Tutor profile: Seth A.
Subject: US Government and Politics
What are the length of the terms of the President, Members of the House of Representatives, Senators, and Supreme Court Justices? Are any of these offices subject to term limits?
The President serves a 4-year term and is eligible for a second 4-year term. However, the President is term-limited to 2 terms by the 22nd Amendment. However, if the President had served less than 2 years of a prior term (for example, a VP who took over upon President's death, resignation, or impeachment), this individual can serve up to 10 years in office. Members of the House of Representatives serve 2-year terms and are always up for re-election. There are no term limits. Senators serve 6-year terms and have no term limits. Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life and serve until death or retirement. There are no term limits for Justices.
Can a municipality use eminent domain to transfer private property to another owner for economic development?
Yes. According to Kelo v. New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), a municipality can take property from one owner and transfer the property to another for the purpose of economic development. The city of New London took property from one private party and then transferred it to another private party. Even though the city would not be "using" the property, New London contended that its plans to revitalize a section of town constituted a sufficient public use. Under the Fifth Amendment, the government has the power of eminent domain which permits it to take property, so long as it is for public use and just compensation is paid. Just compensation was not at issue in the case, leaving the court with the question of whether economic development was a legitimate public use. The court decided that, even though the property ended up directly in private hands, economic development is considered a public use and this was an appropriate use of the power of eminent domain. It focused on the jobs created and new tax revenues that would come from the economic development project. It is worth noting that this holding has been overturned by legislatures across the country, but still remains active precedent.
How do you structure a legal memo?
You need to outline the memorandum before you start. Otherwise, you will find yourself lost in legal analysis -- nobody wants that! In your outline, start with jotting down a few notes about the problem you are addressing. This will form the basis of the introduction of the memo. Next, you need to break down the remaining parts of the memo using a legal analysis tool known by the mnemonic "IRAC." The first paragraph is the introduction, but the second begins the analysis. "I" stands for issue, and you will state the issue that needs to be analyzed. This can be a shorter part of the memo. Second, you will work on the "R," which stands for rule. You will analyze in the memo what the legal standard should be. This may be a longer part of the memo. Third, you will focus on the "A," which stands for analysis. You are breaking down the problem based on the rule you determined controls the outcome. Last, you come to "C," which stands for conclusion. It can be very short, but you need to state your conclusion. After this outlining, writing the memo should be much easier!
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