Category Archives: Constitutional Law

Supreme Court Weakens 4th Amendment Traffic Stop Requirements

The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a defendant’s conviction for possession with intent to deliver a substantial quantity of marijuana. At the heart of the case is whether the police lacked the probable cause necessary to conduct a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, the California Highway Patrol officers noted a strong odor of marijuana […]

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What is a Violation of the Third Amendment?

In an interesting case discussed by the Daily Caller, a family from Henderson, Nevada is suing the local police for violating their Third Amendment protections and right to privacy. By way of review, since the subject is so ubiquitous in today’s plethora of Constitutional litigation, the Third Amendment provides that “No Soldier shall, in time […]

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Federal or State Jurisdiction in Tax Exempt Challenge?

Should federal regulations and engaging in “foreign” company management defeat a plaintiff’s attempt to keep a challenge to tax exempt status in state court? That is the question Judge Joy Flowers Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania must answer. The City of Pittsburgh has challenged the tax exempt status […]

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Supreme Court Invalidates Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act

Earlier today, the Supreme Court invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Congress renewed the law in 2006, and according to the Supreme Court, used formulas for determining the ratio of minority voter turnout that were outdated by at least 40 years. The decision, while not invalidating the entire VRA, raises serious doubts as […]

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Kent’s Early View on the First Amendment’s Religion Clause

As I was perusing my copy of Kent’s Commentaries on American Law (12th Ed., O.W. Holmes, Jr.), I came across the following statement in the context of his discussion of the First Amendment: The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship may be considered as one of the absolute rights of individuals, recognized […]

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Sex Discrimination and the 14th Amendment

This is an excellent response to Calabresi and Rickert by Josh Blackman. He effectively demonstrates the context of the 14th Amendment. Overall, a great read.

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Contraception Mandate & Religion Liberty Pt. II; The State, The Church, and The Citizen

“A law targeting religious beliefs as such is never permissible.” Religious freedom is as much an integral ingredient in American law and society as sand is an integral ingredient in glass. This country was founded upon the freedom of conscience and the principle that the government would never dictate the exercise of conscience. During the […]

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Free Exercise of Religion, Contraception, and Women’s Health Issues, Pt. 1

The controversy created by President Obama’s Administration over whether the Federal government can require religious institutions to provide their employees with insurance plans covering contraceptives has a significant impact upon our Constitutional Republic. The controversy requires the juxtaposition of “rights” created by the government over the right to free exercise of religion as guaranteed by […]

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Are Dog “Sniff Tests” of Homes Searches?

The State of Florida recently filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court in the case of Jardines v. State of Florida. The Writ comes after the Florida Supreme Court determined that a search of Mr. Jardines’ residences predicated on a “positive” hit from a narcotics dog violated the United […]

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