I've recently requested this question – Is the Memorandum of Understanding between California and China legal to be migrated to Law.SE.

This's asking for the legality of the MoU signed which is better suited for Law.SE.

However, it was subsequently declined and the comment given is:

What political actions a state government can or can not do is on-topic on politics.se

After rereading "What topics can I ask about here?" in the help centre, it seems like it's part of "Matters of Policy".

Matters of Policy:

Central to the idea of this site are the nuts and bolts of policies introduced by governments, presumably for the welfare of their citizens. As such, asking about the tangible benefits and costs of legislation is on topic

However, the question explicitly asked if it's legal under the US law and isn't regarding the policy introduced by the government.

The question is currently closed as it "does not appear to be about governments, policies and political processes within the scope defined in the help center."

There's a question on Meta, Where/how do we draw the line between legal and political questions?, regarding where to draw the line between politics and law questions. I personally thought that Philipp's answer is good and clear and it states:

So when you want to know "according to law X, is it illegal to do Y?", your question should be posted on law.SE. When you want to know "What were the arguments to enact law X, who backed it and who opposed it?" your question belongs to politics.SE.

So, is this question on-topic on this site or is it fine for both Politics.SE and Law.SE?

1 Answer 1


I don't understand why this question got closed either. What kind of agreements a federal state government can or can not enter is definitely more on-topic here than on Law.SE.

I would reopen it, but I am hesitant to reopen a question after it got closed by community consensus.

  • 4
    I am in favor of reopening it to, although I suspect that I'm a bit of a maverick in my opinion that it is possible for a question to be on-topic on more than one SE at once. Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 17:00
  • 2
    This question got closed because the original version was pretty rant-ish in nature. However, the OP then came back and cleaned up the question to make it on-topic, so I voted to re-open. I don't understand only two people have voted voted to re-open thus far, as it's a good question IMHO. (Part of the problem is the way the system works).
    – user11249
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 18:22
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    "Community consensus" just means "five users". If a different five vote to reopen, then that just tells you there's disagreement. A question could bounce back and forth, but there's other ways to deal with that when it happens.
    – Bobson
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 0:43
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    @SamIam Each site should determine what is on or off topic for itself in a vacuum. Something being on or off topic on any or all of the other SE sites should have no bearing on it being on topic on any other. That's a feature, not a bug.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 7:12

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