constitutional law

one-person, one-vote rule


The One-Person One-Vote Rule refers to the rule that one person’s voting power ought to be roughly equivalent to another person’s within the same state.


The rule comes up in the context of Equal Protection. The most...

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)


The Supreme Court case, since overturned by Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which upheld the constitutionality of “separate, but equal facilities” based on race.


Louisiana had adopted a law in 1890 that...

right to privacy

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary1) The right not to have one's personal matters disclosed or publicized; the right to be left alone. 2) The right against undue government intrusion into fundamental personal issues and decisions....

Roe v. Wade (1973)

The Supreme Court case that held that the Constitution protected a woman’s right to an abortion prior to the viability of the fetus.


The case involved a Texas statute that prohibited abortion except when necessary to save the life of...

Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935)


The Supreme Court case that invalidated as unconstitutional a provision of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) that authorized the President to approve “codes of fair competition” for the poultry industry and other industries...


DefinitionThe act of implicating oneself in a crime or exposing oneself to criminal prosecution. Overview

Self-incrimination may occur as a result of interrogation or may be made voluntarily. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution protects a person...

Slaughterhouse Cases

A 1873 U.S. Supreme Court decision, 83 US 36, on a series of cases in which the Court expressed its first interpretation of the privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court interpreted this clause as protecting the...

speedy trial

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryIn criminal prosecutions, the right of a defendant to have a trial within a short time, premised on the Fifth Amendment's guarantee of due process. Each state has a statute or constitutional provision...

State Action Requirement


The state action requirement refers to the requirement that in order for a plaintiff to have standing to sue over a law being violated, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the government (local, state, or federal), was responsible for the...

Substantive due process

Substantive due process is the notion that due process not only protects certain legal procedures, but also protects certain rights unrelated to procedure.

Many legal scholars argue that the words “due process” suggest a concern with procedure...