amendment

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Related to Amendments: Bill of Rights

plead the Fifth (Amendment)

1. To refuse to testify against oneself in court, in accordance with the rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The alleged kingpin of the east coast drug cartel simply pled the Fifth after every question the prosecution put to him.
2. By extension, to refuse to answer a question or provide information, especially if doing so may incriminate or embarrass oneself. Just plead the Fifth if your mom asks where you've been all night! A: "So, I hear things got pretty messy at the bar last night." B: "Yeah, I'm going to have to plead the Fifth Amendment on that one!
See also: fifth, plead

lame duck

 
1. Fig. someone who is in the last period of a term in an elective office and cannot run for reelection. You can't expect much from a lame duck. As a lame duck, there's not a lot I can do.
2. Fig. having to do with someone in the last period of a term in an elective office. (Used as an adjective; sometimes lame-duck.) You don't expect much from a lame-duck president. Lame-duck Congresses tend to do things they wouldn't dare do otherwise.
See also: duck, lame

take the fifth (amendment)

also plead the fifth (amendment)
to avoid answering a question, esp. that could cause embarrassment I plead the fifth - I don't know where your girlfriend went!
Etymology: based on the Fifth Amendment of the US Bill of Rights which says you do not have to answer questions about yourself in a court if your answers could show you are involved in a criminal activity
See also: fifth, take

lame duck

An elected officeholder whose term of office has not yet expired but who has failed to be re-elected and therefore cannot garner much political support for initiatives. For example, You can't expect a lame duck President to get much accomplished; he's only got a month left in office . This expression originated in the 1700s and then meant a stockbroker who did not meet his debts. It was transferred to officeholders in the 1860s. The Lame Duck Amendment, 20th to the U.S. Constitution, calls for Congress and each new President to take office in January instead of March (as before), thereby eliminating the lame-duck session of Congress.
See also: duck, lame

take the Fifth

Refuse to answer on the grounds that one may incriminate oneself, as in He took the Fifth on so many of the prosecutor's questions that we're sure he's guilty. This idiom refers to the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself or herself. [Mid-1900s]
See also: fifth, take

lame duck

1. n. someone who is in the last period of a term in an elective office. You can’t expect much from a lame duck.
2. mod. having to do with someone in the last period of a term in an elective office. You don’t expect much from a lame duck president.
See also: duck, lame

take the fifth

1. and five it tv. to refuse to testify to a U.S. legislative committee under the protection of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The lawyer just sat there and said, “Five it” after every question.
2. tv. to decline to answer any questions. I’ll take the fifth on that one. Ask Fred.
See also: fifth, take
References in periodicals archive ?
Congressman and New York Times publisher Henry Raymond accused Stevens of designing the amendment so that Southern states could not adopt it.
Recalling the recently concluded Revolutionary War, Madison said the amendments were meant "to extinguish from the bosom of every member of the community any apprehension that there are those among his countrymen who wish to deprive them of the liberty for which they valiantly fought and honorably bled.
As a result of Dickerson, even unintentional violations of Miranda could generate suits alleging violations of the Fifth Amendment Self-Incrimination Clause.
For a new plan, the remedial amendment period would begin on the date the plan is put into effect if it has a disqualifying provision (or in the absence of a provision).
The Federal Reserve Board announced on August 9, 2005, amendments to appendix A of Regulation CC (Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks) that reflect the restructuring of the Federal Reserve's check-processing operations in the Twelfth District.
The lawyers who filed the suits tried a variety of arguments, citing privacy, the Second Amendment, and a similar provision in the Illinois Constitution's Bill of Rights ("Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed").
Indeed, during the interview aboard Air Force One, Bush said "nothing will happen" anytime soon on the amendment for lack of support in the Senate.
Now the Bush administration wants to change the positive inclusive direction of our Constitution by calling for an amendment that authorizes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
That says that 47 Republicans don't trust this president when Halliburton is in the room,'' said Sherman, who sponsored the amendment.
Moss amendments to Social Security Act set new operational standards for nursing homes accepting Medicaid.
The 1998 Amendments changed the name of the plan from the Individualized Written Rehabilitation Program to the IPE in order to emphasize the employment focus of the VR program.
It puts us on a constant vigil and alert, because time and time again, these amendments are going to be raised on the floor of the House.
For example, the amendments to paragraph 12(1)(x) of the Income Tax Act to which you refer provide, in general, that a refund of an amount that was previously deducted must be included in computing income unless it is applied to reduce the related expenditure for tax purposes.
The latest amendments to the federal rehabilitation services program became law on August 11, 1993.