Challenge

Challenge in the United States

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The questioning of the legality of governmental actions. A challenge is undertaken when a person or group wishes to object or take exception to something. A particular public policy may be challenged, for example. The challenge may come in a case already before the courts, or a specific test case may be initiated in order to create an opportunity to challenge the policy. A group of construction contractors, for example, may choose to challenge a legislative policy that sets aside a portion of public construction contracts for minority contractors. Similarly, a practice may be challenged. For example, a local court clerk might only add newly registered voters to the roster of eligible jurors once a year. The annual updating may not be the result of formally adopted policy, but rather administrative convenience. The effect of the practice, however, is to keep 18-year olds, among others, off juries for at least a year. On a more particular level, it is possible to challenge the participation of a specific judge in a specific case. It may be felt, for example, that a judge has a personal interest in a case. A challenge may be filed as to whether the judge is qualified to sit on the case. In similar fashion, particular jurors may be challenged for cause if it is believed that they could not render an impartial judgment in a particular case.

See Also

Interest Groups (Civil Process) Taxpayer Suit (Civil Process) Test Case (Civil Process).

Analysis and Relevance

The civil courts are frequently used to challenge particular governmental policies or actions. Interest groups are particularly instrumental in focusing challenges to certain public policies or practices. While these cases are not as numerous as debt recovery or domestic relations cases, they are disproportionately important because they contain a public dimension not present in other civil actions. Illustrations of legal challenges are virtually infinite, but several examples will highlight the category. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been successful at challenging a number of policies such as the requirement that a license be obtained before engaging in door-to-door solicitations. The Witnesses challenged this and other policies they felt impinged on their religious practices. Similarly, a state “moment of silence” law was struck down by the Supreme Court in Wallace v. Jaffree (472 U.S. 38: 1985). Discriminatory practices are also frequently the basis of legal challenge. The Supreme Court overturned the trespass conviction of a number of individuals in the “sit-in” case of Peterson v. Greenville (373 U.S. 244: 1963). The convictions stemmed from enforcement of a local ordinance requiring segregated meal service at restaurants. The racially discriminatory use of peremptory strikes by prosecutors was prohibited by the Supreme Court in Batson v. Kentucky (476 U.S. 79: 1986). For every case decided by the Supreme Court, there are countless challenges that do not progress beyond the civil trial courts. Challenges to land-use restrictions or zoning ordinances are quite common. Challenges to possibly overbroad local responses to the current drug problem have also reached the civil courts.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Challenge from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Challenge Definition

An objection to the capacity or right of a person. In Practice. An exception to the jurors who have been arrayed to pass upon a cause on its trial. An exception to those who have been returned as jurors. Co. Litt. lB5b. The most satisfactory derivation of the word is that adopted by Webster and Crabb, from “call,” challeiige implying a calling off. The word is also used to denote exceptions taken to a judge’s capacity on account of interest (2 Bin. [Pa.] 454; 4 Bin. [Pa.] 349), and to the sheriff for favor as well as affinity (Co. Litt. 158a; 10 Serg. & R. [Pa.] 336; 11 Serg. & R. [Pa.] 303). Challenges are of the following classes:
(1) To the array. Those which apply to all the jurors as arrayed or set in order by the officer upon the panel. Such a challenge is, in general, founded upon some error or manifest partiality committed in obtaining the panel, and which, from its nature, applies to all the jurors so obtained. These are not allowed in the United States generally (Colby, Prac. 235; 2 Blatchf. [U.S.] 435), the same end being attained by a motion addressed to the court, but are in some states (33 Pa. St. 338; 12 Tex. 252; 24 Miss. 445; 1 Mann. [Mich.] 451; 20 Conn. 610; 1 Zab. [N. J.] 656).
(2) To the poll. Those made separately to each juror to whom they apply. Challenges to the poll are either: (a) For cause, those for which some reason sanctioned by law is assigned. (b) Peremptory, those made without assigning any cause, and which must be allowed as of course. The number of these is variously limited by statute. A challenge for cause lies also to the array. Challenge for cause was anciently divided into challenges: (i) For principal cause, being for such cause as, if substantiated, was sufficient to show bias or disqualification. The grounds of principal challenge were proTpter defectum, for disability, as infancy or mental unsoundness; prdpter affectum, for partiality, as where the juror was of kin to the party, or bore some confidential relation to him; propter delictum, on account of crime committed by the juror, whereby he was disqualified. 3 Bl. Comm. 361. To these was sometimes added propter honoris respeetum, from respect to a party’s rank or nobility. (ii) To the favor, those which are founded on reasonable ground to suspect that the jury is partial, though the cause be not so evident as to warrant a principal challenge. Challenges for principal cause were tried by the court; those to the favor by triors. The distinction between challenges to the favor and for principal cause is now obsolete. Several other divisions of challenges for cause have been suggested by American statute or text writers, as that into challenge grounded on general disqualificatipn, and challenges grounded on disqualification in respect of the particular case (Thomp. Trials, § 40), or that into challenges for actual bias, being for actual partiality as to the cause or the parties; and for implied bias, being such relationship towards a party or the cause as wiH, in contemplation of law, necessarily give rise to an implication of partiality, such as consanguinity to a party; confidential relation with a party; service on a previous jury in the cause, etc. Gen. St. Minn. 1878, c. 116, §§ 18, 19. In Election Law. Formal objection to the right of a person to vote at a particular election, or in a particular precinct. Generally made at the time the vote is offered. In Criminal Law. A request by one person to another to fight a duel. It may be oral or written.

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An objection to the capacity or right of a person. In Practice. An exception to the jurors who have been arrayed to pass upon a cause on its trial. An exception to those who have been returned as jurors. Co. Litt. lB5b. The most satisfactory derivation of the word is that adopted by Webster and Crabb, from “call,” challeiige implying a calling off. The word is also used to denote exceptions taken to a judge’s capacity on account of interest (2 Bin. [Pa.] 454; 4 Bin. [Pa.] 349), and to the sheriff for favor as well as affinity (Co. Litt. 158a; 10 Serg. & R. [Pa.] 336; 11 Serg. & R. [Pa.] 303). Challenges are of the following classes:
(1) To the array. Those which apply to all the jurors as arrayed or set in order by the officer upon the panel. Such a challenge is, in general, founded upon some error or manifest partiality committed in obtaining the panel, and which, from its nature, applies to all the jurors so obtained. These are not allowed in the United States generally (Colby, Prac. 235; 2 Blatchf. [U.S.] 435), the same end being attained by a motion addressed to the court, but are in some states (33 Pa. St. 338; 12 Tex. 252; 24 Miss. 445; 1 Mann. [Mich.] 451; 20 Conn. 610; 1 Zab. [N. J.] 656).
(2) To the poll. Those made separately to each juror to whom they apply. Challenges to the poll are either: (a) For cause, those for which some reason sanctioned by law is assigned. (b) Peremptory, those made without assigning any cause, and which must be allowed as of course. The number of these is variously limited by statute. A challenge for cause lies also to the array. Challenge for cause was anciently divided into challenges: (i) For principal cause, being for such cause as, if substantiated, was sufficient to show bias or disqualification. The grounds of principal challenge were proTpter defectum, for disability, as infancy or mental unsoundness; prdpter affectum, for partiality, as where the juror was of kin to the party, or bore some confidential relation to him; propter delictum, on account of crime committed by the juror, whereby he was disqualified. 3 Bl. Comm. 361. To these was sometimes added propter honoris respeetum, from respect to a party’s rank or nobility. (ii) To the favor, those which are founded on reasonable ground to suspect that the jury is partial, though the cause be not so evident as to warrant a principal challenge. Challenges for principal cause were tried by the court; those to the favor by triors. The distinction between challenges to the favor and for principal cause is now obsolete. Several other divisions of challenges for cause have been suggested by American statute or text writers, as that into challenge grounded on general disqualificatipn, and challenges grounded on disqualification in respect of the particular case (Thomp. Trials, § 40), or that into challenges for actual bias, being for actual partiality as to the cause or the parties; and for implied bias, being such relationship towards a party or the cause as wiH, in contemplation of law, necessarily give rise to an implication of partiality, such as consanguinity to a party; confidential relation with a party; service on a previous jury in the cause, etc. Gen. St. Minn. 1878, c. 116, §§ 18, 19. In Election Law. Formal objection to the right of a person to vote at a particular election, or in a particular precinct. Generally made at the time the vote is offered. In Criminal Law. A request by one person to another to fight a duel. It may be oral or written.

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Notice

This definition of Challenge Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Concept of Challenge in Constitutional Law

The following is a very basic definition of Challenge in this context: To question the truth or accuracy of something

Concept of Challenge in Political Science

The following is a very basic definition of Challenge in relation to the election system and the U.S Congress: To question the truth or accuracy of something

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