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Bills of Attainder: I would bet that no more than 1 out of 23 people (yes, I made that up – the 23 is probably low) know what a bill of attainder is, as in “[n]o bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed” from Article 1, Sections 9 & 10, of the U.S. Constitution. Don’t feel bad. It’s never too late to learn. Enter “bill of attainder constitution” into your search engine of choice (I’m recommending Dogpile.com today, but Ask.com is always good too), and read a few of the entries, paying attention to who is writing them (as you always do, don’t you, please – or limit yourself to dot gov sites). Try this one, and this one, and this one, among others. Interesting, isn’t it. Now, if some 15 year old high-school student doing a survey came up to you on the street and asked you what a bill of attainder was, you’d be ready to show them how smart you are. Doesn’t that feel good? (Not as good as if that young person offered you a free coupon for ice cream, but almost.)

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