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Sources of American Law. U.S. Government Chapter 15 Section 1. We have laws because \_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_ 1. 2. 3. Because we have laws \_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_\_ 1. 2. 3. Warm Up. Law Constitutional Law Statute Ordinance Statutory Law Administrative Law Common Law Equity

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sources of american law

Sources of American Law

U.S. Government

Chapter 15 Section 1

warm up
We have laws because _________________




  • Because we have laws _________________




Warm Up
key terms select 3
  • Constitutional Law
  • Statute
  • Ordinance
  • Statutory Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Common Law
  • Equity
  • Due Process
  • Substantive Due Process
  • Procedural Due Process
  • Adversary System
  • Presumed Innocence
Key Terms: Select 3
read page 423 424 427
Sources of American Law page 423

Constitutional Law page 424

Legal Principles page 427

Read: Page 423 /424/427
constitutional law
States have their own constitutions- they set forth rights not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.
    • State Courts decide cases involving state constitutions
    • If state constitutions violate the U.S. Constitution, the rulings can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Constitutional Law- the branch of law dealing with the formation, construction, and interpretations of constitutions.
    • Constitutional law cases decide the limits of government’s power and rights of the individual
    • Constitutional law cases may deal with civil law or criminal law.
Constitutional Law
statutory law
A Statute is a law written by a legislative branch of government.
    • Statutes passed by city councils are ordinances
  • Statutes may limit citizen’s behavior:
    • Speed limits, food inspecting rules, minimum age to work etc.
  • Statutory Law (“Roman Law”) is based on an approach to making laws derived from ancient Romans.
    • Justinian Code- simplified all the laws into a final Roman Legal Code.
  • Many decisions of Federal Courts deal with statutory law
Statutory Law
administrative law
Administrative law spells out the authority and procedures to be followed by administrative agencies.
    • Administrative agencies run government programs and provide services.
    • Ex: Social Security Administration
  • Administrative law cases deal with problems of fairness and due process
    • Most administrative agencies regulate people’s behavior or provide/deny government benefits.
Administrative Law
common law
Common law is law made by judges in the process of resolving individual cases.
    • Most important basis of the American legal system
    • Decisions are recorded so if there is a similar case, the judges follow the earlier ruling “precedent”
    • In unique cases, judges make their own rulings based on common sense and prevailing customs.
  • Common law in America comes from English common law
Common Law
Equity is a system of rules by which disputes are resolved on the grounds of fairness.
    • Rival to common law
    • Equity court could require an action beyond payment of money or stop a wrong before it occurred.
  • In nineteenth century America equity and common law merged
  • Today a single court can administer both systems
legal system principles
Equal Justice Under the Law: the goal of the American court system to treat all persons alike.
  • Due Process of Law:
    • Substantive due process: shorthand for certain rights given, some that are specified in the Constitution and some that are not specified
    • Procedural due process: the way a law is administered, prohibits arbitrary enforcement of the law.
      • notice to a person that he/she has done something wrong.
      • giving the affected person the right to respond or be heard concerning the accusation of wrongdoing.
Legal System Principles
legal system principles1
3. The Adversary System: the courtroom is like an arena in which lawyers for the opposing sides try to present their strongest cases.
  • Lawyer for each side is generally expected to do all that is legally permissible to advance the cause of their client.

4. Presumption of Innocence: notion that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty

  • Not mentioned in the Constitution but is in our legal heritage
  • Prosecution has burden of proof: unless the prosecution succeeds in proving the accusation, the court must declare the defendant not guilty.
Legal System Principles
homework sec 1 page 428 monday night finish reading section answer 1 and 4


Page 426 “The Law And You”

Write/Explain a brief situation (Criminal or Civil) for which you might need a lawyer?

List 5 questions you would ask your attorney regarding your legal problem.

Page 429 Supreme “Court Cases to Debate”




And answer “You Be The Judge”

Homework Sec. 1 page 428 Monday night finish reading section answer # 1 and 4