Fundamental Legal Terms and Structures in American Jurisprudence
Sources of Law
Sources of law in United States include both primary and secondary sources as well as federal and state sources. Primary sources of law refer to legislations that are binding from a dispute in appropriate circumstances (Clark, & Ansay, 2002). On the other hand, secondary sources of law refer to legislations that are not binding but are simply viewpoints of researchers. Primary sources of law in federal and state law include the United States Constitution. The constitution is the supreme law in the land. It establishes and authorizes various government branches (Kiiver, 2010). Further, it creates the obligations and rights of individuals under the government jurisdiction. It also creates the limitations of both federal and state governments in order to protect the rights of citizens guaranteed thereof (Clark, & Ansay, 2002). The constitution, establishes the judicial system, creates the U.S Supreme Court, and empowers the Congress to establish lower federal courts. Besides, it creates the executive headed by the President, who assent to the bills passed by the legislature and executes them (Kiiver, 2010). The Constitution also authorizes the legislative that is made up of the Senate and the House of Representative with the authority to pass law. Additionally, every state has its own State Constitutions. In this respect, a state government may give its citizens greater rights than are guaranteed in the United States Constitution (Clark, & Ansay, 2002). Nonetheless, a State Constitution should not take away or limit rights provided for or protected by the U.S Constitution. Further, primary laws include statutes. Federal statutes are laws enacted by both the Senate and the House of Representative and signed by the President (McManus, Lewis, Sharland, & Moffett, 2004). However, the presidential veto may be superseded if each house votes by two-thirds majority. Secondly, the state statutes includes laws that are passed by state legislations using the state’ constitution.
The state statutes may grant more rights than federal rights or provide more restrictions than federal statutes. Most notably, federal statutes may preempt the state statutes in certain circumstances. Moreover, primary sources of law in United States include the treaties that are signed between the United States and other countries (Clark, & Ansay, 2002). These forms of law have domestic effects. The U.S president is responsible of signing treaties with Senate advice and consent. Further, there are other primary sources of law such as administrative regulations, rules and orders (McManus, Lewis, Sharland, & Moffett, 2004). For instance, the Congress has established several delegated powers to them. It passes the rules and regulations to cover or supplement the details of federal statutes. The Congress may be responsible for enforcing rules, laws and regulations issued (Kiiver, 2010). Therefore, it may be provided with the responsibility of administrative tribunals to arbitrate cases of violations of the regulations and rules. However, the United States Court of Appeal reviews these provisions. Other sources of law include Case Law and Executive proclamations. Case law in the United States includes contract law, Tort Law, Agency Law and Property Law (Clark, & Ansay, 2002). Common law applies the doctrine of Stare Decisis or Precedent, which are based on the decisions of federal or state courts and their binding affects the subsequent cases. Executive proclamations include the president or governors’ orders (Neubauer, & Meinhold, 2013). However, these orders cannot supersede the Congressional actions.
The United States Court System
The court system in United States includes both federal court system and 50 state systems. Both systems have their own procedures and structures. However, all systems of court are multi-tiered. The legal cases follows a given procedures because all cases begin from a lower courts and they find their way up to hig