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Define The Grandfather Clause In U.S. Law? How Do You Write a Grandfather Clause?

Referencing Styles : MLA | Pages : 1

Grandfather Clause in U.S Law

Grandfather clause or grandfather policy is a policy where an old rule goes on applying to existing situations while a new rule is applied to all cases in the future. The ones who are exempted from a new rule are said to have grandfather rights, also known as acquired rights. However, the exemptions given are quite limited, and receives an extension for a certain period of time, which is lost under certain situations. Examples can be given where grandfathered power plant, might be exempted from a new, more controlled pollution laws, although this extension might be denied and application of new rules will be under process if there is an extension of the plan. Such provisions are used as a compromise, or out of practicality for allowance of new rules that is enacted without jeopardizing an established political or logistical situation. This receives an extension that an idea or a rule is not retroactively applied.

This term was originated during the late 19th century when the legislative and constitutional amendments were passed by a number of United States southern states, which in turn created new requirements for literacy tests, payment of poll taxes, residency and restriction of property for voter registration. Certain states exempted those people whose ancestors had the right to vote, before the Civil war took place, or a particular date based on certain requirements. The effect of such rules were to prevent the underprivileged and illiterate African-American farmers, who were former slaves and still had the right to vote, whose descendants received these rights from them, but the underprivileged and illiterate whites getting the right to vote. These grandfather clauses were considered unconstitutional, because of which the term grandfather clause and grandfather is adapted for different purpose.

The grandfather clause were a part of new state constitutions and Jim Crow laws passed between a time period of 1890 and 1908 by the white-dominated legislature of state, which included Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Virginia. There were restrictions on registration of voters, prevention of African-Americans from voting, certain racial restrictions on voting at places before 1870, which were stopped by the Fifteenth Amendment. During the period when democrats took control of state legislatures, after the compromise of 1877, they started to restrict abilities of black American their right to vote. Certain parliamentary groups like the Red Shirts, White league and even the rifle club had stopped the blacks from voting in a lot of elections before the Redemption. Coalition in between the Populists and Republicans in fusion tickets during the period of 1880s to 1890s garnered few seats and even won some positions of governor. Democrats wanted to exclude freedmen and other blacks from voting, whereas in certain seats poor whites wanted to avoid biracial coalitions.

White democrats made statutes and passed new constitutional laws in order to create restrictive voter registration rules. Examples are imposition of poll taxes and residency as well as literacy tests. Exemptions were provided based on the requirements for all people who were allowed to vote before the American Civil War, and their descendants. The term grandfather clause was formulated due to the fact that these laws joined the then-current generation’s right to vote to those of their grandfathers. Black’s law dictionary states that Southern states adopted provisions within the constitution to exempt the literacy requirements, for the descendants of those who fought in the army, navy of the United States or the Confederate States during a time of war.

United States supreme court found provisions dictated in the Guinn v. United states (1915) unconstitutional and the states forced to cease the use of grandfather clauses to provide exemption to literacy tests. Exclusion of the grandfather clause made tens of thousands of poor Southern whites disenfranchised during the early 20th century. Time passed and Southern states in order to expand the franchise for poor whites, where most of the blacks could not vote until the passing of 1965 voting rights act. Ratification during 1964 where the Twenty fourth Amendment to the United States constitution prohibited the use of poll taxes during federal elections, however few states started to use them during state elections.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 had certain provisions for protection of registration and access to elections, with federal enforcement and supervision were necessary. During 1966, the Supreme Court rule in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, which stated that poll taxes could not be used during any elections. This secured it for most citizens, and the number of persons registering to vote and turnout of voters during elections increased dramatically in the Southern states. In spite of the origin, today this term grandfather clause does not retain any pejorative sense when used in unrelated context.

There is also a different or a slightly order type of grandfather clause, or a grandfather principle, where a government restricts transactions occurred during recent past, usually those used during a predecessor government. The modern analogue repudiates public debt, but the original principle was Henry II’s, which were preserved in most of his judgment, “Let it be as it was on the day of my grandfather’s death”, which is a principle by which he repudiated all the royal grants that were made during the previous king Stephen 19 years prior.

There are implications of grandfather clause in cellular phone carriers like the Verizon and AT&T, which had unlimited data plan in past, though these plans were removed. Customers already having unlimited data plans were able to continue those plans and use them as long as the terms and condition of the services were unchanged.

Tablet computers and other similar devices with screen size below eight inches, which ran Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 used to feature a certain traditional windows desktop with legacy applications support. The ability to run the newer Metro-style applications, but newer devices with sub-8-inch screens, which ran the newly introduced windows 10 operating system, no longer had legacy application capacities.

Jurisdictions used to prohibit ex post facto laws, and grandfather clauses can be used to prevent a law from having certain retroactive effects. For example, the United Kingdom offence of indecent assault is still convicted in respect of crimes committed before the offence were abolished and replaced with sexual assault by the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

The united states constitution appears on a cursory reading to stipulate that certain presidential candidates must be natural born citizens of the United States. However, there is a certain category of persons eligible for that office, is now exhausted, those who were citizens of the United States during the time of adoption of the constitution. Without implementing that provision, it would be necessary to strain the construe of all actual Presidents born during the colonial era in United States, because there was no existence of United States prior to 4th of July 1776.

Acts which required to register for practicing related to a particular profession incorporated transition or “grandfather sections” allowing those who had already practiced for a specified time, often three or four years, to be registered under the new act, even if they did not have training or qualifications required for new applications for registration. Examples can be provided for Nurses Registration Act 1901 in New Zealand and the Nurse Registration Act 1919 in Britain.

During 1949 certain standards were passed for fire-safety improvements in schools, however, older schools, such as the Our Lady of The Angels School in Illinois did not require to be retrofitted to meet the requirements, that lead to the deadly Our Lady of the Angels School fire, which killed 92 students and 3 teachers.


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