Which Type of Law Determines If a Government Action Is Legal

Article III of the Constitution, which establishes judicial power, leaves Congress considerable discretion in determining the form and structure of the federal judiciary. Even the number of Supreme Court justices is left to Congress — sometimes there were only six, whereas the current number (nine, with one chief justice and eight associate justices) has only existed since 1869. The Constitution also gives Congress the power to create courts subordinate to the Supreme Court and, to that end, Congress has established the United States District Courts, which hear most federal cases, and 13 United States Courts of Appeals, which review appellate courts. Federal appeals are decided by panels of three judges. The complainant makes legal arguments to the Panel in a written document called “oral argument”. In the oral argument, the plaintiff tries to convince the judges that the trial court erred and that the lower decision should be overturned. On the other hand, the defendant of the appeal, known as the “appellant” or “defendant”, tries to demonstrate in its argument why the decision of the trial court was correct or why the errors made by the trial court are not significant enough to influence the outcome of the case. Congress is the legislature of the federal government and makes laws for the nation. Congress has two legislative branches or chambers: the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. Anyone elected to one of the two bodies may propose a new law. A bill is a proposal for a new law. If the court grants certiorari, the judges accept the pleadings of the parties to the case, as well as those of the amicus curiae or “friends of the court.” This can include industry trade groups, academics, or even the U.S.

government itself. Before rendering a judgment, the Supreme Court usually hears oral arguments in which the various parties to the application present their arguments and the judges ask them questions. When the case involves the federal government, the U.S. Attorney General makes arguments on behalf of the United States. The judges then hold private lectures, make their decision, and (often after a period of several months) deliver the court`s opinion as well as any dissenting arguments that may have been written. The requirement of government action refers to the requirement that, in order for a plaintiff to bring a lawsuit for violation of the law, he or she must prove that the government (local, state, or federal) was responsible for the violation, not a private actor. The White House publishes the presidential actions of the current president. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) maintains older executive orders. These date from 1937. The broad subject matter of constitutional law concerns the interpretation and application of the Constitution of the United States. Since the Constitution is the foundation of the United States, constitutional law deals with some of the fundamental relationships within our society.

These include relations between states, states, and the federal government, the three branches (executive, legislative, judicial) of the federal government, and the rights of the individual versus the federal and state branches. The area of judicial review is an important issue in constitutional law. The Supreme Court has played a crucial role in interpreting the Constitution. As a result, the study of constitutional law focuses heavily on Supreme Court decisions. The rule of law is a term often used but difficult to define. A commonly heard saying is that the rule of law means governing the law, not men. But what is meant by “a government of law, not men”? Article VI of the United States Constitution provides that “the Constitution and laws of the United States promulgated under this Constitution; and all treaties concluded or to be concluded under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land. This is commonly referred to as a priority clause. In addition, all federal, state, and local officials must take an oath to uphold the Constitution. This means that state governments and officials cannot take action or pass laws that interfere with the Constitution, laws passed by Congress, or treaties. The Constitution was interpreted in 1819 to give the Supreme Court the power to invalidate all acts of the state that interfere with the Constitution and laws and treaties enacted under the Constitution.

This power itself is not explicitly stated in the Constitution, but was declared to exist by the Supreme Court in McCulloch v. Maryland. From the outset, our national and state constitutions and laws have emphasized procedural and substantive safeguards to ensure fair trials before impartial tribunals where all defendants are equal before the law. This noble ideal cannot be realized if the poor man accused of a crime must face his accusers without a lawyer to help him. The rule of law does not depend on an American-style separation of powers. In a parliamentary system, for example, the powers of the executive and legislative branches are combined; Procedures such as no-confidence votes and regular elections are used to control which party controls parliament. The key point is that every form of government must have a system to ensure that no one in government has enough power to act above the law. The simplest answer to these questions is that the rule of law can never be completely separated from the people who make up our government and society. Rather, the rule of law is an ideal to which we aspire, but sometimes we do not realize.

The Thirteenth Amendment made slavery illegal. See U.S. Const. amend. XIII. The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from restricting the “rights and immunities” of a citizen without due process. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

The Supreme Court has interpreted the “due process” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as providing citizens with protection from state interference with almost all of the rights enumerated in the first eight amendments. This process of extending the Bill of Rights to States is called the doctrine of incorporation. The Fourteenth Amendment also guarantees equal protection of laws. See Equal Protection. The right to vote is protected by the Fifteenth Amendment (“The right to vote may not be denied. on the basis of breed. “), the Nineteenth Amendment (guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of sex) and the Twenty-fourth Amendment (extending the right to vote to persons aged 18). See U.S. Const. Amendments XV, XIX and XXIV. A litigant who loses in a federal appeals court or in a state`s highest court can file a petition for a “writ of certiorari,” which is a document that asks the Supreme Court to reconsider the case. However, the Supreme Court is not required to grant review. The court usually only approves a case if it is a new and important legal principle or if two or more federal courts of appeal have interpreted a law differently.

(There are also special circumstances in which the Supreme Court is required by law to hear an appeal.) When a case is brought before the Supreme Court, the parties must file written pleadings and the court may hear oral proceedings. The Supreme Court`s opinion in Gideon v. Wainwright guaranteed the right to counsel for impoverished defendants who could not afford to be represented by a lawyer. The Gideon decision was based on the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees defendants “the assistance of defense counsel.” The Gideon case dealt with the question of whether this guarantee of assistance required the State to provide legal advice if a defendant did not have the means to exercise his constitutional right. This requirement for State action extends to a number of actions. In the Edmonson case, the Supreme Court wrote that “discrimination, while harmful in all contexts, violates the Constitution only if it can be attributed to government action.” “This conclusion in no way implies a superiority of the judiciary over the legislative power. It only assumed that the power of the people was superior to both; and that if the will of the legislature, declared in its statutes, is contrary to the will of the people proclaimed in the Constitution, judges should be governed by the Constitution and not by the former.