Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 11/30/15: The Only Crime Defined in the Constitution

The only crime defined in the Constitution is ‘treason‘, which is found in Article III s. 3. A response to the misuse of this crime by the British Crown, it was limited to waging war against the U.S. or giving … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 11/23/2015: Election of the President

It was originally proposed that the President be chosen by popular vote, but the delegates to the Constitutional Convention agreed (after 60 ballots!) on a system known as the Electoral College. The procedure for election of the President and Vice President … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 11/16/15: Law Library to the World

The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with nearly 3 million books, including one of the world’s foremost rare law book collections and the most complete collection of foreign legal periodicals in the United States.

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 11/9/15: The Longest Period Between Constitutional Amendments

The longest period in U.S. history during which there were no amendments to the Constitution was the 61 year gap between the ratification of the 12th Amendment modifying the Electoral College (in 1804), and the ratification of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery (in 1865).

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 11/2/15: Which Day is the Deadliest?

While Mondays might be the most unpopular, statistics over the past decade show that homicides are much more likely to occur on Thursdays than any other day of the week; Tuesdays are the “safest” with the lowest rate of homicides.

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 10/26/15: The Great Crash

The Great Crash refers to the Wall Street crash that began October 24, 1929, and ultimately ushered in the 10-year long Great Depression. In just two days more than $30 billion in stock market value (worth approximately $400 billion today) was erased. These events prompted Congress to pass … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 10/19/15: The Origins of Tort Law

Under ancient Anglo-Saxon law a plaintiff who suffered injuries was allowed to seek personal revenge, known as a “blood feud”. This eventually was replaced by payments referred to as “blood fines”. As tort law developed, these payments were divided into … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 10/12/15: Citizen’s Arrest

A citizen’s arrest — an arrest by a non-law enforcement officer — is statutorily provided for in 49 states (North Carolina is the exception) where a citizen observes a felony being committed, or when a citizen is asked by a … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 10/5/15: Show Me the Money!

Only two justices of the Supreme Court have appeared on U.S. Currency. John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice, appeared on the $500 bill; while Salmon P. Chase (the sixth Chief Justice) appeared on the $10,000 bill. Neither denomination is still in circulation.

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 9/28/15: Supreme Court Clerks that Became Justices

There have been six Justices of the Supreme Court who had previously served as Supreme Court clerks: Byron R. White, William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Stephen G. Breyer, John G. Roberts, and Elena Kagan.

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 9/21/15: State Suffrage

The provision in Article I of the Constitution specifying that each state shall have two senators elected by the state legislature was of such importance to the Philadelphia delegation that they insisted it not be subject to amendment, hence the … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 9/14/15: The Office of the Pardon Attorney

The President is granted the pardon power under Article II, section 2 of the Constitution. Since 1894 it has been the responsibility of the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the Department of Justice to provide the President with recommendations for … Continue reading