matter of law

A matter of law, or question of law, is a determination of the applicable law as opposed to a matter of fact. Matter of law is seen in judgments as a matter of law where a judge makes a decision applying the relevant laws to irrefutable evidence.
matter of law, LII / Legal Information Institute, (last visited Jun. 12, 2024)

Consider the “fruit of the poisoned tree”. Detective Billy-Bob is interrogating Jimmy. He asks Jimmy where the loot is hidden. Jimmy tells him.

At court, the defense argues that Jimmy was not afforded his constitutionally protected rights and the “confession”, the loot, the finding of the loot, and the finding of a body with the loot are all “fruit of the poisoned tree”.

As fruit of the poisoned tree, the evidence should be excluded.

This is not a question put to the jury. This is a question of law, or a matter of law. As a matter of law, it is the court’s responsibility to answer the question.

The court will evaluate the evidence and how it was acquired to determine if it should be excluded from the court.

When Jimmy was picked up, he was carrying a gun without the state’s permission. He is charged under state law of having a canceled weapon without state permission slips.

The defense, Jimmy, files a motion challenging the law requiring state permission slips to carry a gun as a facial challenge. This means that they think the law is unconstitutional in all cases. They argue, in the motion, that under Supreme Court case law, if a law or regulation implicates the plain text of the Second Amendment, the individual conduct is presumptively protected by the Second Amendment.

The lawyers say simply, “It involves a gun. He wants to bear it. That implicates the plain text of the Second Amendment. The state has the burden of showing a tradition of firearms regulations that is in keeping with this Nation’s historical traditions of firearm regulations.” (Sorry for the poor language.)

The court then issues his opinion. He is answering a matter of law. He says to the state, “The plain text is implicated. You now bear the burden to …”

The court then reads the motions, the replies, the counter replies, holds a hearing where the parties present/argue their standpoint.

The court then issues their opinion. If the court says the state failed to meet their burden, the charge is dropped. If the state met their burden, then the charge is kept.

Let’s say the court says that the law is constitutional. At trial, the state will present evidence that Jimmy was in possession of a firearm at a particular time, that he was not issued a permission slip and any other evidence they feel will convince the jury of the facts.

After both parties have presented their arguments, it is the court’s responsibility to tell the jury what facts they need to determine. After the jury has made their determinations of the matter of facts, they will mark their verdict.

So, the jury determines facts, the court determines law.

In the Hunter Bidden cast, I have not looked for the defense challenging Count III on constitutional grounds.

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By awa

3 thoughts on “Matter of Law”
  1. In the Hunter Bidden [sic] cast [sic], I have not looked for the defense challenging Count III on constitutional grounds.
    This is interesting. I would think a defense attorney worth his/her salt would be challenging any allegedly-violated regulation on Constitutional grounds if there was a chance the regulation could be overturned and the charge dropped. That’s just common sense. (Which may be why; it’s common sense, not a matter of law.)
    It makes me wonder if the powers that be don’t want that regulation challenged, because if it gets thrown out as unconstitutional for one Hunter Biden, it’s unconstitutional for everybody. And they can’t have that.

    1. I saw one small passing reference that sort of suggests Hunter’s defense did make a Constitutional argument, but it wasn’t clear and it may not have been a serious attempt. Possibly a factor is that left wing attorneys are unlikely to understand any of that, or have any knowledge of 2nd Amendment jurisprudence.

      Picking a political publicity hound for a gun crime defense attorney, as opposed to someone who actually specializes in that stuff, seems like a dumb idea. Now the same guy is apparently going to defend Hunter in a tax case. What could possibly go wrong? 🙂

  2. The courts have routinely, for decades, allowed the use and implementation of laws that clearly, directly and blatantly violate the clear cut easily understood words of the Constitution. Thus the courts….all of them…are illegitimate. They exist and wield power solely by the threat and use of force against any and all that disagree. The system, both legal and governmental is corrupt, irredeemably, irretrievably broken. We should be seeking the end of the current paradigm. Not ways to work with it.

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