In this assignment I will examine the nature of law by defining three important parts Branches of Government, Case law, and Administrative Regulations. I will give the direct Definition (direct quotes) from the Textbook, with page number, or another quote from another source — i.e. an online law dictionary. I will then give an explanation in my own words followed by an example (either my own, or one that is in the Text book, or one that is in another source. I will also find a website that supports and further explains my answer and include the link to that website in my answer.
Branches of Government
“Our federal government has three parts. They are the Executive, (President and about 5,000,000 workers) Legislative (Senate and House of Representatives) and Judicial (Supreme Court and lower Courts)” (Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum. (n.d.).
The founding fathers wanted a strong and fair government. They wanted to ensure and protect individual freedoms and prevent the new government from abusing its power. They believed they could accomplish this by separating the government into three branches: the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. These branches and their roles are described in the first three articles of the Constitution.
The Executive Branch is made up of the President and staff. The President is responsible for the administration of the Executive Branch of government. The President is elected by citizens of the United States in a presidential election. The President’s main function is to ensure the laws that Congress passes are enforced.
The Legislative Branch of our government is called Congress; this is made up of the Senate and House of Representatives. Congress is responsible for making our laws and is made up of two parts. The first part is the Senate; the Senate consists of 100 Senators: 2 elected Senators from each state. The second part of the Legislative Branch is the House of Representatives. The House’s main function is to get together to discuss ideas for bills and decide if (bills) should move on to become law.
The Judicial Branch of the government is made up of the Supreme Court and 9 Justices. They are special judges who interpret laws according to the Constitution. These justices only hear cases related to issues of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. The federal judicial system is also made up of lower courts located in each state. They hear cases involving federal issues.
“The leader of the Executive Branch is the President of the United States. The President holds all the power for this branch of the government and the other members report to the President. Other parts of the Executive branch include the Vice President, the Executive Office of the President, and the Cabinet.” “The Legislative Branch is also called the Congress. There are two parts that make up Congress: the House of Representatives and the Senate” (United States Government. (n.d.). http://www.ducksters.com/history/us_legislative_branch.php).
“The Legislative Branch is the part of the government that writes up and votes on laws, also called legislation. Other powers of the Congress include declaring war, confirming Presidential appointments for groups like the Supreme Court and the Cabinet, and investigating power” (United States Government. (n.d.). http://www.ducksters.com/history/us_legislative_branch.php ).
“House of Representatives
There are 435 total Representatives in the House. Each state has a different number of representatives depending on their total population. States with more people get more representatives.
Representatives are elected every two years. They must be 25 years old, have been a US citizen for at least 7 years, and live in the state they represent.
The Speaker of the House is the leader of the House of Representatives. The House elects the member they want to be the leader. The Speaker is third in line in succession to the President.
The Senate has 100 members. Each state has two Senators.
Senators are elected every 6 years. To become a Senator a person must be at least 30 years old, have been a US citizen for at least 9 years, and must live in the state they represent” (United States Government. (n.d.) http://www.ducksters.com/history/us_legislative_branch.php).
“Case Law Reasoning In cases governed by the common law, courts find the appropriate legal rules in prior cases called precedents” (Jane P. Mallor, et al., Business Law: The Ethical, Global, and E-Commerce Environment (16th Ed.), McGraw-Hill (2016), at p. 13).
Case Law is the ruling on a case based off of the precedent set by another case. I chose to use the example out of the text book to explain this: “In Hagan, the Florida Supreme Court scrutinizes various precedents as it attempts to determine whether Florida’s courts should retain, modify, or abolish a common law rule under which a plaintiff in a negligence case could not recover damages for emotional harm unless she also sustained some sort of impact that produced physical injuries—that is, injuries to her body. Ultimately, the court determines that under circumstances of the sort presented in the case, damages for emotional distress should be recoverable even in the absence of a physical injury–producing impact” (Mallor, et al., Business Law (16th Ed.), at p. 13).
“Case Law, often used interchangeably with the term Common Law, refers to the precedents and authority set by previous court rulings, judicial decisions and administrative legal findings or rulings. This is one of the main categories of law with constitutional law, statutory law and regulatory law.
Although statutory laws, created by legislative bodies in concurrence with constitutional law, strive to provide overall direction, guidance and rules for society at large, it is impossible to deal with all situations, legal issues and questions by this manner alone. Our judicial bodies are tasked with interpreting law and in doing so, often set precedent where statutory, regulatory and even constitutional law is vague, unclear or silent. All of these precedents make up case law” (Case Law – Common Law. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2018, from https://www.hg.org/case-law.html).
“Administrative agencies obtain the ability to make law through a delegation (or grant) of power from the legislature. Agencies normally are created by a statute that specifies the areas in which the agency can make law and the scope of its power in each area. Often, these statutory delegations are worded so broadly that the legislature has, in effect, merely pointed to a problem and given the agency wide-ranging powers to deal with it.
The two types of law made by administrative agencies are administrative regulations and agency decisions. As do statutes, administrative regulations appear in a precise form in one authoritative source. They differ from statutes, however, because the body enacting regulations is not an elected body” (Mallor, et al., Business Law (16th Ed.), at p. 8).
Administrative Regulations are laws that govern federal agencies such as the Social Security Agency, Environmental protection agency, OSHA, and the Food and Drug Administration.
An example of administrative Regulations or (law) would be if Johnny’s application for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied. He then goes through the appeals process, and is denied a second time. Johnny has the right to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. He will then be required to appear in an administrative court, where he will present his case and answer the questions that are asked of him by the judge. The administrative law judge will consider Johnny’s appeal and make a decision on whether Johnny should be granted his disability benefits.
“Administrative law is the body of law created by the agencies and departments of the government, which carry out the laws passed by Congress or a state legislature. When Congress passes a law on a complicated issue, Congress often needs help determining all of the details of how the law will be enforced and implemented. Administrative agencies and government departments fill in those gaps for Congress and pass additional rules and regulations to achieve Congress’s goals” (What is Administrative Law? (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2018, from http://hirealawyer.findlaw.com/choosing-the-right-lawyer/administrative-law.html.
I have learned the importance of understanding the branches of government, the type of law that is used to govern them and the reasoning behind it. I also see the importance of a precedent in law by completing this assignment.