constitutional law


In a criminal case, most evidence gathered in violation of the Constitution is inadmissible at trial, due to the exclusionary rule. Evidence that has been kept out in this manner is said to have been “suppressed.”

Third amendment

The third amendment to the constitution prohibits, in peacetime, the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the consent of the owner of the home. It states that "[n]o Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the...

Tucker Act

Under the Tucker Act of 1887, the United States waived its sovereign immunity as to certain kinds of claims. Although the government is immune to lawsuits as a general rule, the Tucker Act exposes the government to liability for certain claims....

United States v. Darby

United States v. Darby is a Supreme Court of the United States case that revolves around the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and issues of federalism. Congress set out federal standards for employment conditions, specifically...



Hazy, uncertain, or imprecise. Used in reference to words — especially sentences and paragraphs — that are not clearly expressed. A criminal statute is void for vagueness if it is so vague that it fails to give a person fair notice of what...

Vagueness doctrine


1) A constitutional rule that requires criminal laws to state explicitly and definitely what conduct is punishable. Criminal laws that violate this requirement are said to be void for vagueness. Vagueness doctrine rests on the due process...

Van Orden v. Perry (2005)


A 2005 U.S. Supreme Court case in which the court held that displaying a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas State Capital does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Chief Justice...

Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty (1926)


A 1926 U.S. Supreme Court case in which the court held that a zoning ordinance can be a valid exercise of a state's police powers.

Illustrative caselaw

Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926).

See also


Void for vagueness


1) In criminal law, a declaration that a law is invalid because it is not sufficiently clear. Laws are usually found void for vagueness if, after setting some requirement or punishment, the law does not specify what is required or what...

writ of coram nobis

The writ of coram nobis is a Latin term applied in common law to call to the court’s attention facts that would have changed the judgment but were outside the record and unknown to the court at the time of judgment. The writ of coram nobis is...