What is Constitutional Law?

What is Constitutional Law?Constitutional law pertains to the interpretation, implementation, and amendment of the US constitution as well as the constitutions of the 50 states. The main focus of constitutional law is the interpretation, meaning, and limitations of the constitution.

With changes in social and political issues in the US, attorneys practicing constitutional law bring these issues in front of courts to seek clarification regarding the meaning, interpretation, and implementation of the constitution.

Experienced attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding communities.


The US Constitution

The US Constitution was ratified by the founders in 1787 and was a consequent of a debate on the proper role of the government in a free society.

Some believed that the predecessor Articles of Confederation did not provide the federal government sufficient power to conduct business. Ultimately, the US constitution was a compromise between various competing philosophies and interests within the society at the time the document was drafted.

The constitution has undergone many amendments through the years, yet it remains the primary document governing the US government. The constitution provides the federal government power in three branches:

  • The legislative branch (law creation)
  • The executive branch (law implementation and making treaties)
  • The judicial branch (law interpretation)

Furthermore, the constitution defines the relationship between the federal government and the states. Lastly, the constitution defines the relationship of an individual to the federal government.


Significant Areas of the Constitution and its Interpretation

Due Process

Due process is based on the idea that the government cannot take an individual’s liberty or property in the absence of a fair judicial procedure. A person who is accused of a crime has the right to have reasonable notice of the charges levied against them and a chance to be heard in the matter.

They possess the right to a fair jury or judge in their case as well as the right to cross-examine witnesses and the opportunity to engage a lawyer. Courts must have records of proceedings and publicly declare the reasons for their verdicts.


Freedom of Speech

The government cannot unduly restrict the people’s right to speak, assemble, and practice religion. It can place only limited time and place constraints on speech. In case they place restrictions, these must apply consistently to everyone.

Constitutional attorneys continue to challenge restrictions on free speech while courts continuously struggle with balancing the private right to speech and expression and legitimate public interests.


Commerce Clause

A significant part of the legislative authority of the federal government comes from the commerce clause of the constitution. The federal government can only control an industry if the industry affects or has the potential to affect interstate commerce.

One of the most litigate parts of the constitution is the commerce clause. In general, the Supreme Court has a broad and expansive interpretation of the commerce clause.

The court decides in the Swift v. United States (US 1905) case that the government can control an activity or industry as long as the stipulation affects something that will eventually become a part of the stream of commerce.


Attorneys at theSBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.
For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of 
SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; New Jersey, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney

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