amendment


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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. Someone or something that needs help. The company started as a lame duck that was saved by an innovative entrepreneur who decided to take some risks and go in a new direction.
2. An elected official serving their last term in office, usually so-called after a successor has been elected. The opposing party was angry at the president's intention to name a Supreme Court replacement while he was a lame duck.
See also: duck, lame

take the fifth (amendment)

1. To refuse to testify against oneself in court, in accordance with the right guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights. The defendant took the fifth after every question the prosecution put to him. There is speculation that he will take the fifth amendment if he is asked about his actions under oath.
2. By extension, to refuse to answer a question or provide information, especially if doing so may incriminate or embarrass oneself. Just take the fifth if your mom asks where you've been all night! A: "So, I hear things got pretty messy at the party last night." B: "Yeah, I'm going to have to take the fifth amendment on that one!"
See also: fifth, take

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

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

lame duck

a person or thing that is powerless or in need of help. informal
In the mid 18th century, lame duck was used in a stock-market context, with reference to a person or company that could not fulfil their financial obligations. Later, from the mid 19th century, it was used specifically with reference to US politicians in the final period of office, after the election of their successor.
1998 Spectator At some point in his second and final term, every president becomes a lame duck: as the man himself matters less, so does the office.
See also: duck, lame

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
References in periodicals archive ?
The Third Amendment, which bars the government, from housing soldiers in private homes, was of great significance at the time: Before and during the Revolutionary War, the British had forced Americans to house their soldiers.
A wide array of religious organizations oppose the amendment.
Schiff did not accept an early defeat regarding the fate of his amendment, but noted: ``We're in this fight for the long haul.
The amendments bills should have been brought keeping the interests of the tribal people in mind.
And the acts required approval of the new "military district" constitutions by Congress, passage of the lingering 14th Amendment by the new Southern "governments," and cooperation by the Southern people in all these processes.
In the process, the Supreme Court established that the First Amendment prohibits government censorship of the press in almost every situation.
Our attorneys looked at the court ruling, and the action that the council is being asked to take for moving forward with the sphere amendment is significantly different action than was litigated,'' Murphy said.
With most circuits seeing the Second Amendment as no obstacle to gun control, advocates of gun rights have turned to other constitutional provisions.
If Bush were to spend his political capital fighting for partial privatization of Social Security and expend none of his influence on pushing the marriage amendment, the Arlington Group maintained that outrage would be fostered in the "countless voters who stood with [Bush] just a few weeks ago, including an unprecedented number of African-Americans, Latinos and Catholics who broke with tradition and supported the president solely because of the issue.
His Republican counterpart, majority leader Frist, has come out strongly in favor of the amendment and is campaigning for Thune.
A First Amendment speech case was decided, as well as a Title VII case involving the required proof in a mixed-motive sexual discrimination case.
Blaine, who, while Speaker of the House in 1875, introduced a constitutional amendment that would have explicitly prohibited any state from providing money to schools "under the control of any religious sect" Introduced at a time of widespread Protestant hostility toward the Catholic Church, the amendment's thinly veiled purpose was to bar public money from supporting Catholic schools.
A prisoner brought an action against a prison alleging deliberate indifference to his exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
97-41, 98-14, 99-23, 2000-20 and 2000-27 extended the "remedial amendment period" for the GUST amendments for nongovernmental plans until the last day of the first plan year beginning after 2000.