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Is it in the Constitution: Congress shall pass no law affecting one

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Amy6627 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 06:19 PM
Original message
Is it in the Constitution: Congress shall pass no law affecting one
person? It seems to me I heard that somewhere, but can't find it. Does anyone know?
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DIKB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Do a search on
Bills of Attainder.
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Amy6627 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks! I found this:
at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article...


The prohibition embodied in this clause is not to be strictly and narrowly construed in the context of traditional forms but is to be interpreted in accordance with the designs of the framers so as to preclude trial by legislature, a violation of the separation of powers concept. 1703 The clause thus prohibits all legislative acts, ''no matter what their form, that apply either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial. . . .''

Do you think that was Congress did regarding Terri Schiavo conflicts with the last sentence? Just curious.
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adwon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. No
It didn't render a judgment, just opened the door for further litigation.

There is an argument to be made that it violated the 10th amendment by reopening a state judgment in an area not reserved to federal regulation.
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Beacho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. actually it did, by denying micheal schiavos rights
The legislature 'punished' mMicheal Schiavo by denying him him his rights , ie, his right to not have a bill of attainder attached to a judgement he sought in court that rules in his favor.
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adwon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. No
The law did not impose a penalty or judgment. It only opened up another venue for the case to be heard. There was no penalty imposed on anyone for anything in regard to the legislation.
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. It's hard to say
it would depend on what a court would consider "inflicting punishment".

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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
5. Not true, but there is a partial truth in there.
Congress cant pass laws finding people guilty and punishing them. This is a bill of attainder.

They can pass laws affecting one person as long as the law isnt a punishment and doesn't violate equal protection.
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Amy6627 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks for your help. n/t
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journalist3072 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. Bills of Attainder
Well, I think what the framers of the Constitution were getting at, as far as bills of attainder, is to enforce the separation of powers. Basically, they wanted to ensure that the legislative body (Congress) didn't excercise the functions of the judicial branch (i.e. trial by legislature).

And I think that's exactly what Congress did in the Schiavo case. They didn't like the rulings that the courts consistently handed down (in favor of Mr. Schiavo), so they tried to pass a law and said "this is a one time deal."

So I think the whole point in this is NOT that Congress passed a law for one person (that's part of it) but that they tried to excercise the function of the judicial branch.

Go here http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/19/174224/252
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Amy6627 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thank you very much! n/t
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. But that isnt a bill of attainder, just a violation of seperation.
The constitutional issue with Schiavo is the violation of the seperation of powers. The legislature tried to overide the courts.

This has nothing to do with a bill of attainder, which, as you well stated is a legislative trial. Their motive in the Shciavo case was to save her life, while you may not agree on the goodness of that motive, it really cant be construed as a punishment.
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journalist3072 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I see your point, but.....
Technically you can see what they did as punishment. Why? Because her husband (and others who knew her) said she had stated verbally (before she became ill) that she would not want to be kept alive by extraordinary measures. Her husband said he was simply trying to execute her wishes. And think of the irony in the fact that they were trying to feed a woman with a history of bulimia.

So, I would consider keeping someone alive against their wishes as punishment. And they were punishing Michael Shiavo too, by trying to stop him from carrying out his duties as her legal guardian.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I dont think any judge would buy that argument, but hey, I'm not a judge
But I agree with you, in reality, I just think legally its a stretch.
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