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Federal laws are based on powers granted to the Senate and the House of Representatives that are enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. It took the 18th Amendment to the Constitution for Congress to be empowered to prohibit the production and sale of alcohol. The resulting federal enabling legislation was known as the Volstead Act.


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Prisons, as we understand them today serve the purpose of depriving an individual of their liberty; that idea of liberty did not exist at the time that you refer to. The liberty of an individual to live their life as they see fit within the restraints of the law is a modern concept, therefor the idea of punishing a person by depriving them of something of ...


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A prison is expensive: you have to build the installation with all the necessary security precautions (fixed costs), and then feed and cloth the inmates and guards (variable costs). This is completely unaffordable for a subsistence society (IOW, before feudal castles provides dungeons). The Biblical law provides for 3 kinds of penalties: death, flogging (at ...


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The ancient Romans had prisons, such as Mamertime Prison, but imprisonment was just a temporary measure before trial or execution, not a punishment in itself. The English Houses of Correction introduced a more modern system of mass incarceration, with hard labor.


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I had explained that judicial review was not a power invented in 1803, but rather an established legal practice. This has been questioned ("The power is not in the constitution, and was not, to the best of my knowledge, discussed in the formation of the constitution."); since I'm apparently not allowed to edit my first answer, I thought I'd address the ...


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We can go into these long winded discussions on Supreme Court decisions and the law about secession. A document that is more important than the Constitution is being overlooked. The Declaration of Independence. Does this not give a state the right to break away from a government that has become destructive to the people. What did we do when be declared ...


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@Oldcat has the core of the answer. Judicial review was not part of the constitution. The constitution says very little about the judicial branch beyond the assertion that we should have one and the implication that it should be independent of the legislative and executive branch. The constitution mandates only one court, and doesn't say anything about how ...


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Oh, but it is in the Constitution - implicitly. The it "isn't anywhere in the constitution" argument is frequently popular to different groups on different topics, but in this case at least has no legal basis in jurisprudence. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court ... The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, ...


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It is the responsibility of a court to determine what the meaning of a law is, in other words to interpret the law. It follows from this that if laws are inconsistent or incompatible then the court may void the law. This is true not only of the Supreme Court, but of any court. In essence the courts have the ability to veto any law which is invalid. A law can ...


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Your description accurate enough. The US Constitution is a broad document and does not have paragraphs for every little action that the government does. It set up the Supreme Court, to have jurisdiction over all law cases appealed to them. When Marshall first used Judicial Review, it 'made sense' that if anyone were to decide that a Federal Law violated ...



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