Emoluments Clause

Also known as the Title of Nobility Clause, Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution prohibits any person holding a government office from accepting any present, emolument, office, or title from any "King, Prince, or foreign State," without congressional consent.

Fourteenth Amendment


The Fourteenth Amendment contains a number of important concepts, most famously state action, privileges & immunities, citizenship, due process, and equal protection—all of which are contained in Section One.  However, the Fourteenth Amendment contains four other sections.  Section Two deals with the apportionment of representatives to Congress.  Section Three forbids a


Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission


Is Arizona’s use of a commission to adopt congressional districts permissible under the Constitution and 2 U.S.C. § 2a(c), and does the Arizona Legislature have standing to bring suit to challenge such a commission?

In 2000, Arizona passed Proposition 106, which formed the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (“AIRC”). The AIRC’s purpose is to manage congressional districts. Prior to the referendum, the Arizona State Legislature (“Legislature”) had the power to determine congressional districts through the traditional legislative process. In 2012, the Legislature filed suit in the U.S. District of Arizona to challenge the legitimacy of the AIRC. A three-judge district court dismissed the suit, holding that the AIRC could remain in charge of redrawing congressional districts. The Legislature appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the Elections Clause and 2 U.S.C. § 2a(c) permit Arizona to use the AIRC to redraw congressional districts. 

Questions as Framed for the Court by the Parties 

  1. Do the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution and 2 U.S.C. § 2a(c) permit Arizona’s use of a commission to adopt congressional districts?
  2. Does the Arizona Legislature have standing to bring this suit?

In Arizona prior to 2000, the Arizona State Legislature (“Legislature”) had the authority to alter and decide congressional districts through the ordinary legislative process. See AZ State Legislature v. AZ Independent Redistricting Committee, 997 F. Supp. 2d 1047, 1049 (D. Ariz.

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Incorporation Doctrine


The incorporation doctrine is a constitutional doctrine through which the first ten amendments of the United States Constitution (known as the Bill of Rights) are made applicable to the states through the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Privileges and Immunities Clause

The Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution states that "the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states." This clause protects fundamental rights of individual citizens and restrains state efforts to discriminate against out-of-state citizens. However, the Privileges and Immunities Clause extends not to all commercial activity, but only to fundamental rights.

Necessary and Proper Clause

Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress has the power "to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or any Department or Officer thereof".

See the CRS/LII Annotated Constitution on the Necessary and Proper Clause.

Fighting Words


Fighting words are, as first defined by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in Chaplinsky v New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942), words which "by their very utterance, inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.

Fundamental Right


Fundamental rights are a group of rights that have been recognized by the Supreme Court as requiring a high degree of protection from government encroachment.  These rights are specifically identified in the Constitution (especially in the Bill of Rights), or have been found under Due Process


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