constitutional law

Bivens Actions

Overview

A Bivens action generally refers to a lawsuit for damages when a federal officer who is acting in the color of federal authority allegedly violates the U.S. Constitution by federal officers acting.

Burden of Proof

The plaintiff...

Board of Education v. Earls (2002)

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

The U.S. Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that public schools could require students to submit to a drug test before participating in extracurricular activities. The Court said that drug...

Bowers v. Hardwick (1986)

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

The U.S. Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld as constitutional a Georgia sodomy law that prohibited oral and anal sex between consenting adults. The Court later overruled this decision in...

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000)

Boy Scouts of America et al. v. Dale (2000) is a Supreme Court of the United States case that revolves around the right to freedom of association under the First Amendment. In this case, respondent Dale was an Eagle Scout member of the petitioner...

Brandenburg test

Overview

The Brandenburg test was established in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 US 444 (1969), to determine when inflammatory speech intending to advocate illegal action can be restricted. In the case, a KKK leader gave a speech at a rally to his fellow...

Civil Forfeiture

Overview

Civil forfeiture occurs when the government seizes property under suspicion of its involvement in illegal activity. Such a proceeding is conducted in rem, or against the property itself, rather than in personam, or against the owner of the...

Clinton v. City of New York (1998)

Definition

A Supreme Court case that struck down the Line Item Veto Act because it gave the executive the unilateral authority to amend a law without having to go through the legislative process. The Line Item Veto Act, intended by Congress to...

Comity

Definition

The legal principle that political entities (such as states, nations, or courts from different jurisdictions) will mutually recognize each other’s legislative, executive, and judicial acts. The underlying notion is that different...

Commander in Chief Powers

Article II Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the Commander in Chief clause, states that "[t]he President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual...

Commerce Clause

Overview

The Commerce Clause refers to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian

Congress has often...

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