Tag Archives: USA



  1.  A three-step process to get permanent residency
  2. Permanent residence (United States) status [Gren card]
  3. Reside five years a with 30 months physical presence
  4. Apply for Citizenship or Naturalisation

Acts :

  1. Immigration and Nationality Act
  2. The Homeland Security Act (HSA) of 2002
  3. Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
  4. Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996

Department :

  1. US Citizenship and Immigration Service
  2.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 
  3.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection 

Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States[Executive Order 13780  of March 6, 2017]

Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the Nation from terrorist activities by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1Policy and Purpose. (a) It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including those committed by foreign nationals. The screening and vetting protocols and procedures associated with the visa-issuance process and the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) play a crucial role in detecting foreign nationals who may commit, aid, or support acts of terrorism and in preventing those individuals from entering the United States. It is therefore the policy of the United States to improve the screening and vetting protocols and procedures associated with the visa-issuance process and the USRAP.

(b) On January 27, 2017, to implement this policy, I issued Executive Order 13769 (Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States).

(i) Among other actions, Executive Order 13769 suspended for 90 days the entry of certain aliens from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. These are countries that had already been identified as presenting heightened concerns about terrorism and travel to the United States. Specifically, the suspension applied to countries referred to in, or designated under, section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), in which Congress restricted use of the Visa Waiver Program for nationals of, and aliens recently present in, (A) Iraq or Syria, (B) any country designated by the Secretary of State as a state sponsor of terrorism (currently Iran, Syria, and Sudan), and (C) any other country designated as a country of concern by the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence. In 2016, the Secretary of Homeland Security designated Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as additional countries of concern for travel purposes, based on consideration of three statutory factors related to terrorism and national security: “(I) whether the presence of an alien in the country or area increases the likelihood that the alien is a credible threat to the national security of the United States; (II) whether a foreign terrorist organization has a significant presence in the country or area; and (III) whether the country or area is a safe haven for terrorists.” 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)(D)(ii). Additionally, Members of Congress have expressed concerns about screening and vetting procedures following recent terrorist attacks in this country and in Europe.

(ii) In ordering the temporary suspension of entry described in subsection (b)(i) of this section, I exercised my authority under Article II of the Constitution and under section 212(f) of the INA, which provides in relevant part: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” Start Printed Page 132108 U.S.C. 1182(f). Under these authorities, I determined that, for a brief period of 90 days, while existing screening and vetting procedures were under review, the entry into the United States of certain aliens from the seven identified countries—each afflicted by terrorism in a manner that compromised the ability of the United States to rely on normal decision-making procedures about travel to the United States—would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. Nonetheless, I permitted the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant case-by-case waivers when they determined that it was in the national interest to do so.

(iii) Executive Order 13769 also suspended the USRAP for 120 days. Terrorist groups have sought to infiltrate several nations through refugee programs. Accordingly, I temporarily suspended the USRAP pending a review of our procedures for screening and vetting refugees. Nonetheless, I permitted the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to jointly grant case-by-case waivers when they determined that it was in the national interest to do so.

(iv) Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities—whoever they are and wherever they reside—to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.

(c) The implementation of Executive Order 13769 has been delayed by litigation. Most significantly, enforcement of critical provisions of that order has been temporarily halted by court orders that apply nationwide and extend even to foreign nationals with no prior or substantial connection to the United States. On February 9, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to stay or narrow one such order pending the outcome of further judicial proceedings, while noting that the “political branches are far better equipped to make appropriate distinctions” about who should be covered by a suspension of entry or of refugee admissions.

(d) Nationals from the countries previously identified under section 217(a)(12) of the INA warrant additional scrutiny in connection with our immigration policies because the conditions in these countries present heightened threats. Each of these countries is a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations, or contains active conflict zones. Any of these circumstances diminishes the foreign government’s willingness or ability to share or validate important information about individuals seeking to travel to the United States. Moreover, the significant presence in each of these countries of terrorist organizations, their members, and others exposed to those organizations increases the chance that conditions will be exploited to enable terrorist operatives or sympathizers to travel to the United States. Finally, once foreign nationals from these countries are admitted to the United States, it is often difficult to remove them, because many of these countries typically delay issuing, or refuse to issue, travel documents.

(e) The following are brief descriptions, taken in part from the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2015 (June 2016), of some of the conditions in six of the previously designated countries that demonstrate why their nationals continue to present heightened risks to the security of the United States:

(i) Iran. Iran has been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984 and continues to support various terrorist groups, including Hizballah, Hamas, and terrorist groups in Iraq. Iran has also been linked to support Start Printed Page 13211for al-Qa’ida and has permitted al-Qa’ida to transport funds and fighters through Iran to Syria and South Asia. Iran does not cooperate with the United States in counterterrorism efforts.

(ii) Libya. Libya is an active combat zone, with hostilities between the internationally recognized government and its rivals. In many parts of the country, security and law enforcement functions are provided by armed militias rather than state institutions. Violent extremist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have exploited these conditions to expand their presence in the country. The Libyan government provides some cooperation with the United States’ counterterrorism efforts, but it is unable to secure thousands of miles of its land and maritime borders, enabling the illicit flow of weapons, migrants, and foreign terrorist fighters. The United States Embassy in Libya suspended its operations in 2014.

(iii) Somalia. Portions of Somalia have been terrorist safe havens. Al-Shabaab, an al-Qa’ida-affiliated terrorist group, has operated in the country for years and continues to plan and mount operations within Somalia and in neighboring countries. Somalia has porous borders, and most countries do not recognize Somali identity documents. The Somali government cooperates with the United States in some counterterrorism operations but does not have the capacity to sustain military pressure on or to investigate suspected terrorists.

(iv) Sudan. Sudan has been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1993 because of its support for international terrorist groups, including Hizballah and Hamas. Historically, Sudan provided safe havens for al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups to meet and train. Although Sudan’s support to al-Qa’ida has ceased and it provides some cooperation with the United States’ counterterrorism efforts, elements of core al-Qa’ida and ISIS-linked terrorist groups remain active in the country.

(v) Syria. Syria has been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1979. The Syrian government is engaged in an ongoing military conflict against ISIS and others for control of portions of the country. At the same time, Syria continues to support other terrorist groups. It has allowed or encouraged extremists to pass through its territory to enter Iraq. ISIS continues to attract foreign fighters to Syria and to use its base in Syria to plot or encourage attacks around the globe, including in the United States. The United States Embassy in Syria suspended its operations in 2012. Syria does not cooperate with the United States’ counterterrorism efforts.

(vi) Yemen. Yemen is the site of an ongoing conflict between the incumbent government and the Houthi-led opposition. Both ISIS and a second group, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), have exploited this conflict to expand their presence in Yemen and to carry out hundreds of attacks. Weapons and other materials smuggled across Yemen’s porous borders are used to finance AQAP and other terrorist activities. In 2015, the United States Embassy in Yemen suspended its operations, and embassy staff were relocated out of the country. Yemen has been supportive of, but has not been able to cooperate fully with, the United States in counterterrorism efforts.

(f) In light of the conditions in these six countries, until the assessment of current screening and vetting procedures required by section 2 of this order is completed, the risk of erroneously permitting entry of a national of one of these countries who intends to commit terrorist acts or otherwise harm the national security of the United States is unacceptably high. Accordingly, while that assessment is ongoing, I am imposing a temporary pause on the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, subject to categorical exceptions and case-by-case waivers, as described in section 3 of this order.

(g) Iraq presents a special case. Portions of Iraq remain active combat zones. Since 2014, ISIS has had dominant influence over significant territory in northern and central Iraq. Although that influence has been significantly Start Printed Page 13212reduced due to the efforts and sacrifices of the Iraqi government and armed forces, working along with a United States-led coalition, the ongoing conflict has impacted the Iraqi government’s capacity to secure its borders and to identify fraudulent travel documents. Nevertheless, the close cooperative relationship between the United States and the democratically elected Iraqi government, the strong United States diplomatic presence in Iraq, the significant presence of United States forces in Iraq, and Iraq’s commitment to combat ISIS justify different treatment for Iraq. In particular, those Iraqi government forces that have fought to regain more than half of the territory previously dominated by ISIS have shown steadfast determination and earned enduring respect as they battle an armed group that is the common enemy of Iraq and the United States. In addition, since Executive Order 13769 was issued, the Iraqi government has expressly undertaken steps to enhance travel documentation, information sharing, and the return of Iraqi nationals subject to final orders of removal. Decisions about issuance of visas or granting admission to Iraqi nationals should be subjected to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants have connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations, or otherwise pose a risk to either national security or public safety.

(h) Recent history shows that some of those who have entered the United States through our immigration system have proved to be threats to our national security. Since 2001, hundreds of persons born abroad have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States. They have included not just persons who came here legally on visas but also individuals who first entered the country as refugees. For example, in January 2013, two Iraqi nationals admitted to the United States as refugees in 2009 were sentenced to 40 years and to life in prison, respectively, for multiple terrorism-related offenses. And in October 2014, a native of Somalia who had been brought to the United States as a child refugee and later became a naturalized United States citizen was sentenced to 30 years in prison for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction as part of a plot to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. The Attorney General has reported to me that more than 300 persons who entered the United States as refugees are currently the subjects of counterterrorism investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(i) Given the foregoing, the entry into the United States of foreign nationals who may commit, aid, or support acts of terrorism remains a matter of grave concern. In light of the Ninth Circuit’s observation that the political branches are better suited to determine the appropriate scope of any suspensions than are the courts, and in order to avoid spending additional time pursuing litigation, I am revoking Executive Order 13769 and replacing it with this order, which expressly excludes from the suspensions categories of aliens that have prompted judicial concerns and which clarifies or refines the approach to certain other issues or categories of affected aliens.

Sec. 2Temporary Suspension of Entry for Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern During Review Period. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall conduct a worldwide review to identify whether, and if so what, additional information will be needed from each foreign country to adjudicate an application by a national of that country for a visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual is not a security or public-safety threat. The Secretary of Homeland Security may conclude that certain information is needed from particular countries even if it is not needed from every country.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the worldwide review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed from each country for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 20 days of the effective date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security Start Printed Page 13213shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence.

(c) To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening and vetting of foreign nationals, to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists, and in light of the national security concerns referenced in section 1 of this order, I hereby proclaim, pursuant to sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a), that the unrestricted entry into the United States of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. I therefore direct that the entry into the United States of nationals of those six countries be suspended for 90 days from the effective date of this order, subject to the limitations, waivers, and exceptions set forth in sections 3 and 12 of this order.

(d) Upon submission of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed from each country for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request that all foreign governments that do not supply such information regarding their nationals begin providing it within 50 days of notification.

(e) After the period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion in a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of appropriate categories of foreign nationals of countries that have not provided the information requested until they do so or until the Secretary of Homeland Security certifies that the country has an adequate plan to do so, or has adequately shared information through other means. The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Homeland Security may also submit to the President the names of additional countries for which any of them recommends other lawful restrictions or limitations deemed necessary for the security or welfare of the United States.

(f) At any point after the submission of the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment, as well as the names of any countries that they recommend should be removed from the scope of a proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section.

(g) The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 60 days of the effective date of this order, a second report within 90 days of the effective date of this order, a third report within 120 days of the effective date of this order, and a fourth report within 150 days of the effective date of this order.

Sec. 3Scope and Implementation of Suspension.

(a) Scope. Subject to the exceptions set forth in subsection (b) of this section and any waiver under subsection (c) of this section, the suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this order shall apply only to foreign nationals of the designated countries who:

(i) are outside the United States on the effective date of this order;

(ii) did not have a valid visa at 5:00 p.m., eastern standard time on January 27, 2017; and

(iii) do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order.

(b) Exceptions. The suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this order shall not apply to:

(i) any lawful permanent resident of the United States;Start Printed Page 13214

(ii) any foreign national who is admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after the effective date of this order;

(iii) any foreign national who has a document other than a visa, valid on the effective date of this order or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document;

(iv) any dual national of a country designated under section 2 of this order when the individual is traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country;

(v) any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; or

(vi) any foreign national who has been granted asylum; any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States; or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

(c) Waivers. Notwithstanding the suspension of entry pursuant to section 2 of this order, a consular officer, or, as appropriate, the Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or the Commissioner’s delegee, may, in the consular officer’s or the CBP official’s discretion, decide on a case-by-case basis to authorize the issuance of a visa to, or to permit the entry of, a foreign national for whom entry is otherwise suspended if the foreign national has demonstrated to the officer’s satisfaction that denying entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship, and that his or her entry would not pose a threat to national security and would be in the national interest. Unless otherwise specified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, any waiver issued by a consular officer as part of the visa issuance process will be effective both for the issuance of a visa and any subsequent entry on that visa, but will leave all other requirements for admission or entry unchanged. Case-by-case waivers could be appropriate in circumstances such as the following:

(i) the foreign national has previously been admitted to the United States for a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity, is outside the United States on the effective date of this order, seeks to reenter the United States to resume that activity, and the denial of reentry during the suspension period would impair that activity;

(ii) the foreign national has previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States on the effective date of this order for work, study, or other lawful activity;

(iii) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States for significant business or professional obligations and the denial of entry during the suspension period would impair those obligations;

(iv) the foreign national seeks to enter the United States to visit or reside with a close family member (e.g., a spouse, child, or parent) who is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or alien lawfully admitted on a valid nonimmigrant visa, and the denial of entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship;

(v) the foreign national is an infant, a young child or adoptee, an individual needing urgent medical care, or someone whose entry is otherwise justified by the special circumstances of the case;

(vi) the foreign national has been employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government (or is an eligible dependent of such an employee) and the employee can document that he or she has provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government;

(vii) the foreign national is traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), 22 U.S.C. 288 et seq., traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government, or traveling Start Printed Page 13215to conduct business on behalf of an international organization not designated under the IOIA;

(viii) the foreign national is a landed Canadian immigrant who applies for a visa at a location within Canada; or

(ix) the foreign national is traveling as a United States Government-sponsored exchange visitor.

Sec. 4Additional Inquiries Related to Nationals of Iraq. An application by any Iraqi national for a visa, admission, or other immigration benefit should be subjected to thorough review, including, as appropriate, consultation with a designee of the Secretary of Defense and use of the additional information that has been obtained in the context of the close U.S.-Iraqi security partnership, since Executive Order 13769 was issued, concerning individuals suspected of ties to ISIS or other terrorist organizations and individuals coming from territories controlled or formerly controlled by ISIS. Such review shall include consideration of whether the applicant has connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations or with territory that is or has been under the dominant influence of ISIS, as well as any other information bearing on whether the applicant may be a threat to commit acts of terrorism or otherwise threaten the national security or public safety of the United States.

Sec. 5Implementing Uniform Screening and Vetting Standards for All Immigration Programs. (a) The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence shall implement a program, as part of the process for adjudications, to identify individuals who seek to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis, who support terrorism, violent extremism, acts of violence toward any group or class of people within the United States, or who present a risk of causing harm subsequent to their entry. This program shall include the development of a uniform baseline for screening and vetting standards and procedures, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that applicants are who they claim to be; a mechanism to assess whether applicants may commit, aid, or support any kind of violent, criminal, or terrorist acts after entering the United States; and any other appropriate means for ensuring the proper collection of all information necessary for a rigorous evaluation of all grounds of inadmissibility or grounds for the denial of other immigration benefits.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the program described in subsection (a) of this section within 60 days of the effective date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the effective date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the effective date of this order.

Sec. 6Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) The Secretary of State shall suspend travel of refugees into the United States under the USRAP, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall suspend decisions on applications for refugee status, for 120 days after the effective date of this order, subject to waivers pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication processes to determine what additional procedures should be used to ensure that individuals seeking admission as refugees do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. The suspension described in this subsection shall not apply to refugee applicants who, before the effective date of this order, have been formally scheduled for transit by the Department of State. The Secretary of State shall resume travel of refugees into the Start Printed Page 13216United States under the USRAP 120 days after the effective date of this order, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall resume making decisions on applications for refugee status only for stateless persons and nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that the additional procedures implemented pursuant to this subsection are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

(b) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any entries in excess of that number until such time as I determine that additional entries would be in the national interest.

(c) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the entry of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest and does not pose a threat to the security or welfare of the United States, including in circumstances such as the following: the individual’s entry would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement or arrangement, or the denial of entry would cause undue hardship.

(d) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of State shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

Sec. 7Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility. The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority permitted by section 212(d)(3)(B) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(3)(B), relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing directives or guidance.

Sec. 8Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for in-scope travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive set forth in subsection (a) of this section. The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the effective date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the effective date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the effective date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit further reports every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

Sec. 9Visa Interview Security. (a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1202, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions. This suspension shall not apply to any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visa, C-2 visa for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa; traveling for purposes related to an international organization designated under the IOIA; or traveling for purposes of conducting meetings or business with the United States Government.Start Printed Page 13217

(b) To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that nonimmigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.

Sec. 10Visa Validity Reciprocity. The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements and arrangements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If another country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a truly reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by that foreign country, to the extent practicable.

Sec. 11Transparency and Data Collection. (a) To be more transparent with the American people and to implement more effectively policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available the following information:

(i) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation with or provision of material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security-related reasons;

(ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States;

(iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals; and

(iv) any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall release the initial report under subsection (a) of this section within 180 days of the effective date of this order and shall include information for the period from September 11, 2001, until the date of the initial report. Subsequent reports shall be issued every 180 days thereafter and reflect the period since the previous report.

Sec. 12Enforcement. (a) The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall consult with appropriate domestic and international partners, including countries and organizations, to ensure efficient, effective, and appropriate implementation of the actions directed in this order.

(b) In implementing this order, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including, as appropriate, those providing an opportunity for individuals to claim a fear of persecution or torture, such as the credible fear determination for aliens covered by section 235(b)(1)(A) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1)(A).Start Printed Page 13218

(c) No immigrant or nonimmigrant visa issued before the effective date of this order shall be revoked pursuant to this order.

(d) Any individual whose visa was marked revoked or marked canceled as a result of Executive Order 13769 shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry. Any prior cancellation or revocation of a visa that was solely pursuant to Executive Order 13769 shall not be the basis of inadmissibility for any future determination about entry or admissibility.

(e) This order shall not apply to an individual who has been granted asylum, to a refugee who has already been admitted to the United States, or to an individual granted withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture. Nothing in this order shall be construed to limit the ability of an individual to seek asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture, consistent with the laws of the United States.

Sec. 13Revocation. Executive Order 13769 of January 27, 2017, is revoked as of the effective date of this order.

Sec. 14Effective Date. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m., eastern daylight time on March 16, 2017.

Sec. 15Severability. (a) If any provision of this order, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and the application of its other provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

(b) If any provision of this order, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid because of the lack of certain procedural requirements, the relevant executive branch officials shall implement those procedural requirements.

Sec. 16General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.Start Printed Page 13219

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

  THE WHITE HOUSE, March 6, 2017. Filed 3-8-17; 11:15 am]

[FR Doc. 2017-04837

Billing code 3295-F7-P

A Presidential Document by the Executive Office of the President on 03/09/2017

Laws relating to USA Government

Title 4—Flag And Seal, Seat Of Government, And The States

TITLE 4—Front Matter
CHAPTER 1—THE FLAG (sections 1 to 10)
CHAPTER 2—THE SEAL (sections 41 to 42)
CHAPTER 3—SEAT OF THE GOVERNMENT (sections 71 to 73)
CHAPTER 4—THE STATES (sections 101 to 126)

Title 5—Government Organization And Employees; and Appendix

TITLE 5—Front Matter
PART I—THE AGENCIES GENERALLY (sections 101 to 913)
PART III—EMPLOYEES (sections 2101 to 10210)
Title 5—Appendix

Crimes and Criminal laws in the United States of America[USA]

Title 18—Crimes And Criminal Procedure; and Appendix

TITLE 18—Front Matter
PART I—CRIMES (sections 1 to 2725)
PART II—CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (sections 3001 to 3742)
PART III—PRISONS AND PRISONERS (sections 4001 to 4353)
PART V—IMMUNITY OF WITNESSES (sections 6001 to 6005)
Title 18—Appendix

Title 34—Crime Control And Law Enforcement

TITLE 34—Front Matter
Subtitle I—Comprehensive Acts (sections 10101 to 12643)
Subtitle II—Protection of Children and Other Persons (sections 20101 to 21752)
Subtitle III—Prevention of Particular Crimes (sections 30101 to 30506)
Subtitle IV—Criminal Records and Information (sections 40101 to 41508)
Subtitle V—Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Personnel (sections 50101 to 50503)
Subtitle VI—Other Crime Control and Law Enforcement Matters (sections 60101 to 60705)

Judicial Opinions, Statutes and Government Rules-Regulations are not Copyright Protected in United state of America [USA]

Wheaton vs Peter, 33 U.S, 991, 668 [1834] was the first copyright case in the United States till held good law and continuing as quoted in the recent decisions.

Case Title Citation Year Vote Classification Subject Matter Opinions Statute Interpreted Summary of Opinions
Wheaton v. Peters 33 U.S. (8 Pet.) 591 1834 5 – 2 Substantive Copyrightability/Common law Copyright/Formalities Majority:
Thompson, Baldwin
There is no such thing as common law copyright and one must observe the formalities to secure a copyright.
Backus v. Gould 48 U.S. (7 How.) 798 1849 Substantive Majority:
Copyright Act of 1831
Stephens v. Cady 55 U.S.(14 How.) 528 1852 9 – 0 Majority:
Stevens v. Gladding 58 U.S.447 1854 Majority:
Little v. Hall 59 U.S.(18 How.) 165 1856 Majority:
Paige v. Banks 80 U.S.(13 Wall.) 608 1872 Majority:
Perris v. Hexamer 99 U.S.674 1879 Majority:
Trade-Mark Cases 100 U.S.82 1879 9 – 0 Non-Copyright Constitutional basis for Trademark regulation Majority:
Copyright Clause does not give Congress the power to regulate trademarks
Baker v. Selden 101 U.S.99 1879 9 – 0 Substantive Idea/Expression Dichotomy Majority:
Idea-expression divide; differences between copyright & patent law
Merrell v. Tice 104 U.S.557 1881 Majority:
Because statutory procedures exist for producing evidence of copyright formality observance, evidence of at least such veracity is required to prove copyright claims.
Schreiber v. Sharpless 110 U.S.76 1884 Majority:
Charges of copyright infringement do not survive the death of the accused and may not be transferred to the executors of their will.
Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony 111 U.S.53 1884 9 – 0 Substantive Copyrightability of photography Majority:
Extended copyright protection to photography.
Thornton v. Schreiber 124 U.S.612 1888 Majority:
Banks v. Manchester 128 U.S.244 1888 9 – 0 Substantive Copyrightability of laws Majority:
No copyright in state Supreme Court opinions.
Callaghan v. Myers 128 U.S.617 1888 Majority:
Arrangements of public domain records can represent copyrightable intellectual effort.
Thompson v. Hubbard 131 U.S.123 1889 Majority:
Higgins v. Keuffel 140 U.S.428 1891 Majority:
A label describing the contents of a container is not subject to copyright.
Belford v. Scribner 144 U.S.488 1892 Majority:
Webster v. Daly 163 U.S.155 1896 Majority:
Press Pub Co v. Monroe 164 U.S.105 1896 Majority:
Holmes v. Hurst 174 U.S.82 1899 Majority:
Brady v. Daly 175 U.S.148 1899 Peckham(unanimous)
Bolles v. Outing Co. 175 U.S.262 1899 Majority:
Brown (White) (unanimous)
Copies already distributed are out of scope of copyright infringement damage lawsuits.
Bleistein v. Donaldson Lithographing Company 188 U.S.239 1903 7 – 2 Substantive Copyrightability of commercial art Majority:
Copyright protection of illustrations made for advertisements
Mifflin v. R. H. White Company 190 U.S.260 1903 Majority:
Mifflin v. Dutton 190 U.S.265 1903 Majority:
McLoughlin v. Raphael Tuck & Sons Co. 191 U.S.267 1903 8 – 0 Majority:
Articles of a class made illegal by a statute that existed in the United States before the statute came into effect are still legal.
American Tobacco Co. v. Werckmeister 207 U.S.284 1907 Majority:
Werckmeister v. American Tobacco Co. 207 U.S.375 1907 Majority:
United Dictionary Co. v. G. & C. Merriam Co. 208 U.S.260 1908 9 – 0 Substantive Formalities Majority:
Copyright Act of 1870, amendment in 1874 The requirement that notice reside in each copy of every edition does not extend to works published and sold abroad only.
White-Smith Music Publishing Co. v. Apollo Co. 209 U.S. 1 1908 9 – 0 Substantive Public performance right in music Majority:
Reproduction of the sounds of musical instruments playing music for which copyright granted not a violation of the copyright.
Dun v. Lumbermen’s Credit Ass’n 209 U.S.20 1908 Majority:
The existence of some copyright-infringing information in a rote reference work does not entitle the original author to seek an injunction against the printing the later article when the later article’s contents demonstrate significant original work.
Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus 210 U.S.339 1908 9 – 0 Substantive First-sale doctrine Majority:
No license to use copyrighted material. License cannot extend holder’s rights beyond statute defined by Congress.
Scribner v. Straus 210 U.S.352 1908 Majority:
Globe Newspaper Co. v. Walker 210 U.S.356 1908 Majority:
Bong v. Campbell Art Co. 214 U.S.236 1909 Majority:
Caliga v. Inter Ocean Newspaper Co. 215 U.S.182 1909 Majority:
Hills and Co. v. Hoover 220 U.S.329 1911 Majority:
American Lithographic Co. v. Werkmeister 221 U.S.603 1911 Hughes
Kalem Co. v. Harper Bros. 222 U.S.55 1911 9 – 0 Substantive Derivative works and Secondary liability Majority:
Ferris v. Frohman 223 U.S.424 1912 9 – 0 Substantive Publication and Public Performance Majority:
Henry v. A.B. Dick Co. 224 U.S. 1 1912 Non-Copyright Majority:
Lurton(McKenna, Holmes, Van Devanter)
White(Hughes, Lamar)
Bauer & Cie. v. O’Donnell 229 U.S. 1 1913 5 – 4 Non-Copyright Intersection of patents and first-sale doctrine Majority:
Holmes(McKenna, Lurton, Van Devanter)
Straus v. American Publishers Association 231 U.S.222 1913 Majority:
Order of St. Benedict of New Jersey v. Steinhauser 234 U.S.640 1914 Majority:
When someone joins an ecclesiastical order, subject to individual state law, their income from copyright may be dedicated to that order’s common fund as much as any other income or form of property. This does not violate any part of the Constitution if the member may withdraw from the order at any time.
Dejonge and Co. v. Breuker & Kessler Co. 235 U.S.33 1914 Majority:
G & C Merriam Co. v. Syndicate Pub. Co. 237 U.S.618 1915 Non-Copyright Majority:
Herbert v. Shanley Co. 242 U.S.591 1917 9 – 0 Substantive Public performance of live music in business establishments Majority:
Copyright Act of 1909 Hotels & restaurants that perform music must compensate composers, even if the venue is not separately charging patrons to hear the music.
International News Service v. Associated Press 248 U.S.215 1918 5 – 3 Non-Copyright Hot News Majority:
Holmes(McKenna), Brandeis
While the information found in AP news was not copyrightable and subject to publici juris, AP has a quasi-property interest during the production of “hot news”.
L. A. Westermann Co. v. Dispatch Printing Co. 249 U.S.100 1919 Majority:
Van Devanter
Ex parte Wagner 249 U.S.465 1919 Majority:
Meccano, Ltd. v. Wanamaker 253 U.S.136 1920 Majority:
Lumiere v. Mae Edna Wilder, Inc. 261 U.S.174 1923 Majority:
A person or corporation cannot file suits under the Copyright Act in areas in which they do not have an office and do no business.
Fox Film Corporation v. Knowles 261 U.S.326 1923 Majority:
Prestonettes, Inc. v. Coty 264 U.S.359 1924
Educational Films Corporation v. Ward 282 U.S.379 1931 Majority:
Sutherland(Van Devanter, BUTLER)
Buck v. Jewell-LaSalle Realty Co. 283 U.S.191 1931 9 – 0 Substantive Public performance right in radio broadcasts in business establishments Majority:
Copyright Act of 1909
Fox Film Corp v. Doyal 286 U.S.123 1932 9 – 0 Substantive State government taxation of copyright royalties Majority:
States may tax copyright royalties, as they can patent royalties, because even though copyrights & patents are granted by the federal government, they are still private property subject to taxation.
Hurn v. Oursler 289 U.S.238 1933 Majority:
George v. Victor Co. 293 U.S.377 1934
Douglas v. Cunningham 294 U.S.207 1935
Interstate Circuit v. United States 304 U.S.55 1938 Majority:
O. Roberts(McReynolds, BUTLER)
Washingtonian Pub. Co. v. Pearson 306 U.S.30 1939 6 – 3 Substantive Formalities Majority:
Black (O. Roberts, Reed)
Copyright Act of 1909 The 1909 Act’s deposit requirement did not require immediate deposit, or deposit before infringement occurs, in order to bring a suit for infringement
Gibbs v. Buck 307 U.S.66 1939 Majority:
Buck v. Gallagher 307 U.S.95 1939 Majority:
Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp. 309 U.S.390 1940 8 – 0 Procedural Damages Majority:
Copyright Act of 1909 In the case of an unauthorized adaptation, court may elect to award only a portion of an infringer’s profits to the plaintiff.
Watson v. Buck 313 U.S.387 1941 Majority:
Marsh v. Buck 313 U.S.406 1941 Majority:
Fred Fisher Music Co. v. M. Witmark & Sons 318 U.S.643 1943 5 – 3 Substantive Renewal terms and assignment Majority:
Black, Douglas, Murphy
Copyright Act of 1909 The renewal of copyright for the second term is not an opportunity for an author to renegotiate terms made during the first term that extended beyond the first term’s length.
United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. 334 U.S.131 1948 7 – 1 Non-Copyright Antitrust Majority:
Frankfurter (in part)
Sherman Antitrust Act Practice of block booking and ownership of theater chains by film studios constituted anti-competitive and monopolistic trade practices.
Commissioner v. Wodehouse 337 U.S.369 1949 Majority:
Frankfurter(Murphy, Jackson)
F. W. Woolworth Co. v. Contemporary Arts, Inc. 344 U.S.227 1952 7 – 2 Procedural Election of remedies (Statutory Damages) Majority:
Copyright Act of 1909 Court may grant statutory damages, even when infringer proves its gross profits were less than the statutory award. Judges granted wide latitude when determining legal remedies based on the facts of the case.
Mazer v. Stein 347 U.S.201 1954 7 – 2 Substantive Copyrightability of sculpture and Idea/Expression Dichotomy Majority:
Copyright Act of 1909 Extended copyright protection to functional art.
De Sylva v. Ballentine 351 U.S.570 1956 9 – 0 Substantive Renewal terms and beneficiaries Majority:
Harlan II(unanimous)
Copyright Act of 1909 After the death of an author, the widow and children are eligible to renew copyright, equally as a class. Additionally, conditional on state laws, illegitimate children are also eligible for a share of the copyright.
Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Loew’s, Inc. 356 U.S.43 1958 4 – 4 Substantive Fair use in parody per curiam aff’d 4-4 sub. nom., Benny v. Loew’s, 239 F.2d 532 (9th Cir. 1956)
Miller Music Corp. v. Charles N. Daniels, Inc. 362 U.S.373 1960 5 – 4 Substantive Duration Majority:
Harlan II(Frankfurter, WHITTAKER, Stewart)
Public Affairs Press v. Rickover 369 U.S.111 1962 per curiam
Sears, Roebuck, & Co. v. Stiffel Co. 376 U.S.225 1964 Majority:
Concurrence:Harlan II
Compco Corp. v. Day-Brite Lighting 376 U.S.234 1964
Fortnightly Corp. v. United Artists Television, Inc. 392 U.S.390 1968 5 – 1 Substantive Public performance of broadcast television Majority:
Receiving a television broadcast (of a licensed work) does not constitute a “performance”
Goldstein v. California 412 U.S.546 1973 5 – 4 Non-Copyright Federal pre-emption of state criminal copyright law Majority:
Douglas(Brennan, Blackmun), Marshall(Brennan, Blackmun)
California’s state statutes criminalizing record piracy did not violate the Copyright Clause
Teleprompter Corp. v. Columbia Broadcasting 415 U.S.394 1974 6 – 3 Substantive Public performance of broadcast television Majority:
Blackmun (in part), Douglas(Burger)
Receiving a television broadcast does not constitute a “performance”
Twentieth Century Music Corp. v. Aiken 422 U.S.151 1975 7 – 2 Substantive Public performance of radio broadcasts in business establishments Majority:
Receiving a radio broadcast of a licensed work does not constitute a “performance”. This effectively overruled Buck v. Jewel-LaSalle Realty Co. (1931)
Williams & Wilkins Co. v. United States 420 U.S.376 1976 4 – 4 Substantive Fair use in photocopies per curiam aff’d by an equally divided court, 420 U.S. 376, 95 S.Ct. 1344 (1975)
Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co. 433 U.S.562 1977 Majority:
Powell(Brennan, Marshall), Stevens
Broadcast Music v. Columbia Broadcasting System 441 U.S. 1 1979 8 – 1 Non-Copyright Antitrust and copyright collective rights organizations Majority:
Sherman Antitrust Act The issuance by ASCAP and BMI of blanket licenses does not constitute price-fixing per se unlawful under the antitrust laws
Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. 464 U.S.417 1984 5 – 4 Substantive Secondary liability and fair use in home recordings Majority:
Blackmun(Marshall, Powell, Rehnquist)
Copyright Act of 1976 The Betamax Case
Mills Music, Inc. v. Snyder 469 U.S.153 1985 5 – 4 Substantive Termination Majority:
White(Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun)
Copyright Act of 1976 Assignment of royalties under the Copyright Act
Harper & Row v. Nation Enterprises 471 U.S.539 1985 6 – 3 Substantive Fair use in excerpts Majority:
Brennan(White, Marshall)
Copyright Act of 1976
Dowling. v. United States 473 U.S.207 1985 6 – 3 Non-Copyright Criminal law impact of infringement Majority:
Powell(Burger, White)
Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 Copyright infringement is not theft, conversion, or fraud; illegally made copies are not stolen goods.
Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid 490 U.S.730 1989 9 – 0 Substantive Work-made-for-hire Majority:
Copyright Act of 1976 Works for hire.
Stewart v. Abend 495 U.S.207 1990 6 – 3 Substantive Derivative works Majority:
Stevens(Rehnquist, Scalia)
Copyright Act of 1976 Rights of the successor of a copyright interest
Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co. 499 U.S.340 1991 9 – 0 Substantive Copyrightability of Facts and Idea/Expression Dichotomy Majority:
Copyright Act of 1976 Affirmed the need for a minimal amount of creativity before a work is copyrightable. “Sweat of the brow” alone is not sufficient to bestow copyright.
Prei Inc. v. Columbia Pictures 508 U.S.49 1993 Majority:
Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc. 510 U.S.517 1994 9 – 0 Procedural Attorneys Fees Majority:
Copyright Act of 1976 Attorney’s fees in copyright litigation may be awarded to successful defendants, as well as to successful plaintiffs
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. 510 U.S.569 1994 9 – 0 Substantive Fair use in Commercial Parody Majority:
Copyright Act of 1976 Commercial parody can be fair use.
Lotus Dev. Corp. v. Borland Int’l, Inc. 516 U.S.233 1995 4 – 4 Substantive Copyrightability of software program interfaces per curiam Copyright Act of 1976 Scope of software copyrights.
Quality King Distributors, Inc. v. L’anza Research Int’l, Inc. 523 U.S.135 1998 9 – 0 Substantive Reimportation Majority:
Copyright Act of 1976 First-sale doctrine applies to reimported goods
Feltner v. Columbia Pictures Television, Inc. 523 U.S.340 1998 9 – 0 Procedural Right to Jury Trial on Statutory Damages Majority:
Copyright Act of 1976 Seventh Amendment right to jury trial in a copyright infringement case
New York Times Co. v. Tasini 533 U.S.483 2001 7 – 2 Substantive Collective works Majority:
Copyright Act of 1976 Freelance journalists did not grant electronic republication rights for collective work.
Eldred v. Ashcroft 537 U.S.186 2003 7 – 2 Substantive Term Extension Majority:
Stevens, Breyer
Copyright Act of 1976
Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. 539 U.S.23 2003 8 – 0 Non-Copyright Intersection of TM law with public domain works Majority:
Lanham Act Trademark cannot preserve rights to a public domain work.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. 545 U.S.913 2005 9 – 0 Substantive Secondary liability Majority:
Ginsburg(Rehnquist, Kennedy), Breyer(Stevens, O’Connor)
Copyright Act of 1976 Distributors of peer-to-peer file-sharing software can be liable for copyright infringement if there are “affirmative steps taken to foster infringement”.
Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp. 550 U.S.437 2007 7 – 1 Non-Copyright Ginsburg
Alito (Thomas, Breyer) (in all but part)
35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(Patent Act)
Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick 559 U.S.154 2010 8 – 0 Procedural Registration Majority:
Ginsburg(Stevens, Breyer)
Copyright Act of 1976 Settlement of copyright infringement claims relating to an electronic database
Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp. 562 U.S.40 2010 4 – 4 Substantive First-sale doctrine per curiam Copyright Act of 1976 Affirming 541 F.3d 982 (9th Cir. 2008)
Golan v. Holder 565 U.S.302, 132 S. Ct. 873 2012 6 – 2 Substantive Restoration of copyright in public domain works Majority:
Breyer (Alito)
Copyright Act of 1976
Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 568 U.S.519, 133 S. Ct. 1351 2013 6 – 3 Substantive First-sale doctrine Majority:
Ginsburg(Scalia (in part), Kennedy)
Kagan (Alito)
Copyright Act of 1976 The first-sale doctrine applies to copyrighted works made lawfully overseas.
Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. 572 U.S. ____ 2014 6 – 3 Substantive Laches Majority:
Breyer(Roberts, Kennedy)
Copyright Act of 1976 The laches defense is not available in copyright infringement cases.
American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. 573 U.S. ____ 2014 6 – 3 Substantive Public performance Majority:
Scalia(Thomas, Alito)
Copyright Act of 1976
Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. 580 U.S. ___ 2017 6 – 2 Substantive Useful articles Majority:
Copyright Act of 1976


Courts in the United States

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United States District Court in Washington on Tuesday approved the blockbuster merger between AT&T and Time Warner, rebuffing the government’s effort to stop the deal

June 12, 2018 -WASHINGTON —Federal judge Richard J. Leon of United States District Court in Washington on Tuesday approved the blockbuster merger between AT&T and Time Warner, rebuffing the government’s effort to stop the $85.4 billion deal, in a decision The judge, observed that the Justice Department failed to  proved that the telecom company’s acquisition of Time Warner would lead to fewer choices for consumers and higher prices for television and internet services. The merger would create a media and telecommunications powerhouse, reshaping the landscape of those industries. The combined company would have a library that includes HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones” and channels like CNN, along with vast distribution reach through wireless and satellite television services across the country.

Executive Order 6102—Requiring Gold Coin, Gold Bullion and Gold Certificates to Be Delivered to the Government of America

April 5, 1933

Franklin D. Roosevelt

President of the United States of America

By virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended by Section 2 of the Act of March 9, 1933, entitled “An Act to provide relief in the existing national emergency in banking, and for other purposes,” in which amendatory Act Congress declared that a serious emergency exists, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said section do hereby prohibit the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations and hereby prescribe the following regulations for carrying out the purposes of this order:

Section 1. For the purposes of this regulation, the term “hoarding” means the withdrawal and withholding of gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates from the recognized and customary channels of trade. The term “person” means any individual, partnership, association or corporation.

Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve Bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933, except the following:

(a) Such amount of gold as may be required for legitimate and customary use in industry, profession or art within a reasonable time, including gold prior to refining and stocks of gold in reasonable amounts for the usual trade requirements of owners mining and refining such gold.

(b) Gold coin and gold certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate $100 belonging to any one person; and gold coins having a recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.

(c) Gold coin and bullion earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign Government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.

(d) Gold coin and bullion licensed for other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including gold coin and bullion imported for reexport or held pending action on applications for export licenses.

Section 3. Until otherwise ordered any person becoming the owner of any gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates after April 28, 1933, shall, within three days after receipt thereof, deliver the same in the manner prescribed in Section 2; unless such gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates are held for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of Section 2; or unless such gold coin or gold bullion is held for purposes specified in paragraph (d) of Section 2 and the person holding it is, with respect to such gold coin or bullion, a licensee or applicant for license pending action thereon.

Section 4. Upon receipt of gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates delivered to it in accordance with Sections 2 or 3, the Federal Reserve Bank or member bank will pay therefor an equivalent amount of any other form of coin or currency coined or issued under the laws of the United States.

Section 5. Member banks shall deliver all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates owned or received by them (other than as exempted under the provisions of Section 2) to the Federal Reserve Banks of their respective districts and receive credit or payment therefor.

Section 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, out of the sum made available to the President by Section 501 of the Act of March 9, 1933, will in all proper cases pay the reasonable costs of transportation of gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates delivered to a member bank or Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with Section 2, 3, or 5 hereof, including the cost of insurance, protection, and such other incidental costs as may be necessary, upon production of satisfactory evidence of such costs. Voucher forms for this purpose may be procured from Federal Reserve Banks.

Section 7. In cases where the delivery of gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates by the owners thereof within the time set forth above will involve extraordinary hardship or difficulty, the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, extend the time within which such delivery must be made. Applications for such extensions must be made in writing under oath, addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury and filed with a Federal Reserve Bank. Each application must state the date to which the extension is desired, the amount and location of the gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates in respect of which such application is made and the facts showing extension to be necessary to avoid extraordinary hardship or difficulty.

Section 8. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and empowered to issue such further regulations as he may deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this order and to issue licenses thereunder, through such officers or agencies as he may designate, including licenses permitting the Federal Reserve Banks and member banks of the Federal Reserve System, in return for an equivalent amount of other coin, currency or credit, to deliver, earmark or hold in trust gold coin and bullion to or for persons showing the need for the same for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of Section 2 of these regulations.

Section 9. Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Executive Order or of these regulations or of any rule, regulation or license issued thereunder may be fined not more than $10,000, or, if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in any such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both.

This order and these regulations may be modified or revoked at any time.

Connected Matters:

  1. London Gold Fixing
  2.  London Gold Market Fixing Ltd.
  3.  Nathan Mayer Rothschild & Sons
  4.  London bullion market
  5. Good Delivery (LGD) standards

NOTE: The Bank of England has one of the world’s largest gold vaults. It is the second-largest custodian of gold in the world, after the New York Federal Reserve. London is the global centre for gold trading.

LGD bars must meet a certain minimum fineness and weight. A typical gold bar weighs around 400 troy ounces (12.4kg).

Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment [USA]

Amendment XIV (1868)
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

The Establishment Clause And Public Schools

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 53 (1985) as held:-

“The individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all”); see also County of Allegheny v. ACLU Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, 492 U.S. 573, 589-94, 598-602 (1989); Texas Monthly, Inc. v. Bullock, 489 U.S. 1, 17 (1989); Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495 (1961).

Landmark judgments delivered by Supreme Court of the United States [USA]

  1. Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963) School sponsored reading of the Bible and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in public schools is unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause.
  2. Ableman v. Booth, 62 U.S. 506 (1859) State Courts cannot issue rulings that contradict the decisions of federal courts.
  3. Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200 (1995) Race-based discrimination, including discrimination in favor of minorities (affirmative action), must pass strict scrutiny.
  4. Addington v. Texas, 441 U.S. 418 (1979) a “clear and convincing” standard of proof is required by the Fourteenth Amendment in a civil proceeding brought under state law to commit an individual involuntarily for an indefinite period to a state mental hospital.
  5. Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967) The right of citizenship is protected by the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Congress has no power under the Constitution to revoke a person’s United States citizenship unless he or she voluntarily relinquishes it.
  6. Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203 (1997) Allowing public school teachers to teach at parochial schools does not violate the Establishment Clause as long as the material that is taught is secular and neutral in nature and no “excessive entanglement” between government and religion is apparent.
  7. Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578 (1897) The liberty that is protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment includes economic liberty.
  8. Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000) Other than the fact of a prior conviction, any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond the prescribed statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
  9. Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U.S. 500 (1964) First case in which the US Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of personal restrictions on the right to travel abroad and passport restrictions as they relate to Fifth Amendment due process rights and First Amendment free speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association rights.
  10. Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. (2012) An Arizona law that authorizes local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws is preempted by federal law. Arizona law enforcement may inquire about a resident’s legal status during lawful encounters, but the state may not implement its own immigration laws.
  11. Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. (2013) Naturally occurring DNA sequences, even when isolated from the body, cannot be patented, but artificially created DNA is patent eligible because it is not naturally occurring.
  12. Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) A death sentence may not be imposed on mentally retarded offenders, but the states can define what it means to be mentally retarded.
  13. Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962) The redistricting of state legislative districts is not a political question, so it is justiciable by the federal courts.
  14. Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 U.S. 560 (1991) While nude dancing is a form of expressive conduct, public indecency laws regulating or prohibiting nude dancing are constitutional because they further substantial governmental interests in maintaining order and protecting morality.
  15. Barron v. Baltimore, 32 U.S. 243 (1833) The Bill of Rights cannot be applied to the state governments. This decision has essentially been rendered moot by the Supreme Court’s adoption of the incorporation doctrine, which uses the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to apply portions of the Bill of Rights to the states.
  16. Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986) Prosecutors may not use peremptory challenges to dismiss jurors based on their race.
  17. Baze v. Rees, 553 U.S. 35 (2008) The three-drug cocktail used for performing executions by lethal injection in Kentucky (as well as virtually all of the states using lethal injection at the time) is constitutional under the Eighth Amendment.
  18. Berghuis v. Thompkins, 560 U.S. 370 (2010) The right to remain silent does not exist unless a suspect invokes it unambiguously.
  19. Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26 (1954) Under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause private property can be taken for a public purpose with just compensation.
  20. Bethel School District v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986) The First Amendment permits a public school to punish a student for giving a lewd and indecent speech at a school assembly even if the speech is not obscene.
  21. Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455 (1942) Indigent defendants may be denied counsel when prosecuted by a state (overruled by Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)).
  22. Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) Individuals may sue federal government officials who have violated their Fourth Amendment rights even though such a suit is not authorized by law. The existence of a remedy for the violation is implied from the importance of the right that is violated.
  23. Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004) Mandatory state sentencing guidelines are the statutory maximum for purposes of applying the Apprendi rule.
  24. Board of Education v. Earls, 536 U.S. 822 (2002) Coercive drug testing imposed by school districts upon students who participate in extracurricular activities does not violate the Fourth Amendment.
  25. Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954) Segregated schools in the District of Columbia violate the Equal Protection Clause as incorporated against the federal government by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
  26. Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008) Foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have the constitutional right to challenge their detention in United States courts.
  27. Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986) A Georgia law that criminalizes certain acts of private sexual conduct between homosexual persons does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment (overruled by Lawrence v. Texas (2003)).
  28. Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640 (2000) Private organizations are allowed to choose their own membership and expel members based on their sexual orientation even if such discrimination would otherwise be prohibited by anti-discrimination legislation designed to protect minorities in public accommodations.
  29. Boynton v. Virginia, 364 U.S. 454 (1960) Racial segregation in all forms of public transportation is illegal under the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887.
  30. Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969) The mere advocacy of the use of force or of violation of the law is protected by the First Amendment. Only inciting others to take direct and immediate unlawful action is without constitutional protection.
  31. Breard v. Greene, 523 U.S. 371 (1998) The International Court of Justice does not have jurisdiction in capital punishment cases that involve foreign nationals.
  32. Browder v. Gayle, 142 F. Supp. 707 (M.D. Ala. 1956) Bus segregation is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause.
  33. Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) Segregated schools in the states are unconstitutional because they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court found that the separate but equal doctrine adopted in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) “has no place in the field of public education”.
  34. Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, 564 U.S. (2011) Laws restricting the sale of violent video games to children without parental supervision violate the First Amendment.
  35. Brown v. Mississippi, 297 U.S. 278 (1936) A defendant’s confession that is extracted by police violence cannot be entered as evidence and violates the Due Process Clause.
  36. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976) Spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech; therefore, federal limits on campaign contributions are constitutional in only a limited number of circumstances.
  37. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 573 U.S. (2014) Closely held, for-profit corporations have free exercise rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. As applied to such corporations, the requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that employers provide their female employees with no-cost access to contraception violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  38. Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000) The recount of ballots in Florida during the 2000 presidential election violated the Equal Protection Clause because different standards of counting were used in the counties that were subjected to the recount. This decision effectively resolved the election in favor of the Republican nominee, George W. Bush.
  39. California Motor Transport Co. v. Trucking Unlimited, 404 U.S. 508 (1972) The Free Petition Clause encompasses petitions to all three branches of the federal government—the Congress, the executive including administrative agencies and the judiciary.
  40. Canterbury v. Spence (464 F.2d. 772, 782 D.C. Cir. 1972). In medical malpractices cases, informed consent is required of the patient and no expert is required for the case to be heard by a jury.
  41. Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940) The states cannot interfere with the free exercise of religion.
  42. Carey v. Population Services International, 431 U.S. 678 (1977) Laws that restrict the sale, distribution, and advertisement of contraceptives to both adults and minors are unconstitutional.
  43. Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942) Fighting words—words that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace—are not protected by the First Amendment.
  44. Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984) A government agency’s interpretation of its own mandate from Congress is entitled to judicial deference if the authority is ambiguous and the agency’s interpretation is permissible under the statute, regardless as to whether it is the best possible interpretation or an interpretation the Court would have made.
  45. Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 419 (1793) The Constitution prevents the states from exercising sovereign immunity. Therefore, the states can be sued in federal court by citizens of other states. This decision was voided by the Eleventh Amendment in 1795, just two years after it was handed down.
  46. Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993) The government must show a compelling interest to pass a law that targets a religion’s ritual (as opposed to a law that happens to burden the ritual but is not directed at it). Failing to show such an interest, the prohibition of animal sacrifice is a violation of the Free Exercise Clause.
  47. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) Limits on corporate and union political expenditures during election cycles violate the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Corporations and labor unions can spend unlimited sums in support of or in opposition to candidates as long as the spending is independent of the candidates.
  48. City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997) Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment does not permit Congress to substantially increase the scope of the rights determined by the judiciary. Congress may only enact remedial or preventative measures that are consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment interpretations of the Supreme Court.
  49. Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 (1883) Neither the Thirteenth nor the Fourteenth Amendment empower Congress to safeguard blacks against the actions of private individuals.
  50. Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998) The Line Item Veto Act of 1996 is unconstitutional because it allows the President to amend or repeal parts of statutes without the preapproval of Congress. According to the Presentment Clause of the Constitution, Congress must initiate all changes to existing laws.
  51. Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1997) The President has no immunity that could require civil law litigation against him or her involving a dispute unrelated to the office of President to be stayed until the end of his or her term. Such a delay would deprive the parties to the suit of the right to a speedy trial that is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.
  52. Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971) The First Amendment prohibits the states from making the public display of a single fourletter expletive a criminal offense without a more specific and compelling reason than a general tendency to disturb the peace.
  53. Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. 264 (1821) State laws in opposition to national laws are void. The U.S. Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction for any U.S. case and final say.
  54. Collins v. Virginia, 584 U.S. (2018) This case presents the question whether the automobile exception to the Fourth Amendment permits a police officer, uninvited and without a warrant, to enter the curtilage of a home in order to search a vehicle parked therein. It does not.
  55. Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584 (1977) A death sentence may not be imposed for the crime of rape.
  56. Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939) A proposed amendment to the Constitution is considered pending before the states indefinitely unless Congress establishes a deadline by which the states must act. Furthermore, Congress—not the courts—is responsible for deciding whether an amendment has been validly ratified.
  57. Cooley v. Board of Wardens, 53 U.S. 299 (1852) When local circumstances make it necessary the states can regulate interstate commerce as long as such regulations do not conflict with federal law. State laws related to commerce powers can be valid if Congress is silent on the matter.
  58. Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958) The states are bound by the decisions of the Supreme Court and cannot choose to ignore them.
  59. Corfield v. Coryell, 6 Fed. Cas. 546 (C.C.E.D. Pa. 1823) Some of the rights protected by the Privileges and Immunities Clause include the freedom of movement through the states, the right of access to the courts, the right to purchase and hold property, an exemption from higher taxes than those paid by state residents, and the right to vote. 
  60. Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976) Setting different minimum ages for females (18) and males (21) to be allowed to buy beer is unconstitutional sex-based discrimination contrary to the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  61. Crandall v. Nevada, 73 U.S. 35 (1868) Freedom of movement between states is a fundamental right; a state cannot inhibit people from leaving it by imposing a tax on doing so.
  62. Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990) When a family has requested the termination of life-sustaining treatments for their vegetative relative, the state may constitutionally oppose this request if there is a lack of evidence of a clear earlier wish by said relative.
  63. Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130 (1967) News organizations may be liable when printing allegations about public figures if the information they disseminate is recklessly gathered and unchecked.
  64. Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. 518 (1819) The Contract Clause of the Constitution applies to both public and private corporations.
  65. Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993) Scientific evidence that is admitted in federal court must be valid and relevant to the case at hand.
  66. Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333 (1890) The Edmunds AntiPolygamy Act of 1882 does not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment even though polygamy is part of several religious beliefs.
  67. Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 (1980)[3][4] Genetically modified organisms can be patented.[5] According to the court a living, manmade microorganism is patentable subject matter as a “manufacture” or “composition of matter” within the meaning of the Patent Act of 1952.
  68. Dillon v. Gloss, 256 U.S. 368 (1921) Congress may set a deadline for the ratification of a new constitutional amendment if it wishes to do so.
  69. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia and to use it for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense within the home.
  70. Dolan v. City of Tigard, 512 U.S. 374 (1994) A government agency may not take property in exchange for benefits that are unrelated to the agency’s interest in the property.
  71. Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857) People of African descent that are slaves or were slaves and subsequently freed, along with their descendants, cannot be United States citizens. Consequently, they cannot sue in federal court. Additionally, slavery cannot be prohibited in U.S. territories before they are admitted to the Union as doing so would violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. After the Civil War, this decision was voided by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.
  72. Dusky v. United States, 362 U.S. 402 (1960) A defendant has the right to a competency evaluation before proceeding to trial.
  73. Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987) Teaching creationism in public schools is unconstitutional.
  74. Edwards v. California, 314 U.S. 160 (1941) A state cannot prohibit indigent people from moving into it.
  75. Edwards v. South Carolina, 372 U.S. 229 (1963) The Free Petition Clause extends to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  76. Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972) A Massachusetts law that criminalizes the use of contraception by unmarried couples violates the right to privacy established in Griswold as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  77. Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) Neutral laws of general applicability do not violate the Free Exercise Clause.
  78. Engblom v. Carey, 677 F.2d 957 (2d Cir. 1982) While not a Supreme Court case, this is the only case to have been heard by a federal appeals court based on Third Amendment claims. The ruling is notable for three important findings regarding the Third Amendment: 1) members of the National Guard are “soldiers” within the context of the Third Amendment; 2) the Third Amendment is incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment; and 3) the “house[s]” which are protected by the Third Amendment are not limited solely to those arising out of fee simple ownership but extend to those recognized and permitted by society as founded on lawful occupation or possession with a legal right to exclude others. court appeals court
  79. Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962) Government-directed prayer in public schools, even if it is denominationally neutral and nonmandatory, violates the Establishment Clause.
  80. Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782 (1982) A death sentence may not be imposed on offenders who are involved in a felony during which a murder is committed but who do not actually kill, attempt to kill, or intend that a killing take place.
  81. Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938) Federal courts in diversity jurisdiction cases must apply the law of the states in which they sit, including the judicial doctrine of the state’s highest court, where it does not conflict with federal law. There is no general federal common law.
  82. Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478 (1964) A person in police custody has the right to speak to an attorney.
  83. Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947) A state law that reimburses the costs of transportation to and from parochial schools does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Establishment Clause is incorporated against the states, and the Constitution requires a sharp separation between government and religion.
  84. Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2 (1866) Trying citizens in military courts is unconstitutional when civilian courts are still operating. Trial by military tribunal is constitutional only when there is no power left but the military, and the military may validly try criminals only as long as is absolutely necessary.
  85. Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908) When state officers are charged with violating federal law, they cannot set up the state’s federal constitutional sovereign immunity to defeat suits for prospective relief.
  86. Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978) Broadcasting has less First Amendment protection than other forms of communication because of its pervasive nature. The Federal Communications Commission has broad authority to determine what constitutes indecency in different contexts.
  87. Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Company, Inc., 499 U.S. 340 (1991) Originality, not sweat of the brow, is required for a work to obtain copyright protection.
  88. First Amendment rights
  89. Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83 (1968) Taxpayers have standing to sue to prevent the disbursement of federal funds in contravention of the specific constitutional prohibition against government support of religion.
  90. Fletcher v. Peck, 10 U.S. 87 (1810) A state legislature can repeal a corruptly made law, but the Contract Clause of the Constitution prohibits the voiding of valid contracts made under such a law. This was the first case in which the Supreme Court struck down a state law as unconstitutional.
  91. Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986) A death sentence may not be imposed on the insane.
  92. Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986) A defendant has the right to a competency evaluation before being executed.
  93. Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973) Sex-based discriminations are inherently suspect. A statute that gives benefits to the spouses of male members of the uniformed services, but not to the spouses of female members, (on the assumption that only the former are dependent) is unconstitutional.
  94. Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972) The arbitrary and inconsistent imposition of the death penalty violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. This decision initiates a nationwide de facto moratorium on executions that lasts until the Supreme Court’s decision in Gregg v. Georgia (1976).
  95. Garner v. Louisiana, 368 U.S. 157 (1961) Peaceful sitin demonstrators protesting segregationist policies cannot be arrested under a state’s “disturbing the peace” laws.
  96. Gates v. Collier, 501 F. 2d 1291 (5th Cir. 1974) This decision brought an end to the trusty system and flagrant inmate abuse at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi. It was the first body of law developed in the Fifth Circuit that abolished racial segregation in prisons and held that a variety of forms of corporal punishment against prisoners is considered cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
  97. Gates v. Collier, 501 F.2d 1291 (5th Circuit 1974) A variety of forms of corporal punishment against prisoners constituted cruel and unusual punishment and a violation of Eighth Amendment rights thus ending the Trusty system and the flagrant inmate abuse that accompanied it at in states using the trusty system as a replacement for the convict lease system.
  98. Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U.S. 103 (2006) Police cannot conduct a warrantless search in a home where one occupant consents and the other objects.
  99. Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974) The First Amendment permits the states to formulate their own standards of liability for defamation against private individuals as long as liability is not imposed without fault. If the state standard is lower than actual malice, then only actual damages may be awarded.
  100. Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824) The power to regulate interstate navigation is granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
  101. Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963) All defendants have the right to an attorney and must be provided one by the state if they are unable to afford legal counsel.
  102. Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925) The provisions of the First Amendment that protect the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press apply to the governments of the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  103. Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60 (1942) A defense lawyer’s conflict of interest arising from a simultaneous representation of codefendants violates the Assistance of Counsel Clause of the Sixth Amendment.
  104. Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60 (1942) The exclusion of women from the jury pool, other than members of the League of Women Voters who have attended a jury training class, violates the faircross section requirement of the Impartial Jury Clause of the Sixth Amendment. Noteworthy for being the first majority opinion of the Court to use the phrase “crosssection of the community” and the first jury discrimination case to invoke the Sixth Amendment rather than Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  105. Glossip v. Gross, 576 U.S. (2015) The Eighth Amendment requires prisoners to show 1.) there is a known and available alternative method of execution and 2.) the challenged method of execution poses a demonstrated risk of severe pain, with the burden of proof resting on the prisoners, not the state.
  106. Godinez v. Moran, 509 U.S. 389 (1993) A defendant who is competent to stand trial is automatically competent to plead guilty or waive the right to legal counsel.
  107. Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970) The termination of welfare benefits must be preceded by a full evidentiary hearing under the Due Process Clause.
  108. Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339 (1960) Electoral district boundaries drawn only to disenfranchise blacks violate the Fifteenth Amendment.
  109. Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007) The PartialBirth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is constitutional because it is less ambiguous than the law that was struck down in Stenberg. It is not vague or overbroad, and it does not impose an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.
  110. Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243 (2006) The Controlled Substances Act does not prevent physicians from being able to prescribe the drugs needed to perform assisted suicides under state law.
  111. Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005) Congress may ban the use of marijuana even in states that have approved its use for medicinal purposes.
  112. Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 440 Mass. 309 (2003) The denial of marriage licenses to samesex couples violates provisions of the state constitution guaranteeing individual liberty and equality and is not rationally related to a legitimate state interest. This was the first state court decision in which samesex couples won the right to marry.
  113. Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010) A sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole may not be imposed on juvenile nonhomicide offenders.
  114. Gravel v. United States, 408 U.S. 606 (1972) The privileges of the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause enjoyed by members of Congress also extend to Congressional aides, but not to activity outside the legislative process.
  115. Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976) Georgia’s new death penalty statute is constitutional because it adequately narrows the class of defendants eligible for the death penalty. This case and the next four cases were consolidated and decided simultaneously. By evaluating the new death penalty statutes that had been passed by the states, the Supreme Court ended the moratorium on executions that began with its decision in Furman v. Georgia (1972).
  116. Gregory v. Helvering, 293 U.S. 465 (1935) Taxpayers have the right to decrease the amount of their taxes or to avoid them altogether by means which the law permits. However, a business reorganization must have economic substance in order to affect tax liability.
  117. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965) A Connecticut law that criminalizes the use of contraception by married couples is unconstitutional because all Americans have a constitutionally protected right to privacy.
  118. Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003) A narrowly tailored use of race in student admission decisions may be permissible under the Equal Protection Clause because a diverse student body is beneficial to all students. This was hinted at in Regents v. Bakke (1978).
  119. Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 (2006) The military commissions set up by the Bush administration to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay are illegal because they lack the protections that are required by the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
  120. Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004) The federal government has the power to detain those it designates as enemy combatants, including United States citizens, but detainees that are United States citizens must have the rights of due process and the ability to challenge their enemy combatant status before an impartial authority.
  121. Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966) A state’s conditioning of the right to vote on the payment of a fee or tax violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  122. Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988) Public school curricular student newspapers that have not been established as forums for student expression are subject to a lower level of First Amendment protection than independent student expression or newspapers established by policy or practice as forums for student expression.
  123. Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964) The Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to places of public accommodation patronized by interstate travelers by reason of the Commerce Clause.
  124. Heath v. Alabama, 474 U.S. 82 (1985) The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment does not prohibit two different states from separately prosecuting and convicting the same individual for the same illegal act.
  125. Henderson v. United States, 339 U.S. 816 (1950) The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 makes it unlawful for a railroad that engages in interstate commerce to subject any particular person to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever.
  126. Hernandez v. Texas, 347 U.S. 475 (1954) Mexican Americans and all other racial and national groups in the United States have equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The protection of the 14th Amendment covers any racial, national and ethnic groups of the United States for which discrimination can be proved.
  127. HosannaTabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 565 U.S. (2012) Ministers cannot sue their churches by claiming termination in violation of employment nondiscrimination laws. The Establishment Clause forbids the appointing of ministers by the government; therefore, it cannot interfere with the freedom of religious groups to select their own ministers under the Free Exercise Clause.
  128. Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, 515 U.S. 557 (1995) Private citizens organizing a public demonstration have the right to exclude groups whose message they disagree with from participating.
  129. Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988) Parodies of public figures, including those intended to cause emotional distress, are protected by the First Amendment.
  130. Hylton v. United States, 3 U.S. 171 (1796) A tax on the possession of goods is not a direct tax that must be apportioned among the states according to their populations. This case featured the first example of judicial review by the Supreme Court.
  131. Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983) The totality of the circumstances, rather than a rigid test, must be used in finding probable cause under the Fourth Amendment.
  132. In re Directives, (2008) According to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement exists when surveillance is conducted to obtain foreign intelligence for national security purposes and is directed against foreign powers or agents of foreign powers reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.
  133. In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967) Juvenile defendants are protected under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  134. International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945) Minimum contacts with the forum state can enable a court in that state to exert personal jurisdiction over a party consistent with the Due Process Clause.
  135. J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394 (1928) The Separation of Powers can be sidestepped if Congress provides an “intelligible principle” to guide the executive branch.
  136. J.E.B. v. Alabama ex rel. T.B., 511 U.S. 127 (1994) Prosecutors may not use peremptory challenges to dismiss jurors based on their sex.
  137. Jackson v. Indiana, 406 U.S. 715 (1972), a U.S. state violates due process by involuntarily committing a criminal defendant for an indefinite period of time solely on the basis of his permanent incompetency to stand trial on the charges filed against him.
  138. Johnson v. M’Intosh, 21 U.S. 543 (1823) Private citizens cannot purchase lands from Native Americans.
  139. Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 392 U.S. 409 (1968) The federal government may prohibit discrimination in housing by private parties under the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
  140. Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson, 343 U.S. 495 (1952) Motion pictures, as a form of artistic expression, are protected by the First Amendment.
  141. Jurek v. Texas, 428 U.S. 262 (1976) Texas’s new death penalty statute is constitutional because it uses a threepart test to determine if a death sentence should be imposed.
  142. Kaelin v. Globe Communications, Case no. 9755232 (3rd Cir. 1998) A headline on the cover of a magazine which “falsely insinuated” a criminal act may be grounds for a libel action even if the related article inside the magazine is not defamatory.
  143. Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967) The Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures applies to all places where an individual has a “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
  144. Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964) The power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce extends to a restaurant that is not patronized by interstate travelers but which serves food that has moved in interstate commerce. This ruling makes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply to virtually all businesses.
  145. Katzenbach v. Morgan, 384 U.S. 641 (1966) Congress may enact laws stemming from Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment that increase the rights of citizens beyond what the judiciary has recognized.
  146. Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) Local governments may seize property for economic development purposes. Noted for converting the “public use” requirement of the Takings Clause (Fifth Amendment) to “public purpose.”
  147. Kennedy v. Louisiana, 554 U.S. 407 (2008) The death penalty is unconstitutional in all cases that do not involve murder or crimes against the state such as treason.
  148. Kent v. Dulles, 357 U.S. 116 (1958) The right to travel is a part of the “liberty” of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment.
  149. Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005) Teaching intelligent design in public school biology classes violates the Establishment Clause because intelligent design is not science, and it “cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.”
  150. Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944) President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 is constitutional; therefore, American citizens of Japanese descent can be interned and deprived of their basic constitutional rights. This case featured the first application of strict scrutiny to racial discrimination by the government.
  151. Lagos v. United States (May 29, 2018) The words “investigation” and “proceedings” in the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996 are limited to government investigations and criminal proceedings and do not include restitution for private investigations and civil or bankruptcy proceedings.
  152. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) A Texas law that criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual conduct furthers no legitimate state interest and violates homosexuals’ right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This decision invalidates all of the remaining sodomy laws in the United States.
  153. Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992) Including a clergy-led prayer within the events of a public school graduation ceremony violates the Establishment Clause.
  154. Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971) For a law to be considered constitutional under the Establishment Clause, the law must have a legitimate secular purpose, must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion, and must not result in an excessive entanglement of government and religion.
  155. Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905) The freedom of contract is implicit in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  156. Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, 187 U.S. 553 (1903) Congress may use its plenary power to unilaterally break treaty obligations between the United States and Native American tribes.
  157. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) Laws that prohibit interracial marriage (anti-miscegenation laws) are unconstitutional.
  158. Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961) Evidence that is obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment is inadmissible in state court. Notable for expanding the “exclusionary rule” originally articulated against only the Federal government in Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914).
  159. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803) Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional because it attempts to expand the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court beyond that permitted by the Constitution. Congress cannot pass laws that contradict the Constitution. 
  160. Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983) A state legislature’s practice of opening its sessions with a prayer offered by a state-supported chaplain does not violate the Establishment Clause.
  161. Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 14 U.S. 304 (1816) Federal courts may review state court decisions when they rest on federal law or the federal Constitution. This decision provides for the uniform interpretation of federal law throughout the states.
  162. Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 549 U.S. 497 (2007) Greenhouse gases are air pollutants, and the Environmental Protection Agency may regulate their emission under the Clean Air Act.
  163. Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm’n (16-111) The Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s actions in assessing a cakeshop owner’s reasons for declining to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding celebration violated the Free Exercise Clause.
  164. Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976) When procedural due process applies, courts must consider the government’s interests, the individual’s interests, and the likelihood of making an inaccurate decision using the existing procedures as well as the probable value of additional procedural safeguards.
  165. McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948) The use of public school facilities by religious organizations to give religious instruction to school children violates the Establishment Clause.
  166. McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819) The Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution grants to Congress implied powers for implementing the Constitution’s express powers, and state actions may not impede valid exercises of power by the federal government.
  167. McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, 572 U.S. (2014) Limits on the total amounts of money that individuals can donate to political campaigns during two-year election cycles violate the First Amendment.
  168. McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010) The individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense is incorporated against the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  169. Medellín v. Texas, 552 U.S. 491 (2008) International treaties are not binding domestic law unless Congress enacts statutes implementing them or unless the treaties are selfexecuting. Also, decisions of the International Court of Justice are not binding domestic law, and without authority from Congress or the Constitution, the President lacks the power to enforce international treaties or decisions of the International Court of Justice.
  170. Menominee Tribe v. United States, 391 U.S. 404 (1968) Native American treaty rights are not repealed without a clear and unequivocal statement to that effect from Congress.
  171. Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, 576 U.S. (2015) The Environmental Protection Agency must consider costs when it regulates power plants under the Clean Air Act.
  172. Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625 (1986) If a police interrogation begins after a defendant asserts his or her right to counsel at an arraignment or similar proceeding, then any waiver of that right for that policeinitiated interrogation is invalid (overruled by Montejo v. Louisiana (2009)).
  173. Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. (2012) A sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole may not be a mandatory sentence for juvenile offenders.
  174. Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973) To be obscene, a work must fail the Miller test, which determines if it has any “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
  175. Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 310 U.S. 586 (1940) The First Amendment does not require public schools to excuse students from saluting the American flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance on religious grounds (overruled by West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)).
  176. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) Police must advise criminal suspects of their rights under the Constitution to remain silent, to consult with a lawyer, and to have one appointed to them if they are indigent. A police interrogation must stop if the suspect states that he or she wishes to remain silent.
  177. Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan, 458 U.S. 718 (1982) the singlesex admissions policy of the Mississippi University for Women violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.[1]
  178. Missouri v. Holland, 252 U.S. 416 (1920) Treaties made by the federal government are supreme over any concerns brought by the states about such treaties interfering with any states’ rights derived from the Tenth Amendment.
  179. Montejo v. Louisiana, 556 U.S. 778 (2009) A defendant may waive his or her right to counsel during a police interrogation even if the interrogation begins after the defendant’s assertion of his or her right to counsel at an arraignment or similar proceeding.
  180. Morgan v. Virginia, 328 U.S. 373 (1946) A Virginia law that enforces segregation on interstate buses is unconstitutional.
  181. Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908) Oregon’s restrictions on the working hours of women are constitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment because they are justified by the strong state interest in protecting women’s health.
  182. Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 (1943) A Pennsylvania ordinance that imposes a license tax on those selling religious merchandise violates the Free Exercise Clause.
  183. Mutual Film Corp. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, 236 U.S. 230 (1915) Motion pictures are not entitled to free speech protection because they are a business, not a form of art (overruled by Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson (1952)).
  184. NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886 (1982) Nonviolent boycotts and related activities to bring about political, social and economic change are political speech which are entitled to the protection of the First Amendment.
  185. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958) The freedom to associate with organizations dedicated to the “advancement of beliefs and ideas” is an inseparable part of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  186. National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. (2012) The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medical aid is unconstitutional as written—it is unduly coercive to force the states to choose between participating in the expansion or forgoing all Medicaid funds. In addition, the individual health insurance mandate is constitutional by virtue of the Taxing and Spending Clause.
  187. National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, 301 U.S. 1 (1937) The National Labor Relations Act and, by extension, the National Labor Relations Board are constitutional because the Commerce Clause applies to labor relations. Therefore, the NLRB has the right to sanction companies that fire or discriminate against workers for belonging to a union. Also, a local commercial activity that is considered in isolation may still constitute interstate commerce if that activity has a “close and substantial relationship” to interstate commerce.
  188. Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931) A Minnesota law that imposes prior restraints on the publication of “malicious, scandalous, and defamatory” content violates the First Amendment as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
  189. New Jersey v. T. L. O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985) The Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches applies to those conducted by public school officials as well as those conducted by law enforcement personnel, but public school officials can use the less strict standard of reasonable suspicion instead of probable cause.
  190. New Negro Alliance v. Sanitary Grocery Co., 303 U.S. 502 (1938) Peaceful and orderly dissemination of information by those defined as persons interested in a labor dispute concerning ‘terms and conditions of employment’ in an industry or a plant or a place of business is lawful.
  191. New Negro Alliance v. Sanitary Grocery Co., 303 U.S. 552 (1938) Persons having a direct or indirect interest in terms and conditions of employment have the liberty to advertise and disseminate facts and information with respect to terms and conditions of employment, and peacefully to persuade others to concur in their views respecting an employer’s practices.
  192. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) Public officials, to prove they were libelled, must show not only that a statement is false, but also that it was published with malicious intent.
  193. New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971) The federal government’s desire to keep the Pentagon Papers classified is not strong enough to justify violating the First Amendment by imposing prior restraints on the material.
  194. New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747 (1982) Laws that prohibit the sale, distribution, and advertisement of child pornography are constitutional even if the content does not meet the conditions necessary for it to be labeled obscene.
  195. Nixon v. General Services Administration, 433 U.S. 425 (1977) Congress has the power to pass a law that directs the seizure and disposition of the papers and tapes of a former president that are within the control of the executive branch.
  196. Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. (2015) The Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state.
  197. O’Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563 (1975) The states cannot involuntarily commit individuals if they are not a danger to themselves or others and are capable of living by themselves or with the aid of responsible family members or friends.
  198. One, Inc. v. Olesen, 355 U.S. 371 (1958) Pro-homosexual writing is not per se obscene.
  199. Oneida Indian Nation of New York v. County of Oneida, 414 U.S. 661 (1974) There is federal subject matter jurisdiction for possessory land claims brought by Indian tribes based upon aboriginal title, the Nonintercourse Act, and Indian treaties.
  200. Oregon v. Mitchell, 400 U.S. 112 (1970) Congress has the power to regulate requirements for voting in federal elections, but it is prohibited from regulating requirements for voting in state and local elections. This decision led to the ratification of the Twenty-sixth Amendment in 1971, which lowered the minimum voting age to 18 for all elections.
  201. Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010) Criminal defense attorneys are dutybound to inform clients of the risk of deportation under three circumstances. First, where the law is unambiguous, attorneys must advise their criminal clients that deportation “will” result from a conviction. Second, where the immigration consequences of a conviction are unclear or uncertain, attorneys must advise that deportation “may” result. Finally, attorneys must give their clients some advice about deportation—counsel cannot remain silent about immigration consequences.
  202. Phillips v. Martin Marietta Corp., 400 U.S. 542 (1971) An employer may not, in the absence of business necessity, refuse to hire women with preschoolage children while hiring men with such children.
  203. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992) A woman is still able to have an abortion before viability, but several restrictions are now permitted during the first trimester. The strict trimester framework of Roe is discarded and replaced with the more vague “undue burden” test.
  204. Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896) Segregated facilities for blacks and whites are constitutional under the doctrine of separate but equal, which holds for close to 60 years (overruled by Brown v. Board of Education (1954)).
  205. Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., 157 U.S. 429 (1895) Income taxes on interest, dividends, and rents are, in effect, direct taxes that must be apportioned among the states according to their populations. This decision was voided by the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913, allowing income taxes to be implemented without apportionment.
  206. Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886) An Illinois law that prohibits common citizens from forming personal military organizations, performing drills, and parading is constitutional because such a law does not limit the personal right to keep and bear arms.
  207. Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997) The interim provision of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that requires state and local officials to conduct background checks on firearm purchasers violates the Tenth Amendment.
  208. Proffitt v. Florida, 428 U.S. 242 (1976) Florida’s new death penalty statute is constitutional because it requires the comparison of aggravating factors to mitigating factors in order to impose a death sentence.
  209. Rasul v. Bush, 542 U.S. 466 (2004) The federal court system has the authority to decide if foreign nationals held at Guantanamo Bay were wrongfully imprisoned.
  210. Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71 (1971) Administrators of estates cannot be named in a way that discriminates on the basis of sex.
  211. Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978) Race based set asides in educational opportunities violate the Equal Protection Clause. This decision leaves the door open for the possibility of some use of race in admission decisions.
  212. Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957) The Constitution supersedes all treaties ratified by the Senate.
  213. Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957) United States citizens abroad, even when associated with the military, cannot be deprived of the protections of the Constitution and cannot be made subject to military jurisdiction.
  214. Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844 (1997) The Communications Decency Act, which regulates certain content on the Internet, is so overbroad that it is an unconstitutional restraint on the First Amendment.
  215. Revlon, Inc. v. MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc., 506 A.2d 173 (Delaware Supreme Court 1986) in certain limited circumstances indicating that the “sale” or “breakup” of the company is inevitable, the fiduciary obligation of the directors of a target corporation are narrowed significantly, the singular responsibility of the board being to maximize immediate stockholder value by securing the highest price available.
  216. Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964) The populations of state legislative districts must be as equal as mathematically possible so as to ensure equal protection.
  217. Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879) Religious belief or duty cannot be used as a defense against a criminal indictment.
  218. Riley v. California, 573 U.S. (2014) Police must obtain a warrant in order to search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested.
  219. Roberts v. Louisiana, 428 U.S. 325 (1976) Louisiana’s new death penalty statute is unconstitutional because it calls for a mandatory death sentence for a large range of crimes.
  220. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) Laws that restrict a woman’s ability to have an abortion prior to viability are unconstitutional. Most restrictions during the first trimester are prohibited, and only health related restrictions are permitted during the second trimester.
  221. Rogers v. Okin, 478 F. Supp. 1342 (D. Mass. 1979) The competence of a committed patient is presumed until he or she is adjudicated incompetent.
  222. Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996) A Colorado state constitutional amendment that prevents homosexuals and bisexuals from being able to obtain protections under the law is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  223. Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005) A death sentence may not be imposed on juvenile offenders.
  224. Rosenberger v. University of Virginia, 515 U.S. 819 (1995) A university cannot use student dues to fund secular groups while excluding religious groups.
  225. Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957) Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment (superseded by Miller v. California (1973)).
  226. Salinas v. Texas, 570 U.S. (2013) The Fifth Amendment’s protection against selfincrimination does not protect an individual’s refusal to answer questions asked by law enforcement before he or she has been arrested or given the Miranda warning. A witness cannot invoke the privilege by simply standing mute; he or she must expressly invoke it.
  227. San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973) The use of property taxes to finance public education does not violate the Equal Protection Clause.
  228. Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000) Prayer in public schools that is initiated and led by students violates the Establishment Clause.
  229. Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company, 64 MCC 769 (1955) According to the Interstate Commerce Commission, the nondiscrimination language of the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 bans racial segregation on buses traveling across state lines. The Supreme Court later adopted and expanded this decision in Boynton v. Virginia (1960).
  230. Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919) Expressions in which the circumstances are intended to result in crime that poses a clear and present danger of succeeding can be punished without violating the First Amendment.
  231. Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757 (1966) The application of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against warrantless searches and the Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination to searches that intrude into the human body means that police may not conduct warrantless blood testing on suspects absent an emergency that justifies acting without a warrant.
  232. Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, 572 U.S. (2014) A Michigan state constitutional amendment that bans affirmative action does not violate the Equal Protection Clause.
  233. Selective Draft Law Cases, 245 U.S. 366 (1918) The Selective Service Act of 1917 and, more generally, conscription do not violate the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition of involuntary servitude or the First Amendment’s protection of the freedom of thought.
  234. Selle v. Gibb, 741 F. 2d 896 (7th Cir. 1984) Substantial similarity is not enough in the absence of proof of access. Evidence of access must extend beyond mere speculation. De rigueur, not a Supreme Court case but only of the Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit, and therefore binding precedent only within its jurisdiction (Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin).
  235. Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969) The fundamental right to travel and the Equal protection clause forbid a state from reserving welfare benefits only for persons that have resided in the state for at least a year. The decision helped to establish a fundamental “right to travel” in U.S. law.
  236. Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. (2013) Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which contains the coverage formula that determines which state and local jurisdictions are subjected to federal preclearance from the Department of Justice before implementing any changes to their voting laws or practices based on their histories of racial discrimination in voting, is unconstitutional because it no longer reflects current societal conditions.
  237. Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948) Courts may not enforce racial covenants on real estate.
  238. Slaughter House Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1873) The Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to the benefits of federal United States citizenship but not to the benefits of state citizenship.
  239. Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944) Primary elections must be open to voters of all races.
  240. Smith Kline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories, 740 F.3d 471 (9th Cir. 2014) Using peremptory challenges to strike potential jurors because of their sexual orientation violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution as applied by the U.S. Supreme Court 1986 ruling in Batson v. Kentucky. First time holding by a United States Court of Appeals that classifications based upon sexual orientation must be subjected to heightened scrutiny.
  241. Snyder v. Phelps, 562 U.S. (2011) The Westboro Baptist Church’s picketing of funerals cannot be liable for a tort of emotional distress.
  242. Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984) Manufacturers of home video recording machines cannot be liable for contributory copyright infringement for the potential uses by their purchasers because the devices are sold for legitimate purposes and have substantial noninfringing uses. Personal use of the machines to record broadcast television programs for later viewing constitutes fair use.
  243. South Carolina v. Katzen bach, 383 U.S. 301 (1966) The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a valid exercise of Congress’s power under Section 2 of the Fifteenth Amendment.
  244. South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987) Congress may attach reasonable conditions to funds disbursed to the states without violating the Tenth Amendment.
  245. Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000) Laws that ban partialbirth abortion are unconstitutional if they do not make an exception for the woman’s health or if they cannot be reasonably construed to apply only to the partialbirth abortion procedure and not to other abortion methods.
  246. Steward Machine Company v. Davis, 301 U.S. 548 (1937) The federal government is permitted to impose a tax even if the goal of the tax is not just the collection of revenue.
  247. Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303 (1880) Exclusion of individuals from juries solely because of their race is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Noteworthy for being the first time that the Court had reversed a state criminal conviction for a violation of a constitutional provision concerning criminal procedure.
  248. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984) To obtain relief due to ineffective assistance of counsel, a criminal defendant must show that counsel’s performance fell below an objective standard of reasonableness and that counsel’s deficient performance gives rise to a reasonable probability that, if counsel had performed adequately, the result of the proceeding would have been different.
  249. Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359 (1931) A California law that bans red flags is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment’s protection of symbolic speech as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
  250. Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971) The busing of students to promote racial integration in public schools is constitutional.
  251. Swift and Company v. United States, 196 U.S. 375 (1905) Congress can prohibit local business practices in order to regulate interstate commerce because those practices, when combined together, form a “stream of commerce” between the states (superseded by National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation (1937)).
  252. Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522 (1975) Systematic exclusion of women from jury service on the basis of having to register for jury duty violates a criminal defendant’s 6th and 14th Amendment Rights.
  253. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) Police may stop a person if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed or is about to commit a crime and frisk the suspect for weapons if they have a reasonable suspicion that the suspect is armed and dangerous without violating the Fourth Amendment.
  254. Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989) A Texas law that criminalizes the desecration of the American flag is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment’s protection of symbolic speech. This decision invalidates laws prohibiting flag desecration in 48 of the 50 states—Alaska and Wyoming are the two exceptions.
  255. Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) The states that formed the Confederate States of America during the Civil War never actually left the Union because a state cannot unilaterally secede from the United States.
  256. The Paquete Habana, 175 U.S. 677 (1900) Federal courts may look to customary international law because it is an integrated part of American law.  
  257. Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969) Public school students have free speech rights under the First Amendment. Therefore, wearing armbands as a form of protest on public school grounds qualifies as protected symbolic speech.
  258. Town of Greece v. Galloway, 572 U.S. (2014) A town council’s practice of opening its sessions with a sectarian prayer does not violate the Establishment Clause.
  259. U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995) The states cannot create qualifications for prospective members of Congress that are stricter than those specified in the Constitution. This decision invalidates provisions that had imposed term limits on members of Congress in 23 states.
  260. United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876) The Second Amendment has no purpose other than to restrict the powers of the federal government. The right to keep and bear arms in the sense of “‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose'” “is not a right granted by the Constitution” and “[n]either is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” (See Opinion of the Court as authored by Chief Justice of the United States Morrison Remick Waite)
  261. United States v. Curtiss Wright Export Corp., 299 U.S. 304 (1936) The Constitution implies that the ability to conduct foreign policy is vested entirely in the President. The President has plenary power in the foreign affairs field that does not depend on congressional delegation.
  262. United States v. Darby Lumber Co., 312 U.S. 100 (1941) Control over interstate commerce belongs entirely to Congress. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 is constitutional under the Commerce Clause because it prevents the states from lowering labor standards to gain commercial advantages.
  263. United States v. Guest, 383 U.S. 745 (1966) There is a constitutional right to travel from state to state, and the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment extend to citizens who suffer rights deprivations at the hands of private conspiracies where there is minimal state participation in the conspiracy.
  264. United States v. Jones, 565 U.S. (2012) Attaching a GPS device to a vehicle and then using the device to monitor the vehicle’s movements constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment.
  265. United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995) The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 is unconstitutional. The Commerce Clause of the Constitution does not give Congress the power to prohibit the mere possession of a gun near a school because gun possession by itself is not an economic activity that affects interstate commerce even indirectly. 
  266. United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) The federal government and the states can limit access to all weapons that do not have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia.”
  267. United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000) The section of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 that gives victims of gender-motivated violence the right to sue their attackers in federal court is an unconstitutional intrusion on states’ rights, and it cannot be saved by the Commerce Clause or Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  268. United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974) The doctrine of executive privilege is legitimate; however, the President cannot invoke it in criminal cases to withhold evidence.
  269. United States v. O’Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968) A criminal prohibition against draftcard burning does not violate the First Amendment because its effect on speech is only incidental, and it is justified by the significant governmental interest in maintaining an efficient and effective military draft system.
  270. United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., 334 U.S. 131 (1948) Practice of block booking and ownership of theater chains by film studios constituted anticompetitive and monopolistic trade practices.
  271. United States v. United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 407 U.S. 297 (1972) Government officials must obtain a warrant before beginning electronic surveillance even if domestic security issues are involved. The “inherent vagueness of the domestic security concept” and the potential for abusing it to quell political dissent make the Fourth Amendment’s protections especially important when the government engages in spying on its own citizens.
  272. United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996) Sex-based “separate but equal” military training facilities violate the Equal Protection Clause.
  273. United States v. Wheeler, 254 U.S. 281 (1920) The Constitution grants to the states the power to prosecute individuals for wrongful interference with the right to travel.
  274. United States v. Wheeler, 254 U.S. 281 (1920) The Constitution grants to the states the power to prosecute individuals for wrongful interference with the right to travel.
  275. United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. (2013) Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines for federal law purposes the terms “marriage” and “spouse” to apply only to marriages between one man and one woman, is a deprivation of the equal liberty of the person protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The federal government must recognize samesex marriages that have been approved by the states.
  276. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) With only a few narrow exceptions, every person born in the United States acquires United States citizenship at birth via the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  277. Unocal Corp. v. Mesa Petroleum Co., 493 A.2d 946 (Delaware Supreme Court 1985) A board of directors may only try to prevent a takeover where it can be shown that there was a threat to corporate policy and the defensive measure adopted was proportional and reasonable given the nature of the threat.
  278. Vacco v. Quill, 521 U.S. 793 (1997) New York State’s prohibition on assisted suicide does not violate the Equal Protection Clause.
  279. Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646 (1995) Schools may implement random drug testing upon students participating in school sponsored athletics.
  280. Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926) Zoning laws are not an unreasonable extension of local police power and do not have the character of arbitrary fiat.
  281. Ware v. Hylton, 3 U.S. 199 (1796) A section of the Treaty of Paris supersedes an otherwise valid Virginia statute under the Supremacy Clause. This case featured the first example of judicial nullification of a state law.
  282. Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997) Washington State’s prohibition on assisted suicide is constitutional.
  283. Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 (1964) The Constitution requires that the members of the House of Representatives be selected from districts composed, as nearly as is practicable, of equal population.
  284. West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937) Minimum wage legislation is a valid regulation of the freedom of contract.
  285. West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) Public schools cannot override the religious beliefs of their students by forcing them to salute the American flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
  286. Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 579 U.S. (2016) Both the admitting privileges and the surgical center requirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution.
  287. Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942) The Commerce Clause of the Constitution allows Congress to regulate anything that has a substantial economic effect on commerce even if that effect is indirect.
  288. Williams v. Lee, 358 U.S. 217 (1959) State courts do not have jurisdiction on Indian reservations without the authorization of Congress.
  289. Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972) Parents may remove their children from public schools for religious reasons.
  290. Woodson v. North Carolina, 428 U.S. 280 (1976) North Carolina’s new death penalty statute is unconstitutional because it calls for a mandatory death sentence to be imposed.
  291. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952) The President cannot seize private property in the absence of either specifically enumerated authority under the Constitution or statutory authority given to him or her by Congress.
  292. Zelman v. Simmons Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002) A government program that provides tuition vouchers for students to attend a private or religious school of their parents’ choosing is constitutional because the vouchers are neutral toward religion and, therefore, do not violate the Establishment Clause.



American law
American Law Made Easy





PART V – PROCEDURE (§§ 1651 to 2113)


CHAPTER 153 – HABEAS CORPUS (§§ 2241 to 2256)
CHAPTER 167 – REPEALED] (§ 2601)
CHAPTER 171 – TORT CLAIMS PROCEDURE (§§ 2671 to 2680)
CHAPTER 175 – REPEALED] (§ 2901)
CHAPTER 181 – FOREIGN JUDGMENTS (§§ 4101 to 4105)


28 U.S. Code Chapter 151 – DECLARATORY JUDGMENTS

American law
American Law Made Easy
§ 2201 - Creation of remedy

(a) In a case of actual controversy within its jurisdiction, except with respect to Federal taxes other than actions brought under section 7428 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, a proceeding under section 505 or 1146 of title 11, or in any civil action involving an antidumping or countervailing duty proceeding regarding a class or kind of merchandise of a free trade area country (as defined in section 516A(f)(10) of the Tariff Act of 1930), as determined by the administering authority, any court of the United States, upon the filing of an appropriate pleading, may declare the rights and other legal relations of any interested party seeking such declaration, whether or not further relief is or could be sought. Any such declaration shall have the force and effect of a final judgment or decree and shall be reviewable as such.

(b) For limitations on actions brought with respect to drug patents see section 505 or 512 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 964; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, § 111, 63 Stat. 105; Aug. 28, 1954, ch. 1033, 68 Stat. 890; Pub. L. 85–508, § 12(p), July 7, 1958, 72 Stat. 349; Pub. L. 94–455, title XIII, § 1306(b)(8), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1719; Pub. L. 95–598, title II, § 249, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2672; Pub. L. 98–417, title I, § 106, Sept. 24, 1984, 98 Stat. 1597; Pub. L. 100–449, title IV, § 402(c), Sept. 28, 1988, 102 Stat. 1884; Pub. L. 100–670, title I, § 107(b), Nov. 16, 1988, 102 Stat. 3984; Pub. L. 103–182, title IV, § 414(b), Dec. 8, 1993, 107 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 111–148, title VII, § 7002(c)(2), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 816.)

§ 2202 - Further relief

Further necessary or proper relief based on a declaratory judgment or decree may be granted, after reasonable notice and hearing, against any adverse party whose rights have been determined by such judgment.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 964.)


Jurisdiction of American Federal Court

American law

  1. Admiralty cases
  2. Cases involving securities and commodities regulation ,including takeovers of publicly held corporations
  3. Class action” cases
  4. Crimes under statutes enacted by congress
  5. Disputes between states
  6. Environmental regulation
  7. Federal constitutional issues
  8. Habeas corpus actions
  9. International trade law matters patent, copyright, and other intellectual property issues cases involving rights under treaties, foreign states, and foreign nationals
  10. Matters involving interstate and international commerce, including airline and railroad regulation
  11. Most cases involving federal laws or regulations (e.g., tax, social security, broadcasting, civil rights)
  12. State law disputes when “diversity of citizenship” exists bankruptcy matters
  13. Traffic violations and crimes occurring on certain federal property

American Basic Legal Terms

KEYWORDS:-Legal glossary-Dictionary-

American law


Acquittal-A jury verdict that a criminal defendant is not guilty, or the finding of a judge that the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction. Discharge from the Criminal charge.

Active judge-A judge in the full-time service of the court. Compare to a senior judge.

Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) -The federal agency responsible for collecting court statistics, administering the federal courts’ budget, and performing many other administrative and programmatic functions, under the direction and supervision of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Admissible-A term used to describe a legal evidence that may be considered by a jury or judge in civil and criminal cases. A non-admissible evidence is not evidence for court.

Adversary proceeding-A lawsuit arising in or related to a bankruptcy case that begins by filing a complaint with the court, that is, a “trial” that takes place within the context of a bankruptcy case.

Affidavit-A written statement made under oath.

Affirmed -In the practice of the court of appeals, it means that the court of appeals has concluded that the lower court decision is correct and will stand as rendered by the lower court.

Alternate juror-A juror selected in the same manner as a regular juror who hears all the evidence but does not help decide the case unless called on to replace a regular juror.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)-A procedure for settling a dispute outside the courtroom. Most forms of ADR are not binding, and involve referral of the case to a neutral party such as an arbitrator or mediator.

Amicus curiae-Latin for “friend of the court.” A senior advocate appointed for assisting the court.

Answer-The formal written statement by a defendant in a civil case that responds to a complaint(Plaint), articulating the grounds for defense.

Appeal-A request made after a trial by a party that has lost on one or more issues that a higher court review the decision to determine if it was correct.

Appellant -The party who appeals a district court’s decision, usually seeking reversal of that decision.

Appellate-About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgment of a lower court (trial court) or tribunal. For example, the U.S. circuit courts of appeals review the decisions of the U.S. district courts.

Appellee-The party who opposes an appellant’s appeal, and who seeks to persuade the appeals court to affirm the district court’s decision.

Arraignment -A proceeding in which a criminal defendant is brought into court, told of the charges in an indictment or information, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.

Article III judge -A federal judge who is appointed for life, during “good behavior,” under Article III of the Constitution. Article III judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

Assets -Property of all kinds, including real and personal, tangible and intangible.

Assume -An agreement to continue performing duties under a contract or lease.

Automatic stay-An injunction that automatically stops lawsuits, foreclosures, garnishments, and most collection activities against the debtor the moment a bankruptcy petition is filed.


The release, prior to trial, of a person accused of a crime, under specified conditions designed to assure that person’s appearance in court when required. Also can refer to the amount of bond money posted as a financial condition of pretrial release.

A legal procedure for dealing with debt problems of individuals and businesses; specifically, a case filed under one of the chapters of title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code).

Bankruptcy administrator
An officer of the Judiciary serving in the judicial districts of Alabama and North Carolina who, like the United States trustee, is responsible for supervising the administration of bankruptcy cases, estates, and trustees; monitoring plans and disclosure statements; monitoring creditors’ committees; monitoring fee applications; and performing other statutory duties.

Bankruptcy code
The informal name for title 11 of the United States Code (11 U.S.C. §§ 101-1330), the federal bankruptcy law.

  • Chapter 11-A reorganization bankruptcy, usually involving a corporation or partnership. A Chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. Individuals or people in business can also seek relief in Chapter 11.
  • Chapter 12-The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for adjustment of debts of a “family farmer” or “family fisherman,” as the terms are defined in the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Chapter 13-The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for the adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income, often referred to as a “wage-earner” plan. Chapter 13 allows a debtor to keep property and use his or her disposable income to pay debts over time, usually three to five years.
  • Chapter 13 trustee-A person appointed to administer a Chapter 13 case. A Chapter 13 trustee’s responsibilities are similar to those of a Chapter 7 trustee; however, a Chapter 13 trustee has the additional responsibilities of overseeing the debtor’s plan, receiving payments from debtors, and disbursing plan payments to creditors.
  • Chapter 15-The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code dealing with cases of cross-border insolvency.
  • Chapter 7-The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for “liquidation,” that is, the sale of a debtor’s nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors. In order to be eligible for Chapter 7, the debtor must satisfy a “means test.” The court will evaluate the debtor’s income and expenses to determine if the debtor may proceed under Chapter 7.
  • Chapter 7 trustee-A person appointed in a Chapter 7 case to represent the interests of the bankruptcy estate and the creditors. The trustee’s responsibilities include reviewing the debtor’s petition and schedules, liquidating the property of the estate, and making distributions to creditors. The trustee may also bring actions against creditors or the debtor to recover property of the bankruptcy estate.
  • Chapter 9-The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for reorganization of municipalities (which includes cities and towns, as well as villages, counties, taxing districts, municipal utilities, and school districts).

Bankruptcy court
The bankruptcy judges in regular active service in each district; a unit of the district court.

Bankruptcy estate
All interests of the debtor in property at the time of the bankruptcy filing. The estate technically becomes the temporary legal owner of all of the debtor’s property.

Bankruptcy judge
A judicial officer of the United States district court who is the court official with decision-making power over federal bankruptcy cases.

Bankruptcy petition
A formal request for the protection of the federal bankruptcy laws. (There is an official form for bankruptcy petitions.)

Bankruptcy trustee
A private individual or corporation appointed in all Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases to represent the interests of the bankruptcy estate and the debtor’s creditors.

Bench trial
A trial without a jury, in which the judge serves as the fact-finder.

A written statement submitted in a trial or appellate proceeding that explains one side’s legal and factual arguments.

Burden of proof
The duty to prove disputed facts. In civil cases, a plaintiff generally has the burden of proving his or her case. In criminal cases, the government has the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt. (See standard of proof.)

Business bankruptcy
A bankruptcy case in which the debtor is a business or an individual involved in business and the debts are for business purposes.


Capital offense-A crime punishable by death sentence.

Case file-A complete collection of every document filed in court in a case.

Case law-The law as established in previous court decisions. A synonym for legal precedent. Similar to common law, which springs from tradition and judicial decisions.

Caseload-The number of cases handled by a judge or a court.

Cause of action-A legal claim or a bundle of facts which became the basis of the complaint

Chambers-The offices of a judge and his or her staff.

Chief judge-The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court; chief judges are determined by seniority

Claim-A creditor’s assertion of a right to payment from a debtor or the debtor’s property.

Class action suit-A lawsuit in which one or more members of a large group, or class, of individuals or other entities sue on behalf of the entire class. The district court must find that the claims of the class members contain questions of law or fact in common before the lawsuit can proceed as a class action.

Clerk of court-The court officer who oversees administrative functions, especially managing the flow of cases through the court. The clerk’s office is often called a court’s central nervous system.

Collateral-Property that is promised as security for the satisfaction of a debt.

Common law-The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States, which relies on the articulation of legal principles in a historical succession of judicial decisions. Common law principles can be changed by legislation.

Community service-A special condition the court imposes that requires an individual to work – without pay – for a civic or nonprofit organization.

Complaint-A written statement that begins a civil lawsuit, in which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant.

Concurrent sentence-Prison terms for two or more offenses to be served at the same time, rather than one after the other. Example: Two five-year sentences and one three-year sentence, if served concurrently, result in a maximum of five years behind bars.

Confirmation-Approval of a plan of reorganization by a bankruptcy judge.

Consecutive sentence-Prison terms for two or more offenses to be served one after the other. Example: Two five-year sentences and one three-year sentence, if served consecutively, result in a maximum of 13 years behind bars.

Consumer bankruptcy-A bankruptcy case filed to reduce or eliminate debts that are primarily consumer debts.

Consumer debts-Debts incurred for personal, as opposed to business, needs.

Contingent claim-A claim that may be owed by the debtor under certain circumstances, e.g., where the debtor is a cosigner on another person’s loan and that person fails to pay.

Contract-An agreement between two or more people that creates a legal obligation to do or not to do a particular thing.

Conviction-A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.

Counsel-Legal advice; a term also used to refer to the lawyers in a case.

Count-An allegation in an indictment or information, charging a defendant with a crime. An indictment or information may contain allegations that the defendant committed more than one crime. Each allegation is referred to as a count.

Court-Government entity authorized to resolve legal disputes. Judges sometimes use “court” to refer to themselves in the third person, as in “the court has read the briefs.”

Court reporter- person who makes a word-for-word record of what is said in court, generally by using a stenographic machine, shorthand or audio recording, and then produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request.

Credit counseling-It refers to two events in individual bankruptcy cases: (1) the “individual or group briefing” from a nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency that individual debtors must attend prior to filing under any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code; and (2) the “instructional course in personal financial management” in chapters 7 and 13 that an individual debtor must complete before a discharge is entered. There are exceptions to both requirements for certain categories of debtors, exigent circumstances, or if the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator have determined that there are insufficient approved credit counseling agencies available to provide the necessary counseling.

Creditor-A person to whom or business to which the debtor owes money or that claims to be owed money by the debtor.

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Damages-Money that a defendant pays a plaintiff in a civil case if the plaintiff has won. Damages may be compensatory (for loss or injury) or punitive (to punish and deter future misconduct).

De facto-Latin, meaning “in fact” or “actually.” Something that exists in fact but not as a matter of law.

De jure-Latin, meaning “in law.” Something that exists by operation of law.

De novo-Latin, meaning “anew.” A trial de novo is a completely new trial. Appellate review de novo implies no deference to the trial judge’s ruling.

Debtor-A person who has filed a petition for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Debtor’s plan-A debtor’s detailed description of how the debtor proposes to pay creditors’ claims over a fixed period of time.

Declaratory judgment-A judge’s statement about someone’s rights. For example, a plaintiff may seek a declaratory judgment that a particular statute, as written, violates some constitutional right.

Default judgment-A judgment awarding a plaintiff the relief sought in the complaint because the defendant has failed to appear in court or otherwise respond to the complaint.

Defendant-In a civil case, the person or organization against whom the plaintiff brings suit; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.

Deposition-An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial. See discovery.

Discharge-A release of a debtor from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts. Notable exceptions to dischargeability are taxes and student loans. A discharge releases a debtor from personal liability for certain debts known as dischargeable debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any action against the debtor or the debtor’s property to collect the debts. The discharge also prohibits creditors from communicating with the debtor regarding the debt, including through telephone calls, letters, and personal contact.

Dischargeable debt-A debt for which the Bankruptcy Code allows the debtor’s personal liability to be eliminated.

Disclosure statement-A written document prepared by the chapter 11 debtor or other plan proponent that is designed to provide “adequate information” to creditors to enable them to evaluate the chapter 11 plan of reorganization.

Discovery-Procedures used to obtain disclosure of evidence before trial.

Dismissal with prejudice-Court action that prevents an identical lawsuit from being filed later.

Dismissal without prejudice-Court action that allows the later filing.

Disposable income-Income not reasonably necessary for the maintenance or support of the debtor or dependents. If the debtor operates a business, disposable income is defined as those amounts over and above what is necessary for the payment of ordinary operating expenses.

Docket-A log containing the complete history of each case in the form of brief chronological entries summarizing the court proceedings.

Due process-In criminal law, the constitutional guarantee that a defendant will receive a fair and impartial trial. In civil law, the legal rights of someone who confronts an adverse action threatening liberty or property.


En banc -French, meaning “on the bench.” All judges of an appellate court sitting together to hear a case, as opposed to the routine disposition by panels of three judges. In the Ninth Circuit, an en banc panel consists of 11 randomly selected judges.

Equitable-Pertaining to civil suits in “equity” rather than in “law.” In English legal history, the courts of “law” could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy (see damages). A separate court of “equity” could order someone to do something or to cease to do something (e.g., injunction). In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in “law” cases but not in “equity” cases.

Equity-The value of a debtor’s interest in property that remains after liens and other creditors’ interests are considered. (Example: If a house valued at $60,000 is subject to a $30,000 mortgage, there is $30,000 of equity.)

Evidence- An Information or fact presented in oral testimony or in written documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case in favor of one side or the other.

Ex parte-A proceeding brought before a court by one party only, without notice to or challenge by the other side.

Exclusionary rule-Doctrine that says evidence obtained in violation of a criminal defendant’s constitutional or statutory rights is not admissible at trial.

Exculpatory evidence-Evidence indicating that a defendant did not commit the crime.

  • Inculpatory evidence-Evidence indicating that a defendant did commit the crime.

Executory contracts-Contracts or leases under which both parties to the agreement have duties remaining to be performed. If a contract or lease is executory, a debtor may assume it (keep the contract) or reject it (terminate the contract).

Exempt assets-Property that a debtor is allowed to retain, free from the claims of creditors who do not have liens on the property.

Exemptions or exempt property-Certain property owned by an individual debtor that the Bankruptcy Code or applicable state law permits the debtor to keep from unsecured creditors. For example, in some states the debtor may be able to exempt all or a portion of the equity in the debtor’s primary residence (homestead exemption), or some or all “tools of the trade” used by the debtor to make a living (i.e., auto tools for an auto mechanic or dental tools for a dentist). The availability and amount of property the debtor may exempt depends on the state the debtor lives in.


Face sheet filing-A bankruptcy case filed either without schedules or with incomplete schedules listing few creditors and debts. (Face sheet filings are often made for the purpose of delaying an eviction or foreclosure

Family farmer-An individual, individual and spouse, corporation, or partnership engaged in a farming operation that meets certain debt limits and other statutory criteria for filing a petition under Chapter 12.

Federal public defender-An attorney employed by the federal courts on a full-time basis to provide legal defense to defendants who are unable to afford counsel. The judiciary administers the federal defender program pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act.

Federal public defender organization-As provided for in the Criminal Justice Act, an organization established within a federal judicial circuit to represent criminal defendants who cannot afford an adequate defense. Each organization is supervised by a federal public defender appointed by the court of appeals for the circuit.

Federal question jurisdiction-Jurisdiction given to federal courts in cases involving the interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, and treaties.

Felony-A serious crime, usually punishable by at least one year in prison.

File-To place a paper in the official custody of the clerk of court to enter into the files or records of a case.

Fraudulent transfer-A transfer of a debtor’s property made with intent to defraud or for which the debtor receives less than the transferred property’s value.

Fresh start-The characterization of a debtor’s status after bankruptcy, i.e., free of most debts. (Giving debtors a fresh start is one purpose of the Bankruptcy Code.)


Grand jury-A body of 16-23 citizens who listen to evidence of criminal allegations, which is presented by the prosecutors, and determine whether there is probable cause to believe an individual committed an offense.


Habeas corpus -Latin, meaning “you have the body.” A writ of habeas corpus generally is a judicial order forcing law enforcement authorities to produce a prisoner they are holding, and to justify the prisoner’s continued confinement. Federal judges receive petitions for a writ of habeas corpus from state prison inmates who say their state prosecutions violated federally protected rights in some way.

Hearsay-Evidence presented by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but heard about it from someone else. With some exceptions, hearsay generally is not admissible as evidence at trial

Home confinement-A special condition the court imposes that requires an individual to remain at home except for certain approved activities such as work and medical appointments. Home confinement may include the use of electronic monitoring equipment – a transmitter attached to the wrist or the ankle – to help ensure that the person stays at home as required.

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Impeachment-1. The process of calling a witness’s testimony into doubt. For example, if the attorney can show that the witness may have fabricated portions of his testimony, the witness is said to be “impeached;” 2. The constitutional process whereby the House of Representatives may “impeach” (accuse of misconduct) high officers of the federal government, who are then tried by the Senate.

In camera -Latin, meaning in a judge’s chambers. Often means outside the presence of a jury and the public. In private.

In forma pauperis -“In the manner of a pauper.” Permission given by the court to a person to file a case without payment of the required court fees because the person cannot pay them.

Indictment-The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies. See also information.

Information- formal accusation by a government attorney that the defendant committed a misdemeanor.

Injunction-A court order preventing one or more named parties from taking some action. A preliminary injunction often is issued to allow fact-finding, so a judge can determine whether a permanent injunction is justified.

Insider (of corporate debtor)-A director, officer, or person in control of the debtor; a partnership in which the debtor is a general partner; a general partner of the debtor; or a relative of a general partner, director, officer, or person in control of the debtor.

Insider (of individual debtor)-Any relative of the debtor or of a general partner of the debtor; partnership inwhich the debtor is a general partner; general partner of the debtor; or corporation of which the debtor is a director, officer, or person in control.

Interrogatories-A form of discovery consisting of written questions to be answered in writing and under oath.

Issue-1. The disputed point between parties in a lawsuit; 2. To send out officially, as in a court issuing an order.


Joint administration-A court-approved mechanism under which two or more cases can be administered together. (Assuming no conflicts of interest, these separate businesses or individuals can pool their resources, hire the same professionals, etc.)

Joint petition-One bankruptcy petition filed by a husband and wife together.

Judge-An official of the Judicial branch with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts. Used generically, the term judge may also refer to all judicial officers, including Supreme Court justices.

Judgeship-The position of judge. By statute, Congress authorizes the number of judgeships for each district and appellate court.

Judgment-The official decision of a court finally resolving the dispute between the parties to the lawsuit.

Judicial Conference of the United States-The policy-making entity for the federal court system. A 27-judge body whose presiding officer is the Chief Justice of the United States.

Jurisdiction-The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a certain type of case. It also is used as a synonym for venue, meaning the geographic area over which the court has territorial jurisdiction to decide cases.

Jurisprudence-The study of law and the structure of the legal system

Jury-The group of persons selected to hear the evidence in a trial and render a verdict on matters of fact. See also grand jury.

Jury instructions-A judge’s directions to the jury before it begins deliberations regarding the factual questions it must answer and the legal rules that it must apply.


Lawsuit-A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty which resulted in harm to the plaintiff.

Lien-A charge on specific property that is designed to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation. A debtor may still be responsible for a lien after a discharge.

Liquidated claim-A creditor’s claim for a fixed amount of money.

Liquidation-The sale of a debtor’s property with the proceeds to be used for the benefit of creditors.

Litigation-A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.


Magistrate judge-A judicial officer of a district court who conducts initial proceedings in criminal cases, decides criminal misdemeanor cases, conducts many pretrial civil and criminal matters on behalf of district judges, and decides civil cases with the consent of the parties.

Means test-Section 707(b)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code applies a “means test” to determine whether an individual debtor’s chapter 7 filing is presumed to be an abuse of the Bankruptcy Code requiring dismissal or conversion of the case (generally to chapter 13). Abuse is presumed if the debtor’s aggregate current monthly income (see definition above) over 5 years, net of certain statutorily allowed expenses is more than (i) $10,000, or (ii) 25% of the debtor’s nonpriority unsecured debt, as long as that amount is at least $6,000. The debtor may rebut a presumption of abuse only by a showing of special circumstances that justify additional expenses or adjustments of current monthly income.

Mental health treatment-Special condition the court imposes to require an individual to undergo evaluation and treatment for a mental disorder. Treatment may include psychiatric, psychological, and sex offense-specific evaluations, inpatient or outpatient counseling, and medication.

Misdemeanor- An offense punishable by one year of imprisonment or less. It is also called felony.

Mistrial-An invalid trial, caused by fundamental error. When a mistrial is declared, the trial must start again with the selection of a new jury.

Moot-Not subject to a court ruling because the controversy has not actually arisen, or has ended

Motion-A request by a litigant to a judge for a decision on an issue relating to the case.

Motion in Limine-A pretrial motion requesting the court to prohibit the other side from presenting, or even referring to, evidence on matters said to be so highly prejudicial that no steps taken by the judge can prevent the jury from being unduly influenced.

Motion to lift the automatic stay-A request by a creditor to allow the creditor to take action against the debtor or the debtor’s property that would otherwise be prohibited by the automatic stay.


No-asset case-A Chapter 7 case in which there are no assets available to satisfy any portion of the creditors’ unsecured claims.

Nolo contendere-No contest. A plea of nolo contendere has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.

Nondischargeable debt-A debt that cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy. Examples include a home mortgage, debts for alimony or child support, certain taxes, debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments, debts arising from death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, and debts for restitution or a criminal fine included in a sentence on the debtor’s conviction of a crime. Some debts, such as debts for money or property obtained by false pretenses and debts for fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity may be declared nondischargeable only if a creditor timely files and prevails in a nondischargeability action.

Nonexempt assets-Property of a debtor that can be liquidated to satisfy claims of creditors.


Objection to dischargeability -A trustee’s or creditor’s objection to the debtor being released from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts. Common reasons include allegations that the debt to be discharged was incurred by false pretenses or that debt arose because of the debtor’s fraud while acting as a fiduciary.

Objection to exemptions-A trustee’s or creditor’s objection to the debtor’s attempt to claim certain property as exempt from liquidation by the trustee to creditors.

Opinion-A judge’s written explanation of the decision of the court. Because a case may be heard by three or more judges in the court of appeals, the opinion in appellate decisions can take several forms. If all the judges completely agree on the result, one judge will write the opinion for all. If all the judges do not agree, the formal decision will be based upon the view of the majority, and one member of the majority will write the opinion. The judges who did not agree with the majority may write separately in dissenting or concurring opinions to present their views. A dissenting opinion disagrees with the majority opinion because of the reasoning and/or the principles of law the majority used to decide the case. A concurring opinion agrees with the decision of the majority opinion, but offers further comment or clarification or even an entirely different reason for reaching the same result. Only the majority opinion can serve as binding precedent in future cases. See also precedent.

Oral argument-An opportunity for lawyers to summarize their position before the court and also to answer the judges’ questions.

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Panel-1. In appellate cases, a group of judges (usually three) assigned to decide the case; 2. In the jury selection process, the group of potential jurors; 3. The list of attorneys who are both available and qualified to serve as court-appointed counsel for criminal defendants who cannot afford their own counsel.

Parole-The release of a prison inmate – granted by the U.S. Parole Commission – after the inmate has completed part of his or her sentence in a federal prison. When the parolee is released to the community, he or she is placed under the supervision of a U.S. probation officer.

The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 abolished parole in favor of a determinate sentencing system in which the sentence is set by sentencing guidelines. Now, without the option of parole, the term of imprisonment the court imposes is the actual time the person spends in prison.

Party in interest-A party who has standing to be heard by the court in a matter to be decided in the bankruptcy case. The debtor, U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator, case trustee, and creditors are parties in interest for most matters.

Per curiam-Latin, meaning “for the court.” In appellate courts, often refers to an unsigned opinion.

Peremptory challenge-A district court may grant each side in a civil or criminal trial the right to exclude a certain number of prospective jurors without cause or giving a reason.

Petit jury (or trial jury)-A group of citizens who hear the evidence presented by both sides at trial and determine the facts in dispute. Federal criminal juries consist of 12 persons. Federal civil juries consist of at least six persons.

Petition-The document that initiates the filing of a bankruptcy proceeding, setting forth basic information regarding the debtor, including name, address, chapter under which the case is filed, and estimated amount of assets and liabilities.

Petition preparer-A business not authorized to practice law that prepares bankruptcy petitions.

Petty offense-A federal misdemeanor punishable by six months or less in prison.

Plaintiff-A person or business that files a formal complaint with the court.

Plan-A debtor’s detailed description of how the debtor proposes to pay creditors’ claims over a fixed period of time.

Plea-In a criminal case, the defendant’s statement pleading “guilty” or “not guilty” in answer to the charges. See also nolo contendere.

Pleadings-Written statements filed with the court that describe a party’s legal or factual assertions about the case.

Postpetition transfer-A transfer of the debtor’s property made after the commencement of the case.

Prebankruptcy planning-The arrangement (or rearrangement) of a debtor’s property to allow the debtor to take maximum advantage of exemptions. (Prebankruptcy planning typically includes converting nonexempt assets into exempt assets.)

Precedent-A court decision in an earlier case with facts and legal issues similar to a dispute currently before a court. Judges will generally “follow precedent” – meaning that they use the principles established in earlier cases to decide new cases that have similar facts and raise similar legal issues. A judge will disregard precedent if a party can show that the earlier case was wrongly decided, or that it differed in some significant way from the current case.

Preferential debt payment-A debt payment made to a creditor in the 90-day period before a debtor files bankruptcy (or within one year if the creditor was an insider) that gives the creditor more than the creditor would receive in the debtor’s chapter 7 case.

Presentence report-A report prepared by a court’s probation officer, after a person has been convicted of an offense, summarizing for the court the background information needed to determine the appropriate sentence.

Pretrial conference-A meeting of the judge and lawyers to plan the trial, to discuss which matters should be presented to the jury, to review proposed evidence and witnesses, and to set a trial schedule. Typically, the judge and the parties also discuss the possibility of settlement of the case.

Pretrial services-A function of the federal courts that takes place at the very start of the criminal justice process – after a person has been arrested and charged with a federal crime and before he or she goes to trial. Pretrial services officers focus on investigating the backgrounds of these persons to help the court determine whether to release or detain them while they await trial. The decision is based on whether these individuals are likely to flee or pose a threat to the community. If the court orders release, a pretrial services officer supervises the person in the community until he or she returns to court.

Priority-The Bankruptcy Code’s statutory ranking of unsecured claims that determines the order in which unsecured claims will be paid if there is not enough money to pay all unsecured claims in full.

Priority claim-An unsecured claim that is entitled to be paid ahead of other unsecured claims that are not entitled to priority status. Priority refers to the order in which these unsecured claims are to be paid.

Pro per-A slang expression sometimes used to refer to a pro se litigant. It is a corruption of the Latin phrase “in propria persona.”

Pro se-Representing oneself. Serving as one’s own lawyer.

Pro tem-Temporary. Example – Pro tem speaker .

Probation -Sentencing option in the federal courts. With probation, instead of sending an individual to prison, the court releases the person to the community and orders him or her to complete a period of supervision monitored by a U.S. probation officer and to abide by certain conditions.

Probation officer -Officers of the probation office of a court. Probation officer duties include conducting presentence investigations, preparing presentence reports on convicted defendants, and supervising released defendants.

Procedure-The rules for conducting a lawsuit; there are rules of civil procedure, criminal procedure, evidence, bankruptcy, and appellate procedure.

Proof of claim-A written statement describing the reason a debtor owes a creditor money, which typically sets forth the amount of money owed. (There is an official form for this purpose.)

Property of the estate-All legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property as of the commencement of the case.

Prosecute-To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government


Reaffirmation agreement-An agreement by a debtor to continue paying a dischargeable debt after the bankruptcy, usually for the purpose of keeping collateral or mortgaged property that would otherwise be subject to repossession.

Record-A written account of the proceedings in a case, including all pleadings, evidence, and exhibits submitted in the course of the case.

Redemption-A procedure in a Chapter 7 case whereby a debtor removes a secured creditor’s lien on collateral by paying the creditor the value of the property. The debtor may then retain the property.

Remand-Send back. Remanding back a case

Reverse-The act of a court setting aside the decision of a lower court. A reversal is often accompanied by a remand to the lower court for further proceedings.


Sanction-A penalty or other type of enforcement used to bring about compliance with the law or with rules and regulations.

Schedules-Lists submitted by the debtor along with the petition (or shortly thereafter) showing the debtor’s assets, liabilities, and other financial information. (There are official forms a debtor must use.)

Secured creditor-A secured creditor is an individual or business that holds a claim against the debtor that is secured by a lien on property of the estate. The property subject to the lien is the secured creditor’s collateral.

Secured debt-Debt backed by a mortgage, pledge of collateral, or other lien; debt for which the creditor has the right to pursue specific pledged property upon default. Examples include home mortgages, auto loans and tax liens.

Senior judge-A federal judge who, after attaining the requisite age and length of judicial experience, takes senior status, thus creating a vacancy among a court’s active judges. A senior judge retains the judicial office and may cut back his or her workload by as much as 75 percent, but many opt to keep a larger caseload.

Sentence-The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime.

Sentencing guidelines-A set of rules and principles established by the United States Sentencing Commission that trial judges use to determine the sentence for a convicted defendant.

Sequester-To separate. Sometimes juries are sequestered from outside influences during their deliberations.

Service of process-The delivery of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.

Settlement-Parties to a lawsuit resolve their dispute without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in at least partial satisfaction of the other party’s claims, but usually do not include the admission of fault.

Small business case-A special type of chapter 11 case in which there is no creditors’ committee (or the creditors’ committee is deemed inactive by the court) and in which the debtor is subject to more oversight by the U.S. trustee than other chapter 11 debtors. The Bankruptcy Code contains certain provisions designed to reduce the time a small business debtor is in bankruptcy.

Standard of proof-Degree of proof required. In criminal cases, prosecutors must prove a defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The majority of civil lawsuits require proof “by a preponderance of the evidence” (50 percent plus), but in some the standard is higher and requires “clear and convincing” proof.

Statement of financial affairs-A series of questions the debtor must answer in writing concerning sources of income, transfers of property, lawsuits by creditors, etc. (There is an official form a debtor must use.)

Statement of intention-A declaration made by a chapter 7 debtor concerning plans for dealing with consumer debts that are secured by property of the estate.

Statute-A law passed by a legislature.

Statute of limitations-The time within which a lawsuit must be filed or a criminal prosecution begun. The deadline can vary, depending on the type of civil case or the crime charged.

Sua sponte-Latin, meaning “of its own will.” Often refers to a court taking an action in a case without being asked to do so by either side.

Subordination-The act or process by which a person’s rights or claims are ranked below those of others.

Subpoena-A command, issued under a court’s authority, to a witness to appear and give testimony.

Subpoena duces tecum-A command to a witness to appear and produce documents.


Temporary restraining order-Similar to a preliminary injunction, it is a judge’s short-term order forbidding certain actions until a full hearing can be conducted. Often referred to as a TRO.

Testimony-Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.

Toll-See statute of limitations.

Tort-A civil, not criminal, wrong. A negligent or intentional injury against a person or property, with the exception of breach of contract.

Transcript-A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial, or during some other formal conversation, such as a hearing or oral deposition

Transfer-Any mode or means by which a debtor disposes of or parts with his/her property.

Trustee-The representative of the bankruptcy estate who exercises statutory powers, principally for the benefit of the unsecured creditors, under the general supervision of the court and the direct supervision of the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator. The trustee is a private individual or corporation appointed in all chapter 7, chapter 12, and chapter 13 cases and some chapter 11 cases. The trustee’s responsibilities include reviewing the debtor’s petition and schedules and bringing actions against creditors or the debtor to recover property of the bankruptcy estate. In chapter 7, the trustee liquidates property of the estate, and makes distributions to creditors. Trustees in chapter 12 and 13 have similar duties to a chapter 7 trustee and the additional responsibilities of overseeing the debtor’s plan, receiving payments from debtors, and disbursing plan payments to creditors.

Typing service-A business not authorized to practice law that prepares bankruptcy petitions.


U.S. attorney-A lawyer appointed by the President in each judicial district to prosecute and defend cases for the federal government. The U.S. Attorney employs a staff of Assistant U.S. Attorneys who appear as the government’s attorneys in individual cases.

U.S. trustee-An officer of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for supervising the administration of bankruptcy cases, estates, and trustees; monitoring plans and disclosure statements; monitoring creditors’ committees; monitoring fee applications; and performing other statutory duties.

Undersecured claim-A debt secured by property that is worth less than the amount of the debt.

Undue hardship-The most widely used test for evaluating undue hardship in the dischargeability of a student loan includes three conditions: (1) the debtor cannot maintain – based on current income and expenses – a minimal standard of living if forced to repay the loans; (2) there are indications that the state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period; and (3) the debtor made good faith efforts to repay the loans.

Unlawful detainer action-A lawsuit brought by a landlord against a tenant to evict the tenant from rental property – usually for nonpayment of rent.

Unliquidated claim-A claim for which a specific value has not been determined.

Unscheduled debt-A debt that should have been listed by the debtor in the schedules filed with the court but was not. (Depending on the circumstances, an unscheduled debt may or may not be discharged.)

Unsecured claim-A claim or debt for which a creditor holds no special assurance of payment, such as a mortgage or lien; a debt for which credit was extended based solely upon the creditor’s assessment of the debtor’s future ability to pay.

Uphold-The appellate court agrees with the lower court decision and allows it to stand. See affirmed.


Venue-The geographic area in which a court has jurisdiction. A change of venue is a change or transfer of a case from one judicial district to another.

Verdict-The decision of a trial jury or a judge that determines the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant, or that determines the final outcome of a civil case.

Voir dire-Jury selection process of questioning prospective jurors, to ascertain their qualifications and determine any basis for challenge.

Voluntary transfer-A transfer of a debtor’s property with the debtor’s consent.


Wage garnishment-A nonbankruptcy legal proceeding whereby a plaintiff or creditor seeks to subject to his or her claim the future wages of a debtor. In other words, the creditor seeks to have part of the debtor’s future wages paid to the creditor for a debt owed to the creditor.

Warrant-Court authorization, most often for law enforcement officers, to conduct a search or make an arrest.

Witness-A person called upon by either side in a lawsuit to give testimony before the court or jury.

Writ-A written court order directing a person to take, or refrain from taking, a certain act.

Writ of certiorari-An order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case which it will hear on appeal.

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Rights of a federal crime victim in America [USA]

KEYWORDS: Victims Rights

Encyclopedia of Foreign Laws


Under Crime Victims Rights Act of 2004, 18 U.S.C. § 3771.

  • The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
  • The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
  • The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
  • The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
  • The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
  • The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
  • The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
  • The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy.
  • The right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement.
  • The right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act [USA]

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is most relevant to cyber-piracy law in United States. Under the DMCA, which is essentially an update of the existing copyright law, several computer and web-related copyright regulations were introduced, including

1) the heightening of the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet,

2) making it a crime to circumvent anti-piracy measures built into most commercial softwares,

3) outlawing the manufacture, sale, or distribution of code-cracking devices used to illegally copy softwares, and

4) limiting Internet service providers from copyright infringement liability for simply transmitting information over the Internet.

Top Media Companies in America

1. NBC/Universal, with an annual revenue around 160 billion, owns all the NBC stations, CNBC, MSNBC, numerous cable channels including USA networks, Bravo, E!, the Weather Channel, and the movie studio Universal Pictures. As of 2013, the biggest cable operator in the US Comcast owns 51% of the company, while another corporate giant, General Electric (GE) owns the other 49%.

2.The Walt Disney Company, with an annual revenues around $ 37 billion, owns ABC, cable channels such as ESPN, the Disney Channel, A&E, and Lifetime, movie production companies like Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, and Pixar Animation Studios, which has yet to produce an unsuccessful animated feature.

3.News Corporation, with an annual revenue of 30 billion dollars, owns FOX TV network, cable channels including F/X, Fox New Network, Fox Business Network, National Geographic, two major newspapers-Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, and movie production companies including Twenty Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Pictures.

4.Time Warner, with an annual revenues of 26 billion dollars, owns cable channels such as CNN, HBO, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS, movie studio and production companies including Warner Bros. Pictures, Castle Rock Pictures, New Line Cinema, and more than 150 magazines including Tim, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, People, and Entertainment Weekly.

5.Viacom, with an annual revenue of 14 billion dollars, owns MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, and Viacom18, which is a joint venture with the Indian media company Global Broadcast News. 6.CBS Corporation, with an annual revenue of 13 billion dollars, owns CBS, CW, Showtime, and the major book publisher Simon & Schuster. CBS is now the leading supplier of video to Google’s new Video Marketplace.

6. Rupert Murdoch’s New Corporation, which runs Fox New Network, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post.









Code of Laws of the United States- United States Code- U.S. Code- U.S.C.- USC

Codified and collected  54 Titles of Law. Titles 1–54, excepting Title 53, only “general and permanent” laws are codified in the United States Code. The U.S. Code was first published in 1926, subsequent main editions have been published every six years since 1934. Of the 53 titles, the following titles have been enacted into positive (statutory) law: 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 23, 28, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 46, 49, 51, and 54. When a title of the Code was enacted into positive law, the text of the title became legal evidence of the law. Titles that have not been enacted into positive law are only prima facie evidence of the law.

Titles are divided into the following manners , ie in general following pattern have been adopted :

Title [54 in Number]

  • Subtitle [ Multiple individual statutes]
    • Chapter [ of any individual statute]
      • Subchapter
        • Part
          • Subpart
            • Section
              • Subsection
                • Paragraph
                  • Subparagraph
                    • Clause
                      • Subclause
                        • Item
                          • Subitem

U.S. Code: Table of Contents

TITLE 53 -[Reserved]

United States Code Titles as Positive Law

The following titles of the United States Code were enacted into positive law by the acts enumerated below:

Title 1, General Provisions—Act July 30, 1947, ch. 388, §1, 61 Stat. 633.

Title 3, The President—Act June 25, 1948, ch. 644, §1, 62 Stat. 672.

Title 4, Flag and Seal, Seat of Government, and the States—Act July 30, 1947, ch. 389, §1, 61 Stat. 641.

Title 5, Government Organization and Employees—Pub. L. 89–554, §1, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 378.

Title 9, Arbitration—Act July 30, 1947, ch. 392, §1, 61 Stat. 669.

Title 10, Armed Forces—Act Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, §1, 70A Stat. 1.

Title 11, Bankruptcy—Pub. L. 95–598, title I, §101, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2549.

Title 13, Census—Act Aug. 31, 1954, ch. 1158, 68 Stat. 1012.

Title 14, Coast Guard—Act Aug. 4, 1949, ch. 393, §1, 63 Stat. 495.

Title 17, Copyrights—Act July 30, 1947, ch. 391, §1, 61 Stat. 652, as amended Oct. 19, 1976, Pub. L. 94–553, title I, §101, 90 Stat. 2541.

Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure—Act June 25, 1948, ch. 645, §1, 62 Stat. 683.

Title 23, Highways—Pub. L. 85–767, §1, Aug. 27, 1958, 72 Stat. 885.

Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure—Act June 25, 1948, ch. 646, §1, 62 Stat. 869.

Title 31, Money and Finance—Pub. L. 97–258, §1, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 877.

Title 32, National Guard—Act Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, §2, 70A Stat. 596.

Title 34, Navy—See Title 10, Armed Forces.

Title 35, Patents—Act July 19, 1952, ch. 950, §1, 66 Stat. 792.

Title 36, Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations—Pub. L. 105–225, §1, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1253.

Title 37, Pay and Allowances of the Uniformed Services—Pub. L. 87–649, §1, Sept. 7, 1962. 76 Stat. 451.

Title 38, Veterans’ Benefits—Pub. L. 85–857, §1, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1105.

Title 39, Postal Service—Pub. L. 86–682, §1, Sept. 2, 1960, 74 Stat. 578, as revised Pub. L. 91–375, §2, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 719.

Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works—Pub. L. 107–217, §1, Aug. 21, 2002, 116 Stat. 1062.

Title 41, Public Contracts—Pub. L. 111–350, §3, Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3677.

Title 44, Public Printing and Documents—Pub. L. 90–620, §1, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1238.

Title 46, Shipping—Pub. L. 98–89, §1, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 500; Pub. L. 99–509, title V, subtitle B, §5101, Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1913; Pub. L. 100–424, §6, Sept. 9, 1988, 102 Stat. 1591; Pub. L. 100–710, title I, §102, Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4738; Pub. L. 109–304, Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1485.

Title 49, Transportation—Pub. L. 95–473, §1, Oct. 17, 1978, 92 Stat. 1337; Pub. L. 97–449, §1, Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2413; Pub. L. 103–272, §1, July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 745.

Title 51, National and Commercial Space Programs—Pub. L. 111–314, §3, Dec. 18, 2010, 124 Stat. 3328.

Title 54, National Park Service and Related Programs—Pub. L. 113–287, §3, Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3094.

Title 26, Internal Revenue Code

The Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was enacted in the form of a separate code by act Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 1. Pub. L. 99–514, §2(a), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095, provided that the Internal Revenue Title enacted Aug. 16, 1954, as heretofore, hereby, or hereafter amended, may be cited as the “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”. The sections of Title 26, United States Code, are identical to the sections of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Monroe Doctrine [ USA 1823]

Keywords:  Policy of the United States

Image result for President James Monroe's

from President James Monroe’s seventh annual message to Congress, December 2, 1823:

At the proposal of the Russian Imperial Government, made through the minister of the Emperor residing here, a full power and instructions have been transmitted to the Minister of the United States at St. Petersburgh to arrange, by amicable negotiation, the respective rights and interests of the two nations on the northwest coast of this continent. A similar proposal has been made by His Imperial Majesty to the Government of Great Britain, which has likewise been acceded to. The Government of the United States has been desirous, by this friendly proceeding, of manifesting the great value which they have invariably attached to the friendship of the Emperor, and their solicitude to cultivate the best understanding with his Government. In the discussions to which this interest has given rise, and in the arrangements by which they may terminate the occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers….

It was stated at the commencement of the last session that a great effort was then making in Spain and Portugal, to improve the condition of the people of those countries, and that it appeared to be conducted with extraordinary moderation. It need scarcely be remarked, that the result has been, so far, very different from what was then anticipated. Of events in that quarter of the globe, with which we have so much intercourse, and from which we derive our origin, we have always been anxious and interested spectators. The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments the most friendly, in favor of the liberty and happiness of their fellow men on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers, in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy to do so. It is only when our rights are invaded, or seriously menaced, that we resent injuries, or make preparation for our defence. With the movements in this hemisphere, we are, of necessity, more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers. The political system of the allied powers is essentially different, in this respect, from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which exists in their respective governments. And to the defence of our own, which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is devoted. We owe it, therefore, to candor, and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers, to declare, that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere, as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered, and shall not interfere. But with the governments who have declared their independence, and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration, and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling, in any other manner, their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States. In the war between those new governments and Spain we declared our neutrality at the time of their recognition, and to this we have adhered, and shall continue to adhere, provided no change shall occur, which, in the judgement of the competent authorities of this government, shall make a corresponding change, on the part of the United States, indispensable to their security.

The late events in Spain and Portugal, shew that Europe is still unsettled. Of this important fact, no stronger proof can be adduced than that the allied powers should have thought it proper, on any principle satisfactory to themselves, to have interposed, by force, in the internal concerns of Spain. To what extent such interposition may be carried, on the same principle, is a question, to which all independent powers, whose governments differ from theirs, are interested; even those most remote, and surely none more so than the United States. Our policy, in regard to Europe, which was adopted at an early stage of the wars which have so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers; to consider the government de facto as the legitimate government for us; to cultivate friendly relations with it, and to preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and manly policy; meeting, in all instances, the just claims of every power; submitting to injuries from none. But, in regard to these continents, circumstances are eminently and conspicuously different. It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either continent, without endangering our peace and happiness: nor can any one believe that our Southern Brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we should behold such interposition, in any form, with indifference. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain and those new governments, and their distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, in the hope that other powers will pursue the same course.

Washington’s Farewell Address[USA 1796]

President George Washington’s Farewell Address — 1796

Friends and Fellow Citizens:

The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.

I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.

In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.

The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.

While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them everything they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union by which they were procured ? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it 7 It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils 7 Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.

How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the twenty-second of April, I793, is the index of my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.

The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

United States 19th September, 1796

Geo. Washington

The American’s Creed [1918]


by William Tyler Page

I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed, a democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.

–Written 1917, accepted by the United States House of Representatives on April 3, 1918.

Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream Speech”[1963]

August 28, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclaimation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon of hope to millions of slaves, who had been seared in the flames of whithering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundered years later, the colored America is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the colored American is still sadly crippled by the manacle of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the colored American lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the colored American is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we have come to our Nation’s Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our great republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every Anerican was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed to the inalienable rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given its colored people a bad check, a check that has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is not time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy. Now it the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now it the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality to all of God’s children. I would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of it’s colored citizens. This sweltering summer of the colored people’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hope that the colored Americans needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the colored citizen is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the colored person’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “for white only.”

We cannot be satisfied as long as a colored person in Mississippi cannot vote and a colored person in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of your trials and tribulations. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecutions and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our modern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of dispair. I say to you, my friends, we have the difficulties of today and tommorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold thise truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. I have a dream that one day out in the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by their character. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interpostion and nullification; that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as s)fYers and brothers.

I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be engulfed, every hill shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphomy of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to climb up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvacious slopes of California. But not only that, let freedom, ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi and every mountainside. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”


To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting. Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

I The Stile of this Confederacy shall be “The United States of America”.

II Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

III The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.

IV The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and the people of each State shall free ingress and regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions, and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any State, to any other State, of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any State, on the property of the United States, or either of them. If any person guilty of, or charged with, treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor in any State, shall flee from justice, and be found in any of the United States, he shall, upon demand of the Governor or executive power of the State from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the State having jurisdiction of his offense. Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other State.

V For the most convenient management of the general interests of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislatures of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a powerreserved to each State to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead for the remainder of the year. No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor more than seven members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the United States, for which he, or another for his benefit, receives any salary, fees or emolument of any kind. Each State shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the States, and while they act as members of the committee of the States. In determining questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each State shall have one vote. Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Congress, and the members of Congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests or imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from, and attendence on Congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.

VI No State, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or treaty with any King, Prince or State; nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the United States, or any of them, accept any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any King, Prince or foreign State; nor shall the United States in Congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility. No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue. No State shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the United States in Congress assembled, with any King, Prince or State, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by Congress, to the courts of France and Spain. No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United States in Congress assembled, for the defense of such State, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgement of the United States in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defense of such State; but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of filed pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage. No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, unless such State be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such State, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay till the United States in Congress assembled can be consulted; nor shall any State grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the United States in Congress assembled, and then only against the Kingdom or State and the subjects thereof, against which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by the United States in Congress assembled, unless such State be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the United States in Congress assembled shall determine otherwise.

VII When land forces are raised by any State for the common defense, all officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall be appointed by the legislature of each State respectively, by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such State shall direct, and all vacancies shall be filled up by the State which first made the appointment.

VIII All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several States in proportion to the value of all land within each State, granted or surveyed for any person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated according to such mode as the United States in Congress assembled, shall from time to time direct and appoint. The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures of the several States within the time agreed upon by the United States in Congress assembled.

IX The United States in Congress assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war, except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article — of sending and receiving ambassadors — entering into treaties and alliances, provided that no treaty of commerce shall be made whereby the legislative power of the respective States shall be restrained from imposing such imposts and duties on foreigners, as their own people are subjected to, or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species of goods or commodities whatsoever — of establishing rules for deciding in all cases, what captures on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the United States shall be divided or appropriated — of granting letters of marque and reprisal in times of peace — appointing courts for the trial of piracies and felonies commited on the high seas and establishing courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of captures, provided that no member of Congress shall be appointed a judge of any of the said courts. The United States in Congress assembled shall also be the last resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting or that hereafter may arise between two or more States concerning boundary, jurisdiction or any other causes whatever; which authority shall always be exercised in the manner following. Whenever the legislative or executive authority or lawful agent of any State in controversy with another shall present a petition to Congress stating the matter in question and praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall be given by order of Congress to the legislative or executive authority of the other State in controversy, and a day assigned for the appearance of the parties by their lawful agents, who shall then be directed to appoint by joint consent, commissioners or judges to constitute a court for hearing and determining the matter in question: but if they cannot agree, Congress shall name three persons out of each of the United States, and from the list of such persons each party shall alternately strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less than seven, nor more than nine names as Congress shall direct, shall in the presence of Congress be drawn out by lot, and the persons whose names shall be so drawn or any five of them, shall be commissioners or judges, to hear and finally determine the controversy, so always as a major part of the judges who shall hear the cause shall agree in the determination: and if either party shall neglect to attend at the day appointed, without showing reasons, which Congress shall judge sufficient, or being present shall refuse to strike, the Congress shall proceed to nominate three persons out of each State, and the secretary of Congress shall strike in behalf of such party absent or refusing; and the judgement and sentence of the court to be appointed, in the manner before prescribed, shall be final and conclusive; and if any of the parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or to appear or defend their claim or cause, the court shall nevertheless proceed to pronounce sentence, or judgement, which shall in like manner be final and decisive, the judgement or sentence and other proceedings being in either case transmitted to Congress, and lodged among the acts of Congress for the security of the parties concerned: provided that every commissioner, before he sits in judgement, shall take an oath to be administered by one of the judges of the supreme or superior court of the State, where the cause shall be tried, ‘well and truly to hear and determine the matter in question, according to the best of his judgement, without favor, affection or hope of reward’: provided also, that no State shall be deprived of territory for the benefit of the United States. All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under different grants of two or more States, whose jurisdictions as they may respect such lands, and the States which passed such grants are adjusted, the said grants or either of them being at the same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement of jurisdiction, shall on the petition of either party to the Congress of the United States, be finally determined as near as may be in the same manner as is before presecribed for deciding disputes respecting territorial jurisdiction between different States. The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective States — fixing the standards of weights and measures throughout the United States — regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the States, provided that the legislative right of any State within its own limits be not infringed or violated — establishing or regulating post offices from one State to another, throughout all the United States, and exacting such postage on the papers passing through the same as may be requisite to defray the expenses of the said office — appointing all officers of the land forces, in the service of the United States, excepting regimental officers — appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the United States — making rules for the government and regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their operations. The United States in Congress assembled shall have authority to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of Congress, to be denominated ‘A Committee of the States’, and to consist of one delegate from each State; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the United States under their direction — to appoint one of their members to preside, provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years; to ascertain the necessary sums of money to be raised for the service of the United States, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying the public expenses — to borrow money, or emit bills on the credit of the United States, transmitting every half-year to the respective States an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted — to build and equip a navy — to agree upon the number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each State for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such State; which requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the legislature of each State shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the men and cloath, arm and equip them in a solid-like manner, at the expense of the United States; and the officers and men so cloathed, armed and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled. But if the United States in Congress assembled shall, on consideration of circumstances judge proper that any State should not raise men, or should raise a smaller number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered, cloathed, armed and equipped in the same manner as the quota of each State, unless the legislature of such State shall judge that such extra number cannot be safely spread out in the same, in which case they shall raise, officer, cloath, arm and equip as many of such extra number as they judeg can be safely spared. And the officers and men so cloathed, armed, and equipped, shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled. The United States in Congress assembled shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters of marque or reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the defense and welfare of the United States, or any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the United States, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war, to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or navy, unless nine States assent to the same: nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day be determined, unless by the votes of the majority of the United States in Congress assembled. The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn to any time within the year, and to any place within the United States, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than the space of six months, and shall publish the journal of their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances or military operations, as in their judgement require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each State on any question shall be entered on the journal, when it is desired by any delegates of a State, or any of them, at his or their request shall be furnished with a transcript of the said journal, except such parts as are above excepted, to lay before the legislatures of the several States.

X The Committee of the States, or any nine of them, shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of the powers of Congress as the United States in Congress assembled, by the consent of the nine States, shall from time to time think expedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said Committee, for the exercise of which, by the Articles of Confederation, the voice of nine States in the Congress of the United States assembled be requisite.

XI Canada acceding to this confederation, and adjoining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.

XII All bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed, and debts contracted by, or under the authority of Congress, before the assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said United States, and the public faith are hereby solemnly pleged.

XIII Every State shall abide by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State. And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union. Know Ye that we the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained: And we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions, which by the said Confederation are submitted to them. And that the Articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States we respectively represent, and that the Union shall be perpetual. In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of July in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Eight, and in the Third Year of the independence of America.

Agreed to by Congress 15 November 1777 In force after ratification by Maryland, 1 March 1781

The Declaration of Independence [ of America 1776]

of the Thirteen Colonies

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained, and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

  • For protecting them by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  • For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
  • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  • For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  • For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
  • For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
  • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  • For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren.

  • We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.
  • We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here.
  • We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare.

That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown,

and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved;

and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce,

and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new States as follows:

New Hampshire:

Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton


John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery


Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:

William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:

Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark


Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross


Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean


Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton


George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:

William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:

Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton


Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton