Talk:Bill of attainder

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American usage question[edit]

It's seemed to me that the 'Murrican usage of BofA has been generalized even further, to bills which (whether naming a person or not) are intended to apply specifically to a single individual. Is that in fact the case, or is there some other constitutional prohibition against that that I'm forgetting? --Baylink 22:26, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Is there any basis for claiming that the Terri Schiavo bill has some bill of attainder properties? Preisler 17:17, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Contempt of Parliament[edit]

What is it called when parliament has a trial to convict and punish someone for contempt of parliament, or other such things? Congress can't do this for Contempt of Congress, maybe because of the Bill of Attainder prohibition, also because separation of powers, and being a judge in ones own case (Nemo iudex in causa sua. Is it Trial at bar? This also relates to impeachment.- Matthew238 (talk) 07:22, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Congress can, and has done so. Richard75 (talk) 17:39, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Parliaments can act in a judicial manner, but generally only in matters involving an elected member during a session, or badmouthing the speaker at any time. Contempt and lying are punished by gaging. What they cannot do is punish in the same way that courts can punish, such as incarceration, fines, and forfeiture. (talk) 02:48, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

'gaging' ? This sounds like some form of cruel and unusual punishment banned by International Law. You don't mean "gagging", by any chance, do you? A motion to apply the gag in order to silence any over-loquacious speaker is established committee procedure. (talk) 09:02, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

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Laws pertaining to specific individuals and groups DO still exist[edit]

The article currently claims that bills of attainder fell out of favor partly because of "the precept that a law should address a particular form of behaviour rather than a specific individual or group." But there is an entire class of US federal laws (called "private law") that applies to specific individuals or groups. So does such a precept really exist? (talk) 05:04, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Bill and an Act[edit]

I think this article contains a confusion between a bill of attainder and an act of attainder. It is probably best explained with a famous example. Parliament passed a bill of attainder on Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford in 1641.

At first Parliament tried to have Strafford impeached for treason. Only after that looked likely to fail did John Pym persuade Parliament drew up a bill of attainder. Before the bill became law (an act), it had to be assented to by King Charles I. At first he refused to assent, but after Strafford advised him to do so,[1] under pressure from Parliament and the London mobs Charles did.[2] Strafford was executed, but for the rest of his life Charles felt guilty for assassinating to the bill and and said in his gallows speech just before he was executed in 1649 "That an unjust Sentence [on Strafford] that I suffered for to take effect, is punished now by an unjust Sentence upon me".[3].

If Charles had refused to assent to the bill, then it would not have been law and Strafford could not have been executed lawfully. This is why Charles carried the guilt of his assenting to it to his death. In the UK a monarch never refused to assent to any bill in the 20th century, however the President of the United States fairly often vetoes a bill passed by Congress, which is similar to a British monarch refusing assent as stops a Congressional Bill becoming an Act of Congress even if both houses have passed it. -- PBS (talk) 17:54, 11 November 2017 (UTC)