Constitutional Law & Criminal Justice Procedures

Federalism and Separation of Powers

  • An Overview of Federalism: Federalism is the division of power between the federal and state governments. This site explains the history and current use of federalism in the United States.
  • Federalist Paper No. 47: Criminal justice leaders often reference the Federalist Papers when dealing with constitutional law. In No. 47, James Madison explains the need for a separation of powers within the federal government and state governments.
  • Federalism and the Law: What is the scope of federal law and state law in the American federalist system? This lesson answers that question while explaining the balance of powers at the federal and state levels.
  • The Three Branches of Federal Government: The federal government of the United States consists of three separate yet equal branches. Each branch has its own powers related to criminal law.
  • The Supreme Court on Federalism: The Supreme Court decision in Gonzales v. Raich serves as an example of how the American federalist system operates. The decision rests on the Constitution’s declaration that federal law is supreme over state law.

Congressional Powers and Limits on State Power

  • Limits of the States: This page explains the extent of state authority and outlines where states no longer have jurisdiction.
  • The Supremacy Clause: The Constitution’s supremacy clause makes it clear that federal law wins out over a conflicting state law. Check here for the exact wording of the clause and how it impacts criminal justice.
  • Federal, State, and Local Laws: Laws passed at the federal level apply in every part of the U.S., while state and local laws differ across the country. Criminal justice leaders must keep up with these differing laws throughout the nation as they help to ensure that justice is served.
  • Arizona v. United States: This court case made clear that federal immigration law supersedes state immigration law. The outcome of this case affects criminal justice by showing a clear limit on state power regarding issues such as immigration.
  • Dual Citizenship Benefits: Official IDC list of benefits of holding Italian dual citizenship. The United States allows its citizens to hold additional countries passports including the European Union.

Due Process of Law

  • History of Due Process: The idea of due process of law stretches back to the days of the Magna Carta. Learn here about the history of this vital part of the criminal justice system and how it applies to American society today.
  • Due Process in the Fifth Amendment: The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution is the first mention of this principle in U.S. law. Although its appearance in the Constitution is short, it serves as a foundation for much of America’s criminal justice system.
  • Expansion of Due Process: The addition of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution expanded the requirement of due process to the states. Our theft lawyer in Cincinnati advised this was passed in order to prevent racial discrimination within the states.
  • Fourteenth Amendment: An understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment is essential in comprehending the modern understanding of due process. Check here to learn of the amendment’s history and modern implications.

Equal Protection

  • School Lesson on Equal Treatment: This is formatted as a lesson plan in order to teach the concept of equal protection to students. The lesson plan emphasizes the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and laws that have been passed regarding the Fourteenth Amendment.
  • Equality in the Constitution and in State Law: The promise of equal protection is not only located in the U.S. Constitution. Many states, like Connecticut, contain a promise of equal protection in their laws as well.
  • Cases Regarding Equal Protection: Look here for some examples of equal protection cases from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Ohio Supreme Court along with the summaries of each case.
  • A Deeper Look at Equal Protection: This article examines the history of the idea of equal protection and the conditions that must be met before courts will review equal protection cases.
  • How the Law Applies: Criminal justice leaders apply equal protection in various ways, including defining discrimination and outlining affirmative action statutes.

Freedom of Expression and Religion

  • First Amendment History: The freedoms of expression and religion are protected through the Constitution’s First Amendment. Here is a bit about the amendment’s listed freedoms.
  • Defining Freedom of Expression: The ACLU works to protect freedom of expression for U.S. citizens. This page defines this freedom and explains how citizens can exercise their rights.
  • Free to Speak: The freedom of expression protects all Americans. Here is another definition of this freedom.
  • Cases Regarding Speech: Here are some cases that help define freedom of expression, including things that this freedom covers and things outside of its limits.

Protection From Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

  • Today’s Fourth Amendment: This protection is found in the Fourth Amendment. This article explains how the Fourth Amendment is used in our modern justice system.
  • Fairchild’s Analysis: Thomas Fairchild analyzes the importance of the Fourth Amendment’s protections in modern America.
  • Protection in Prison: The Fourth Amendment also applies to prisoners in certain circumstances. Check here to see the limits of this protection.
  • Hudson v. Palmer: This Supreme Court case helps to clarify any confusion on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Police Interrogation

  • Interrogation Laws: Look here to see how the law applies to police interrogations.
  • Deception: Can police officers use deception in the interrogation process? Check here to find out what to look for from a Cincinnati DUI lawyer.
  • False Confession: This page explains the possibility of false confessions and how these can be limited in interrogations.
  • Juvenile Protection: This court case gives protection to juveniles undergoing interrogation.

Rights at Trial: The Sixth Amendment

  • Your Rights and the Constitution: The Sixth Amendment Center explains the Sixth and Fourteenth amendments along with your rights in court. The diagrams and other content are very helpful for those facing time in court.
  • Gideon v. Wainwright: This Supreme Court case was monumental in interpreting a defendant’s right to counsel when facing felony charges. It has had far-reaching effects on the criminal justice system.
  • Right to a Speedy Trial: The Sixth Amendment includes the right to a speedy trial. Check here to get an in-depth explanation of this right of the accused.
  • Assistance of Counsel: The right to counsel is guaranteed through the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment. This article analyzes and evaluates that right.

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