Ian’s Sporadic Legal Fact of the Summer 7/18/16: Failing to Plead

Under the common law, a defendant who failed to enter a plea was subjected to peine fort et dure — pressing under heavy weights — until he or she either consented to plead or died by suffocation, as it was … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact for the Summer 6/27/16: The Nineteenth Amendment

As the Constitution gave power to the states to determine voting qualifications, prior to 1910 no states allowed women to vote. This changed with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which prohibited United States citizens from being denied the right to … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 2/22/16: The Right to Privacy

While the Constitution contains no explicit reference to privacy, the Supreme Court has held it is found within the “penumbra” of the Bill of Rights as an implied right. Specifically, the Court had pointed to the 1st  Amendment (privacy of beliefs), 3rd … 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

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 3/16/15: The Public Benefit Corporation

In addition to the for-profit and limited-liability models of traditional corporations, other variants exist. A public-benefit corporation is state-chartered and designed  to perform some public benefit (examples include the MBTA and Massachusetts Turnpike Authority). A B Corporation is a corporation certified by the non-profit … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 2/2/15: Flag Desecration Amendment

The Flag Desecration Amendment (aka “The Flag-burning Amendment”) was a proposed constitutional amendment stating “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” It was first introduced in the House of Representatives … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 1/5/15: The Declaration of Independence

While some have argued that the Declaration of Independence is part of the “organic law” of the U.S., the prevalent view is that the Declaration is not a legal document. It did not create a new government or enact any laws, … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 9/1/14: The Bill of Rights

James Madison introduced 39 proposed amendments to the Constitution before the House of Representatives in 1789; the House approved 17 of these, 12 of which were ultimately approved by Congress. Ten amendments, now known as the Bill of Rights, went on be ratified … Continue reading

Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 11/18/13: To Be Alive Yet Legally Dead

Recently an Ohio man learned that it is possible to be alive and yet legally dead at the same time. Donald Eugene Miller Jr. vanished from his home in Ohio in 1986 and was declared legally dead in 1994. A … Continue reading

Famous U.S. Trials Course Materials (Ex College, Tufts University)

A series of short videos and other materials designed to supplement the regular course materials.

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