Archive for the Law Category

Chinese and Virginia’s (Defunct) Interracial Marriage Ban

Posted in Law on 20160925 by Avenging Sword

Recently, I started wondering whether marriage between a white person and a person of Chinese ancestry would have been allowed under Virginia’s old, now-repealed[1] ban on interracial marriages.  The answer ended up being more complicated than I expected.  Strangely enough, while the most recent version of this ban did indeed prohibit Chinese-white marriages, prior versions of that law likely permitted such unions.

Continue reading


Common Law Marriage in the United States

Posted in Law on 20160828 by Avenging Sword

Does any state in the United States recognize common law marriage?[1]  The answer to this question is somewhat complex.

Continue reading

DUIs and Gun Possession

Posted in Law on 20160711 by Avenging Sword

In recent years, some have recommended banning gun possession by persons with one or more DUI convictions.[1]  Such recommendations implicitly assume that current federal and state laws largely fail to impose such a ban.[2]  This assumption, however, appears to be incorrect.  In the District of Columbia and every state (except perhaps one), either federal or state law explicitly or implicitly bars gun possession by persons with multiple DUIs.[3]

Continue reading

The History of U.S. Draft Registration

Posted in Law on 20160626 by Avenging Sword

In a recent Vox post, Katherine Hicks stated,

. . . If [S.2943, the Senate version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act] becomes law, women turning 18 on or after January 1, 2018, will have to sign up for the Selective Service System.

Men have been required to do so since the Civil War, though the Selective Service System has only existed in its current form since 1980.[1]

The italicized phrase, however, oversimplifies the history of American draft registration, and seemingly – but erroneously – implies that male draft registration has been continuously required from the Civil War until today.  In fact, during the Civil War, the federal government probably did not require men to register for the draft.  During both world wars, the United States required men to register, but initially only on certain days.  Continuous registration, with men having to register upon turning 18, only began in World War II.

Continue reading

The Origins of Felon Disenfranchisement in Virginia

Posted in Law on 20160613 by Avenging Sword

The Virginia state constitution denies the vote to every “person who has been convicted of a felony . . . unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority.”[1]  Recently, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe ordered the restoration of voting rights for all felons “who have, as of this 22nd day of April 2016, (1) completed their sentences of incarceration for any and all felony convictions; and (2) completed their sentences of supervised release, including probation and parole, for any and all felony convictions.”[2]  Defending this order, articles in several publications subsequently argued that Virginia’s felon disfranchisement provision originated in the commonwealth’s previous, Jim-Crow-era, 1902 constitution.[3]  Disagreeing with this position are various other parties, including Governor McAuliffe himself,[4] opponents of his order,[5] federal courts,[6] and scholarly opponents of felon disfranchisement,[7] all of whom explicitly or implicitly concede that Virginian felon disfranchisement long predates the 1902 constitution.  In my view, this latter position is correct; Virginia first disfranchised felons at least three, and perhaps seven, decades before the enactment of the 1902 “Jim Crow” constitution.

Continue reading

Housekeeping & NDAA12 § 1031 Post

Posted in Law, Mil on 20111202 by Avenging Sword

Because has recently expressed hostility towards the practice of “mirroring” posts, until further notice I’ll be posting the full text of my posts at Alexandria, and a short synopsis and link here.


Responding to Dreher’s concerns regarding the AUMF reauthorization in the § 1031 of the pending National Defense Authorization Act, I post a few thoughts at the following link:§-1031/

On the Constitutionality of the Al-Aulaqi Killing

Posted in Law on 20111110 by Avenging Sword

I had planned to do a post about the constitutionality of the Al-Aulaqi killing.  Prior to completing that post, however, I discovered that John Dehn had already addressed the issue in a pair of posts on Cato’s website.  See here and here.  Basically, Dehn argues that, under Supreme Court decisions like the Prize Cases and Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, “lethal targeting of U.S. citizens who are part of an enemy army or force in armed conflict with the United States is entirely constitutional if it is otherwise consistent with the laws of war,” even “without a prior adjudication of guilt . . . .”  Admittedly, Dehn does not specifically consider whether Al-Aulaqi was indeed targetable under the laws of war.  However, this article by Robert Chesney does, and (mostly) answers that question in the affirmative.

I find Chesney’s analysis, and Dehn’s, persuasive.  Consequently, I am inclined to stand by my previously-expressed view regarding Al-Aulaqi’s killing.