An informal amendment to the United States Constitution is one that occurs through non-traditional processes such as "de facto" changes of law. These processes of amendment, which may be the result of either circumstantial social change or judicial review, are considered non-traditional because they are not specified in the Constitution as legitimate means by which amendments can be made.Continue Reading
As a result, informal amendments can be rather controversial, especially those made by judicial review. This is the process whereby law courts are able to pass judgment on whether a federal law is constitutional.
In the U.S., judicial review will typically be carried out by the Supreme Court, but not always. In fact, all courts at all levels are permitted to evaluate federal legislation against the Constitution. The majority of other countries with constitutions grant this power of judicial review only to a specific type of court.
The other process by which informal amendment occurs is more organic and therefore usually less controversial. As society changes, parts of the Constitution become obsolete or unfair, warranting alteration. A prime example of this occurred during the Industrial Revolution, when the right to vote was informally extended beyond white, male landowners. as specified in the Constitution, to the middle and working classes.Learn more about Law
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution grants citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the U.S., declares that states may not deny any person life, liberty or property without due process of law, and says that a state may not deny a person the equal protection of the law. The three clauses are called: the Citizenship Clause, the Due Process Clause, and the Equal Protection Clause.Full Answer >
Due to the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution, federal law overrides state law in most cases. The Supremacy Clause is closely related to the idea of preemption.Full Answer >
Family law addresses the rules, regulations and court processes involving the family unit, according to an article on FindLaw. As such, family law deals with marriage, divorce, property obligations, paternity, and child custody and support. It also handles adoption, guardianship, domestic partnerships, foster care, emancipation and reproductive rights.Full Answer >
The Patriot Act facilitates a number of processes that make it possible for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute terrorists. Many of the tools laid out in the Patriot Act had been employed against organized crime but were not available for use as instruments against terrorism, according to the Department of Justice.Full Answer >