the Constitution

Constitutional Amendment

A formal revision or addition proposed or made to the US Constitution. Article V of the Constitution details how amendments are made; there are several methods to propose an amendment, ratification requires the approval of 3/4ths of the states. There...

Constitutional Avoidance

Constitutional Avoidance is the principal that, if possible, the Supreme Court should avoid ruling on constitutional issues, and resolve the cases before them on other (usually statutory) grounds. In practice, what this often means is that if the...

Constitutional Clauses

The Constitution (including its Amendments) is made up of hundreds of clauses. Some of the clauses are more important than others or have been hotly debated as to their scope, meaning, or effect. These clauses are given names by which they may be...

Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law: An Overview

The broad topic of constitutional law deals with the interpretation and implementation of the United States Constitution. As the Constitution is the foundation of the United States, constitutional law deals with...

Constitutional Rights

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryRights given or reserved to the people by the U. S. Constitution, and in particular, the Bill of Rights.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Constitutional Tort

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA violation of one's constitutional rights by a government servant.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe act of interpreting and giving meaning to a statute, law, contract, or will when there is some ambiguity or question about its meaning. Strict, or narrow, construction means considering only the...

Contempt of Congress


Congress has the authority to hold a person in contempt if the person's conduct or action obstructs the proceedings of Congress or, more usually, an inquiry by a committee of Congress.

Contempt of Congress is defined in statute,...


The provisions of the U.S. Constitution setting out the powers of the Federal judiciary, define those powers in using two different but related words "cases" and "controversies". See U.S Constitution, Article III, section 2. In framing judicial...

Copyright and Patent Power

Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, Congress may "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries".

See copyright, patent...