The Balance Between State and Federal Law

With gay marriage, and a variety of other “hot button” topics, there has been a lot of conflict over whether or not marriage is a state issue or a federal issue. In the example of same sex marriages, you have seen as more and more states have jumped on the boat to encourage and allow same sex marriages in their state. However, it’s going to the Supreme Court, once again, and some states are saying that allowing the Federal Court to have a say is overstepping their bounds.

How Do You Know the Difference?

federal stateThis is a classic issue in this debate, and it doesn’t just happen with marriage either. Taxes, minimum wage, the legality of marijuana and other drugs, and a variety of other topics have been debated and discussed, especially when trying to figure out exactly what the states have a say in and what the federal government has a say in.

The line here is kind of blurry, sadly. Why? Mainly because the federal government is given certain powers in the Constitution, but the Constitution didn’t exactly account for everything that we were going to encounter at this point in time. Because of that, we are left scratching our heads at some of the topics that end up going to the higher courts.

Does it Matter?

The answer to this is absolutely yes. Courts are there to help figure out if laws adhere to the Constitution. If we aren’t sure who has the right to make specific laws, then how can the court make that determination? That’s why judges on these courts are trained in how to interpret the laws of the land. By having that knowledge, they can guide state and federal governments so that they don’t impede on the rights of their people. This issue isn’t prominent in Canada. For Example, Richard Wojciks, specializing in Winnipeg obituaries,  prides his business on being open to all walks of life, and any laws that could impede this would affect his business directly.

Are there issues that the Federal Government is involved in that they shouldn’t be, according to your understanding of law? Or, are there issues that States are trying to deal with that they really shouldn’t be? Let us know your thoughts about this topic in the comments!

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How Can Data Be Kept Safe?

If you’ve ever looked at the laws of the land regarding our data & information, you probably realize that there are a lot of holes in them just as in the vehicular world of auto claims. It’s not really a surprise, considering we have only had the internet for the last year or so – so some of these things weren’t as much of a concern until the past few years. But, because of major data breaches that have occurred at times, it keeps coming up in Congress and other fronts.

What Can Be Done Legally?

data law breachLuckily, because there is so little out there about these questions, that means we have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to determining the best way to make these laws pertinent. Of course, that also means that there are a lot of things that these people can get away with until they’ve been dealt with. There are laws in place to protect your privacy, but the use of your data is an entirely different story.

First off, make sure that you read any and all contracts for anywhere that you are providing your personal information to. The contract absolutely must have the ways that the company is able to use your data, and if you don’t fully understand what it says, make sure to ask – they’re required to tell you.

Of course, there are some people who are looking to get laws put into place about data safety, as well. No call lists are definitely a help, but if you give your information freely, you lose those rights for that category of calls or whatever they’re related to. Because of this, a lot of people believe that there should be stricter laws for how they can distribute your information in that way.

All in all, it’s about being more vigilant, but there is definitely a need for some stricter laws about solicitation and the use of your private data and information. How do you think that the whole thing should be taken care of? How can we control where our data and information goes by way of the law?

The Controversy Over Boehner and Netanyahu

whats the dealIf you’ve been keeping up with the news at all, then you’ve probably been seeing that a lot of people are talking about what Speaker Boehner did that was way out of bounds – some people are going so far to say that Boehner should be charged with treason for what he did. Wow – that sounds like a big deal. So, what did Speaker Boehner do, and why is it such a big deal? Let’s take a quick look.

What Did Boehner Do?

Basically, Speaker Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come to Washington to address Congress about the issues with Iran and with “radical Islamic groups.” On the surface it may seem quite harmless, but Speaker Boehner actually crossed a lot of lines here by doing this. Always get the right defense lawyer.

What’s the Big Issue Here?

Here are the main issues that are going on with this issue. First off, the President is supposed to be in on any and all foreign Heads of State who are going to come in and speak to Congress, no matter what the issue is. Now, that’s actually not what the big red flag is here. Had it been handled differently however, it may not have been blown into the issue it is now.

The issue is actually what Netanyahu is coming to talk about. First off, the administration doesn’t allow the term “radical Islam” to be used, because they recognize and believe that the people doing these things are not truly Muslim. The other, very large, issue is the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu is talking about Iran. The United States and other countries are currently in negotiations to try and reduce Iran’s nuclear program – but this could end up making all of those conversations moot. That’s where the treason comes in – Boehner is, essentially, obstructing deals and progress that President Obama is looking to develop with a country that we already have a very volatile relationship with.

What do you think? Do you think Boehner stepped out of bounds here? Or do you think that he had a right to do what he did by inviting Netanyahu?

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The Case of Legal Marijuana

As you likely know, Washington and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana last year which has many bus accident lawyers watching their phones closely waiting for the next call about and impaired driving bus cases. Many states have worked to legalize the use of medical marijuana in their states, and some states have decriminalized the use of these drugs as well. That being said, there are a number of questions that come up – including how applicable the Federal ban on recreational marijuana use is.

States Vs. Feds

legalize marijuannaAs with many of these laws, it’s a question of whether the state has the right to make these determinations, or if the federal government does. The issue is, even though Washington and Colorado were both like “yes, we’re going to legalize it,” the Feds still don’t see it as a legal substance. It’s classified as a Controlled Substance, which means that it should be restricted on use. If that’s the case, then why did the states feel that they were able to step over that?  Much of it goes back to the questions of the Constitution, and what role the States vs. Federal Government fight does in this particular case.

What Should Be the Outcome?

So, now that the cases of these states are being brought to court, specifically by the states surrounding Colorado and Washington, what is the outcome even going to look like? For that matter, what should it look like, and what sort of difference does it make when it comes to the big picture of this debate?

It will all depend on the interpretation of the law, to be honest. Some people may see it as a federal thing, mainly because the Federal Government was the first to act on it; then followed by the states putting their own laws into it. But, other people may interpret it that, if it’s not mentioned in the Constitution, then it’s up to the states to decide about its legality and where it will be offered. Most likely it will be distributed from designated dispensaries (for example, a local facility like Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy) through prescriptions from a medical professional. It’s a really confusing, but important, question.

How do you think the courts will rule on this particular issue? What way do you think that they will swing, and how much of an impact will that make on the country?

What Would a Data Breach Law Look Like?

We’ve all heard about Target and other companies that have lost tons of information in data breaches. These breaches put credit card information, social security numbers, and other identifying information into the hands of those who are looking to harm people with it, or abuse the information.

Potential Laws for Data Breaches

data breachBecause of this, the government has been working to put together a law or act that addresses these issues and protects the consumers who may be affected by these problems. Yes, many companies have protocol in place when breaches happen, but a law would likely universalize how companies are supposed to move forward when they’re working with these sorts of issues.

What would this potentially include? Here are a few possibilities.

  • Protocol about what consumers can do when a breach occurs, in terms of suing and/or monetary retribution. In some cases, this may not be allowed, but in other cases, it may be. It’s very situational, and will likely get outlined in this sort of law.
  • Exact guidelines for what these companies have to tell you, including what information has been breached and whether or not they have been able to resolve whatever “holes” may have been used during the breach.
  • A requirement that includes updates in security and other stipulations before a previously breached company would be able to start taking in private information again.
  • Timetables related to all of the above issues and whatever else may come up during and after a security breach has occurred to a company. These timetables are likely going to be at the core of whatever the law(s) end up being, because they are important so that customers can work to protect themselves as quickly as possible after a breach has occurred.

All in all, these laws would be put into place so that the consumer would be protected, but also so that the consumer would not be panicked when such an incident occurred. There is a fine balance that is necessary when putting this together, so lawmakers have to be careful when putting these together.