CIVICS

visa waiver program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of 36 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility...

voter bill of rights

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA set of rules adopted by most states to protect the rights of voters in an election. These rights typically cover who can vote, how the voting process must be conducted, how votes will be counted, and...

Voting Rights Act

Overview

The Voting Rights Act (VRA), codified at 42 U.S.C. §§ 1973 to 1973aa-6, is an important federal civil rights law that protects minorities from discriminatory voting practices. Initially, the VRA only protected racial minorities, but in...

W-2 form

An IRS form from employers which reports income earned by an employee during the related calander year.

War and defense powers

Under Article I, Section 8, Congress has the power to declare war, raise and support Armies, provide and maintain a Navy, and organize, arm, discipline, and call forth a militia. This power gives Congress quite broad authority to undertake any measures...

War crime

A war crime is a violation of the laws of war. The legal understanding of war crimes has been codified in several multilateral treaties, most notably the Geneva Conventions. More recently, the most comprehensive legal statement on war crimes was the...

War Powers

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war. The President, meanwhile, derives the power to direct the military after a Congressional declaration of war from Article II, Section 2, which names the...

wash sale

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe selling and repurchasing of an asset, usually stocks or bonds, within a very short time frame. People used to do this to realize a loss for tax purposes, but the IRS caught on and made such losses...

Washington DC Voting Rights Amendment

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryAn attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution to give the citizens of the District of Columbia the same full representation in Congress as any state. Proposed in 1978, the amendment expired in 1985 and was...

Watkins v. United States (1957)

Watkins v. United States (1957) is the U.S. Supreme Court case holding that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment limits Congress’s ability to conduct investigations, namely its ability to require testimony on inquiries unrelated to...

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