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Related to amendment: Fifth Amendment, Amendment 2

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 ?
11 The Fifth Amendment Due Process requirement, as written, applied only to the federal government.
One has to question whether the government would have treated these appointments so cavalierly if the Balanced Budget Amendment had been in effect.
The proposed amendments define distinct stages of remediation, recognizing that, depending on the nature of the individual project, the state may want to oversee only certain parts of the cleanup process.
For the rest of us, the Fifth Amendment offers nothing.
During its scrutiny of the proposed amendments, BIBA's Legislative Change Committee, chaired by Anthony Whaley, partner of Conyers Dill and Pearman, and comprised of numerous members from the local international business community, took note of legal developments in Britain, continental Europe, the United States and Canada, and crafted what become know as the 'A List' of enhancements, which incorporated the best features of company law from around the world.
The Seventh Amendment requires jury trials in most civil cases, while the Eighth Amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual punishments," a term that continues to be the subject of intense debate.
despite being majority leader, didn't have sufficient clout to secure an amendment overriding the Supreme Court's decisions placing redistricting of state legislatures in the hands of federal courts.
The Senate has already sidetracked this divisive and unwise amendment," said Barry W.
Hastert and the GOP leadership reacted swiftly to the amendment and insisted it be stripped from the bill.
Thus otherwise gay-friendly lawmakers have tried to find a safe, if awkward, position: bashing Bush's amendment while family opposing equal marriage rights for gays.
The House passed the resolution to make the 14th Amendment part of the Constitution, and the Senate did too, though the latter made revisions, cutting some of Stevens' more extreme planks.
But the idea of "separation of church and state" (a phrase not in the Constitution) and the role of religion in public life are still intensely debated: Conservatives often argue that the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, not freedom from religion; liberals often say that the best way to protect religious freedom is to minimize its role in public life.
TEI submits that the proposed amendment is not sound or administrable for the following reasons:
Los Angeles already submitted its sphere of influence amendment to LAFCO, moving it north to the edge of Santa Clarita's proposed sphere.
DeMar invoked the Second Amendment in an interview with the Tribune, but it was the last time anyone mentioned the right to keep and bear arms in connection with the case.