constitutional law

Abortion

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...

Abrogate

To abrogate is to formally annul or repeal a law through an act of legislation, constitutional authority, or custom. For example, the Supreme Court of Michigan explained in Ferency v. Secretary of State that “an existing constitutional...

Absolute Disparity

Definition

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

Definition

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

Overview

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

Accused

Definition

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

Administrative hearings are the proceedings conducted by administrative law judges (ALJ) for disputes involving the regulatory jurisdiction of an executive agency. Administrative hearings resemble judicial proceedings in many ways with there...

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

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is an organization founded in 1920, with the mission of defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU currently has more than...

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

Definition

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....

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