of your country (being an armed insurgency would likely not yet give you ...


66

Apart from the legality, your assumptions are wrong. You assume that there is a thing that can objectively be called "fake news", and that it comprises of stories containing false facts which can be disproven by fact-checking. This is not the definition of "fake news" that Trump is using. Looking through his Twitter feed, we can see that he describes ...


63

The Law and Polish Complicity in the Holocaust While "Poland as a nation" is not to blame for the Holocaust, and while there was no official cooperation between Poland and Germany, government institutions as well as individual Poles collaborated with the Nazis (see also here): As German forces implemented the killing, they drew upon some Polish agencies, ...


61

Holidays allow people to consolidate gathering plans. In the US, two important holidays are Memorial Day and Labor Day. These, more or less, mark the start and end of summer. As such, travel and vacations are often planned around these dates. Holidays represent times when children will be free as well. Most major countries have compulsory school attendance. ...


60

Is there potential for the President of the United States to commit insider trading? Certainly. The President has access to all kinds of material information that is non-public, either because it’s classified, confidential, or not yet cleared for public consumption. Some examples of material information that the President could have access to before the ...


58

A president has the power, under the general terms of Article 2, to instruct the various federal agencies how to act, and how to spend the money that they already have. Any such order is then subject to scrutiny by Congress and the SCOTUS. The ability of the President to instruct a private company is limited. In 1952, with a steel strike threatened, ...


55

Update - WH Statement According to the White House spokesperson Sean Spicer, Trump seemed to have requested the resignation of Flynn due to a "trust issue". President Donald Trump asked for Michael Flynn's resignation after he lost trust in his national security adviser for misleading Vice President Mike Pence over his calls with Russia's ambassador, the ...


54

The Bush administration asserted that "enhanced interrogation" techniques like waterboarding were not torture and not illegal. The Obama administration asserted that they were torture and were illegal. The law itself did not change, just how the two administrations interpreted it. From MSNBC: In one of his first acts as president, Obama signed an ...


54

If the companies ignore the laws of the European Union (EU), then the EU can fine them. The United States (US) may refuse to collect on the fines, but even so, the example company is doing business in the EU. Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, and Amazon.de collect money in the EU via credit cards. Those credit cards bill EU banks. The EU can of course prevent ...


53

Decriminalization means that some action (e.g., drug consumption) is no longer considered a criminal action, which means that you're no longer sent to jail or get a criminal record. However, you may still face fines, confiscation of relevant goods and other consequences. Legalization means that there are no legal repercussions for some action (e.g., drug ...


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

They have tiny pieces that are considered to be a choking hazard. There have been some high profile and tragic deaths among children due to choking on toys with small pieces. So the United States is especially stringent in regulating children's toys. The Kinder Surprise Eggs are considered especially dangerous as they are embedded in a food product. So a ...


45

In 2014, the European Union adopted Directive 2014/42/EU on the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime, and this directive was implemented in Germany on 2017-07-01. As a consequence, likely proceeds of crime can now be confiscated even in cases where it is unclear what exactly the crime was or who committed it. According to § ...


44

Note that the manufacturer has worked around this ban by introducing the Kinder Joy It has plastic egg-shaped packaging that splits into two, one half contains layers of cocoa and milk cream and the other half contains a toy. Because the edible and non-edible parts are separated, this can be and is sold in the US. And since someone suggested in a ...


44

The debate over e-mobility comes in the context of an ongoing debate in Germany how public spaces for transportation are to be divided between the different modes of transportation. In the last century, many German cities were designed to optimize the use of private cars. Many urban populations are rising (and average cars are getting larger ...), and both ...


43

There are three major arguments which are often brought up to justify it when societies decide to punish people for victimless crimes: The values of the society in general are considered the victim of the crime (e.g. criminalization of certain sexual acts between consenting adults) Society has the duty to protect individual citizens from harming themselves (...


42

A government could potentially benefit from increased revenue if they tax the production and sale of cannabis, the legal cannabis industry is already worth billions of dollars. Making it legal would also make criminals who supply the drug redundant, so they would make less money. The demand for cannabis is known to have driven a substantial amount of ...


42

Nothing happens. Executive orders stay in place until they are revoked or changed by the new President (the former Vice President). The new President can do that as easily as the precedessor made them. But only if the new President wants to do that. Laws not vetoed by the last President stay valid until Congress makes new laws which revoke them, and they ...


41

This is explicitly stated in US tax law. From 26 U.S. Code § 6103. Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information: (f) Disclosure to Committees of Congress (1) Committee on Ways and Means, Committee on Finance, and Joint Committee on Taxation Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the ...


41

It's true there is a clause stating extradition from Hong Kong to China cannot be based on political motives. However, there are worries the Chinese government would fabricate charges just to get dissidents over to China, as they have done or tried to do before. In general, it's very problematic to determine whether the charges are truly not political. ...


40

There are many reasons that a voter ID requirement is controversial. This is just a list of some arguments or concerns regarding voter ID laws, there is no attempt to determine the reasonableness of any of them. National Identification Elections and identification are two issues that are generally dealt with by states, not the national government. States ...


39

We're going to find out, in Ball v Johnson. This case is a private prosecution of Boris Johnson for alleged misconduct in public office (as MP and Mayor of London - two public offices). Misconduct in public office is a criminal offence with a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The alleged misconduct includes lying in statements of fact on a number of ...


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