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Author Topic: A question! (Law and Justice)  (Read 3039 times)

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Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

A question! (Law and Justice)
« on: December 02, 2007, 04:16:37 PM »
Gasoline: Seems like around -97 F depending on alcohol content and other factors. But that was just on some discussion board so I have no idea if that's right.


How about a non-science or history question:

What are the four components of a Legally Enforcable (as in enforceable in a court of law, United States, I don't know law for other countries) contract?

Offline Sherona

A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2007, 04:55:39 PM »
-97 degrees is the correct flash point of freezing gasoline. However it is still theoretically able to burn at 97 degrees below zero. If there is significant amount of water mixed it can still freeze at 32 farenhieght. Gasoline and othe rfuels are a mix of hydrocarbons, some thicker some thinner then others so its kind of variant :)

To be totally precise some fo the thicker hydrocarbons won't become solid until atmospheric temperatures are reached. so to be safe and if your talking about a complete block of solid -200 to -300 degrees, not something your likely to see outside of a lab :D

Yay for Apple :D


The answer to your question :

Parties, Subject Matter, Time, and Price (Consideration).

Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2007, 08:22:28 PM »
That is pretty close, but not entirely correct. I'd give you partial credit on a test though.

The four things I'm looking for are: Legality (legally valid), Offer, Acceptance, and Consideration.

Legality: Must be a legal contract, for example it can't be for illegal goods or services, and all parties must be legally able to enter a contract (no minors), and must have mental capacity to enter an agreement (can't be mentally ill or inebriated for example).

Offer: What the party is willing to do and what is expected in return. The offer may include specifics such as where, when, how, and to whom the offer is made. May also include timeframes or deadlines for acceptance which are clearly stated or implied. Terms should be as clearly defined as possible, as courts will enforce clear terms even if they weigh heavily in favor of one party.

Consideration: Something of value, such as payment or the cost of promises. Consideration can be monetary, an exhange of goods, or an exchange of services. Consideration can also be an agreement to act or not to act, such as not opening a new restaurant in a certain area. The amount of the agreement generally is not disputable in court, thus if someone wished to sell a million dollar estate for one dollar and both parties agreed to it, courts would generally uphold the contract. It is the agreement to exchange mutual consideration and not the value of the consideration that establishes enforceability.

Agreement: The offer and consideration must be clearly accepted by a second party for the contract to be considered valid. Written or oral acceptance are valid unless the contract clearly states a manner of acceptance. Also if an acceptance does not mirror the initial offer exactly, it is not conisidered an acceptance, rather it is considered a counter-offer.

To those who read all that, god, why? :)

Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2007, 09:13:36 PM »
Well, I didn't NEED an explaination of each one, but much like in a classroom, I like to hear the sound of my own voice, or in this case sight of my own text. :)

Offline Sherona

A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2007, 09:16:38 PM »
LOL well duh me, you shouldnt NEED one :P it was an interesting question though and was different. I don't know legal jargon well or what not..science geek here with a facination of history ...

which btw, I didn't google my question to make sure that there is a reasonable source online, but I am 99% sure there should be.

Offline Vekseid

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2007, 08:31:10 AM »
To those who read all that, god, why? :)

Because learning stuff is awesome : )

Offline Vekseid

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2007, 01:12:35 PM »
Okay, to ask a question here, I'll start with an easy one.

What set of laws proscribes a quart of salt for the mouth of a slavewoman who swears at her mistress, and what is special about these laws?

Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2007, 02:40:53 PM »
The Ur-Nammu code.

The earliest known written legal code of which a copy has been found, albeit a copy in such poor shape that only five articles can be deciphered. Archaeological evidence shows that it was supported by an advanced legal system which included specialized judges, the giving of testimony under oath, the proper form of judicial decisions and the ability of the judges to order that damages be paid to a victim by the guilty party. The Code allowed for the dismissal of corrupt men, protection for the poor and a punishment system where the punishment is proportionate to the crime. Although it is called "Ur-Nammu's Code, historians generally agree that it was written by his son Shugli.


That's all from some websites I found via google. :)

Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2007, 02:44:03 PM »
My turn! This one is easy but may require some extra writing  :D

What judicial ruling by the US Supreme Court declared that the constitution guranteed citizens a right to privacy. What was the case ruling on specifically, and what amendments did the justices use to determine that the constitution contained such a guarantee?

Offline Vekseid

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2007, 03:05:48 PM »
Ooh! We discussed this in my Constitutional Law class >_>

Griswold vs. Connecticut, involving an archaic law banning the use of contraception. After a number of attempts to get it overturned, it was finally heard by the Supreme Court, which overturned it on the 9th amendment for its catch-all nature and the 14th amendment because of the due process clause.

While it technically didn't establish privacy for all, the Equality clause of the 14th amendment would be used later.

Offline Vekseid

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2007, 03:13:57 PM »
Expanding on the Ur-Nammu code, what legal code is known to predate it?

Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2007, 10:25:30 PM »
Code of Urukagina

Which itself has never been found in text, just references to it. Apparently in it his code Urkagina "...exempted widows and orphans from taxes; compelled the city to pay funeral expenses (including the ritual food and drink libations for the journey of the dead into the lower world); and decreed that the rich must use silver when purchasing from the poor, and if the poor does not wish to sell, the powerful man (the rich man or the priest) cannot force him to do so."

The quote is from the wikipedia article about the code.

Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2007, 01:33:44 AM »
Okay, new question. The consitution of the USA limits the powers of the federal government to those only explicitly spelled out in the constitution, reserving all other powers to the states. So, please explain how Congress could pass a law, specifically in this case, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and force local businesses to comply with its provisions  prohibiting discriminiation on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin?

I'll give you a clue as to a specific Supreme Court case that is relevent: it involed the Heart of Atlanta Motel.

Also, for extra credit, please reference the case and rationale for the Supreme Court striking the law establishing 'Gun Free School Zones' in the 1990s.

Offline Sherona

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2007, 07:08:38 AM »
Now I don't know much about legal area, and I haven't read up on the CR act, but wouldn't the fact that alot of the segregation and the pretty piss poor way people treated other people make it a federal act? Many of the things that the Civil Rights Act helped to rectify were things that Barred people who are being discriminated against of basic human rights that are spelled out in the constition. "Right to Life, Liberty, and the Persuit of Happiness" Jargon.

*shrugs* I am no lawyer, and don't have a gilded tonge but that is how I would approach it to give it federal grounds.


Edit: I know this probably isnt the answer your looking for, just threw it up for discussion :)

Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2007, 09:54:04 AM »
Morally touching argument, but not one that would hold up in court. For that I call attention to the 2000 case US v Morrison in which the supreme court ruled that a law prohibiting violence against women exceeded federal power.

I'll put up the correct answer in a couple hours if anyone else wants to take a stab at this in the meantime. :)

Offline Sherona

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2007, 10:13:39 AM »
I am not in any way shape or form, knowledgable about the legal system. Luckily for me my brushesh with the courts have been few and far in between. But I would think that someone violating the constitution would make it federal case...of course that little clause could also arguably make killing someone's pet cat a federal case if said cat was part of the owner's pursuit of happiness :D hehe..ok I will shut up now :P

Offline Vekseid

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2007, 10:14:01 AM »
Commerce clause and it's almighty nature. If a store services, purchases goods from, or sells goods to, out of state customers, its laws can apply.

Quote
The Congress shall have power ... To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

The US government also uses federal funding as a beat stick for such things.

The case Apple is talking about for extra credit seems to be United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549. I never knew about or studied it, however O_o

Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2007, 11:16:54 AM »
Vek has it. It's the commerce clause which has given up until recently, the federal government almost an unlimited reach. Though in recent decisions, the court has reigned them in a litle. The Supreme Court ruled that though the Heart of Atlanta Motel (which didn't want to serve blacks) had little impact on interstate commerce, it did however have enough 'commerce' via out of state customers and suppliers, to be forced to comply with the law. In fact, given the nature of the US intrastate economy, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find any business that could find exemption under this rule.

And the Gun Free School Zone law was striken on the same grounds as the Motel case was upheld. It was determined by a 5-4 margin that regulating guns in school zones didn't have enough economic implications to allow congress to act via the commerce clause.

Same with US v. Morrison. Although the dissenting justices (another 5-4 margin) pointed out that violence against women had far more potential economic impact than in the Atlanta Motel case, and congress had gathered four years of data detailing the economic impact, the court ruled that "Crimes of violence are not, in any sense of the phrase, economic activity."

This of course appears to be part of a recent trend of the last decade or two in which the court has slowly been reining in the Federal Governments power and turning more over to the states.

Next time on Law with Apple, we'll discuss uhm... the origins of the supreme court! And then I swear I'll stop asking about case law for a little bit :)

Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2007, 12:40:41 PM »
So now we'll head into the very origins of the Supreme Court's power of Judicial Review. In its infancy, the Court was something akin to the poor stepchild of the executive and legislative branches. Nowhere in the constitution is it spelled out that the court has the right to invalidate laws or rule on their constitutionality, yet the court has this power. Why and how did they get it?

This is a pretty easy question so, lets have a little extra detail in the answer.

Offline Vekseid

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2007, 09:33:31 PM »
Marbury vs. Madison is the case where this was laid down, though its merits are considered to be rather dubious by some.

Quote
Article III.

Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. ...

As I understand it the Court does not so much strike down the law as to declare that, because it conflicts with the Constitution, they shall not uphold the law or make a conviction based upon it. Because they hear all final appeals on such things, continued enforcement of the law (at least through them) becomes impossible.

Quote from: Article VI
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Since the Supreme Court is to be held to the law, it must not uphold any laws above those set forth by the Constitution itself. A law found to be unconstitutional is then struck down. This, though, seems to imply that state laws and constitutions are supposed to override the Constitution itself?

Offline Apple of ErisTopic starter

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2007, 10:17:19 PM »
There is an excellent link to constituonal annotations on findlaw, http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article06/02.html#1 it discusses the supremacy clause and the supreme court upholding that clause to strike down state laws that conflict with the supremacy of the constittion and federal laws.

As Chief Justice Marshall wrote "...The nullity of an act, inconsistent with the Constitution, is produced by the declaration, that the Constitution is the supreme law..."

You are correct in that ruling a law unconstituional doesn't really remove it from the books, it just makes it essentially unenforceable as the courts will simply dismiss cases made under those laws.

But... Lets get to the heart of how the court ended up with the power of Judicial Review...

The year is 1803. John Adams lost the 1800 election to Jefferson and decided to pack the lower courts with federalist appointees. Because of an administrative goof at the last minute, Marbury, one of the appointees didn't recieve his written commission before Jefferson took office. Even though Marbury had been confirmed by the senate, Jefferson refused to issue the commission to Marbury. So, in the manner of a true American, Marbury sued. Marbury didn't sue Jefferson though, he sued Madison, then Secretary of State who was the official who technically held the contested issue. Using the Judiciary Act of 1789, Marbury filed his case directly with the Supreme Court.

Now, Chief Justice Marshall was in a bind here... If he found in Jefferson's favor, it would appear he was bowing to the president; if he found for Marbury, Jefferson would just ignore him in all probability, and the courts had no way to enforce their ruling. Either way would relegate the court to a second tier status. Marshall, an excellent politician and legal mind, found a third way out...

First, he declared that Marbury SHOULD have recieved the commission and chastied the president, then went on. Summing up his feelings towards the Judiciary Act thusly: "The question, whether an act, repugnant to the consitutition, can become the law of the land, is a question deeply interesting to the united states." In his political masterstroke, Marshall then declared the Act of 1789 unconstitutional. This removed the ability of the Supreme Court to even hear the case in the first place, thus denying Marbury his commission and avoiding a confrontation with Jefferson, as well as establishing the right of the Court to void laws it found to be in violation of the constitution.

In his conclusion he wrote: "Certainly, all those who have framed written constitutions ontemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nations, and, consequently, the theory of every such government must be, that an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void."

This ruling established the Supreme Courts right via judicial precedent to void laws it found conflicted with the supreme law of the land, the constitution. Just think for a moment if we didn't have that last arbiter in the US... Any legislative body would only be constrained in the laws it passed by the fear of losing the next election (if it didn't simply legislate them away!). Lawmakers could eliminate free speech, gerrymander to their parties content, favor certain races or religions in law, etc. Because of this decision, ANY single individual can take a case to court, invoking the judiciary to measure laws and decisions against constitutional standards. In effect, any citizen can be a leading cause in having an unjust law overturned, giving citizens the power to directly control government, instead of vice versa.

And we all held hands and did the happy dance :)

Offline Vekseid

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2007, 09:35:26 AM »
Thank you for that detailed explanation : )

What famous man, executed by trial in ancient Athens, chose not to escape death when provided the opportunity, because in part he felt obligated to obey the city's laws where he lived?

Offline schnookums

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2007, 01:59:30 PM »
Wasn't that Socrates? Since I'm going off of memory lets check Wikipedia...hmm, seems I'm right, although it is also stated that when Crito came to offer him freedom he also refused because it would show him as a hypocrite as well. Considering he could have avoided death originally but ceasing to teach philosophy but choose not to that sounds pretty consistent.

Offline Vekseid

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2007, 02:51:18 PM »
You are correct : )

Offline Nitewalk

Re: A question! (Law and Justice)
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2007, 06:19:51 PM »
Also, I thought Socrates chose death over exile because, in ancient Athenian culture, the thought of living outside of society was anathema, therefore exile was a fate worse than death? (Of course I can't remember where I read that).