constitutional law


Abortion: an overview

In 1973, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, changed the legal status of abortion by striking down a Texas law that criminalized abortion except as a means of saving the mother’s life. The case pitted individual privacy rights against...



To formally annul or repeal a law through an act of the legislature, constitutional authority, or custom. In contract and insurance law, it is to rescind or terminate a contract.

In constitutional law, the abrogation doctrine...

Absolute Disparity


A calculation used to analyze a claim that a jury pool did not represent a fair cross-section of the community. Calculated by subtracting the percentage of a group in the jury pool from the percentage of that group in the general population...

Absolute Privilege


Absolute privilege, in defamation law, refers to the fact that in certain circumstances, an individual is immune from liability for defamatory statements..


Absolute privilege applies to statements made in certain contexts or in...



A person who has been arrested for or formally charged with a crime.

Illustrative case law

Regarding rights of the accused, see, e.g. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).

See alsoAccusationRights of Accused in Criminal...

Administrative Hearing


A trial-like proceeding before an administrative agency or administrative law judge. As in a trial, evidence is proffered and testimony is given. Unlike a trial, an administrative hearing is often shorter in duration and more...

Advocacy of Illegal Action

OverviewImminent Lawless Action Requirement

This is a category of speech that is not protected by the First Amendment. In Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969), the Supreme Court held, "the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do...

American Civil Liberties Union


A national organization that engages in litigation, legislative lobbying, and educational outreach in order to preserve and further individual rights and liberties that are guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States....

Baker v. Carr (1962)

A Supreme Court case that held that federal courts could hear cases that claimed that malapportionment of state legislatures violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. By holding that such cases were justiciable, the Supreme Court paved...

Balancing test


A subjective test with which a court weighs competing interests, e.g. between an inmate's liberty interest and the government's interest in public safety, to decide which interest prevails.

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. Wilkinson v....