The legal framework in the United States is a complex system that impacts the lives of individuals and shapes the relationship between the government and the population. It is important to understand the basic concepts and principles that comprise the American legal system in order to navigate and interact with it effectively.
- The United States has a complex legal framework based on common law principles.
- Understanding the legal system is important for effective navigation and interaction.
- The principle of stare decisis ensures the impact of precedent in shaping the law.
- The court hierarchy in the United States consists of federal and state-level courts.
- Jurisdiction determines which court’s decisions will be binding.
Impact of Precedent—The Principle of Stare Decisis
The American legal system operates under the principle of stare decisis, which has a significant impact on the development and application of law. Stare decisis, a Latin term meaning “to stand by things decided,” requires courts to follow the legal decisions and precedents set by higher-level courts within the same jurisdiction. This principle ensures a certain level of predictability and consistency in legal decisions, as lower courts are bound to follow the interpretations and rulings made by higher courts.
Precedent plays a crucial role in shaping the body of common law in the United States. Common law refers to the body of law developed through court decisions rather than through legislation. When confronted with a new legal issue, judges often look to existing precedent to guide their decision-making process. By examining decisions made in similar cases, judges can establish a consistent line of legal reasoning and ensure that similar situations are treated in a similar manner.
“The importance of precedent in the American legal system cannot be overstated. It provides stability and consistency, allowing individuals and businesses to have a certain level of confidence in the law. It also promotes fairness and equal treatment under the law, as similar cases are decided in a consistent manner.”
However, it is essential to note that the principle of stare decisis is not absolute. Courts have the power to overrule or distinguish previous decisions if they find them to be erroneous or no longer applicable. This flexibility allows for the evolution of the law as societal norms and values shift over time. Nonetheless, courts generally approach the decision to depart from precedent cautiously, as the value of consistency and predictability in the legal system is highly regarded.
Understanding the impact of precedent and the principle of stare decisis is crucial for legal practitioners, scholars, and individuals navigating the American legal system. It provides insight into how courts interpret and apply the law, and it highlights the importance of legal precedents in shaping the development of the common law.
In the United States, the court system is organized in a hierarchical structure with three tiers at the federal level. Understanding the court hierarchy is crucial for navigating the legal system effectively. Let’s take a closer look at the different levels of the federal court system.
United States District Courts
The United States District Courts are the trial-level courts in the federal system. These courts have original jurisdiction over most federal cases, including civil and criminal matters. There are 94 district courts across the country, each serving a specific geographic area. These courts are the starting point for most federal cases, where evidence is presented, witnesses are called, and legal arguments are made.
United States Court of Appeals
The United States Court of Appeals is the first level of appeals in the federal system. There are 13 circuits, each covering a specific geographic area. These courts review the decisions made by the district courts within their circuit and determine if any errors were made. The Court of Appeals does not hold trials or hear witness testimony but reviews legal arguments and the record from the lower court. If a party is dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeals, they can petition to have their case heard by the United States Supreme Court.
United States Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and the final arbiter of the law. It has the power to review decisions made by lower courts and interpret the Constitution. The Supreme Court consists of nine justices who are appointed for life by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Court’s decisions are binding on all lower courts and have a significant impact on the interpretation and development of the law. The Supreme Court is selective in the cases it chooses to hear and typically takes on matters of national importance, constitutional significance, or conflicts between the circuits.
Understanding the court hierarchy is essential because decisions made by higher-level courts within the same jurisdiction have a binding effect on lower-level courts. This ensures consistency and uniformity in the application of the law. It is also important to note that each state has its own court system, which operates independently from the federal courts. The state court system may have its own hierarchy, consisting of trial courts, intermediate appellate courts, and a state supreme court.
In summary, the court hierarchy in the United States has three tiers at the federal level: the United States District Courts, the United States Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Each level of the federal court system serves a specific purpose and plays a crucial role in the administration of justice. Understanding the structure and function of the court hierarchy is essential for individuals navigating the legal system and seeking justice.
Jurisdiction in the American Legal System
Jurisdiction is a fundamental concept in the American legal system and refers to the formal power of a court to exercise judicial authority over a particular matter. Understanding jurisdiction is crucial as it determines which court’s decisions will be binding precedents in a specific case.
In the United States, the federal court system is divided into different jurisdictions. Each circuit has its own court of appeals, which hears cases from the district courts within its jurisdiction. Additionally, each state has its own jurisdiction, with its own trial and appellate courts. When a case arises, the jurisdiction in which it falls will determine which court will have the authority to hear the case.
A useful way to understand jurisdiction is to compare it to a geographical boundary. Just as different territories have their own set of laws and regulations, different jurisdictions have their own courts and legal systems. Each court has the power to handle cases within its jurisdiction and make decisions that are binding within that specific area.
|Federal||United States District Courts|
United States Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court
|State||State Trial Courts|
State Appellate Courts
State Supreme Courts
Having a clear understanding of jurisdiction is essential for anyone navigating the American legal system. It determines which court has the authority to hear a case and whose decisions will serve as binding precedents. Whether dealing with federal or state matters, knowing the appropriate jurisdiction can help individuals and legal professionals effectively navigate the complex legal landscape of the United States.
Mandatory / Binding versus Persuasive Authority
In the American legal system, it is important to distinguish between mandatory or binding authority and persuasive authority. Understanding the difference between these two types of authority is crucial for lawyers, judges, and legal scholars, as it affects how precedent is applied in court cases.
Mandatory authority refers to legal sources that courts are required to follow. These may include statutes, constitutional provisions, and decisions from higher-level courts within the same jurisdiction. When a court encounters a mandatory authority, it is bound by that authority and must apply it to the case at hand.
Persuasive authority, on the other hand, includes legal sources that courts may consider but are not strictly obligated to follow. This may include decisions from lower-level courts, courts from other jurisdictions, or legal treatises. While persuasive authority can influence a court’s decision-making process, it is not binding, and the court has the discretion to accept or reject it.
|Mandatory Authority||Persuasive Authority|
|Statutes||Decisions from lower-level courts|
|Constitutional provisions||Decisions from courts in other jurisdictions|
|Higher-level court decisions||Legal treatises|
The distinction between mandatory and persuasive authority allows courts to establish a hierarchy of legal sources and apply precedent consistently. It also provides flexibility for courts to adapt to changing circumstances and legal developments. Judges have the responsibility to carefully analyze both mandatory and persuasive authority when making decisions, ensuring that they uphold the integrity of the legal system.
In conclusion, understanding the nature and effect of mandatory and persuasive authority is essential for navigating the American legal system. By differentiating between these two types of authority, legal professionals can effectively interpret and apply precedent in their arguments and rulings.
Primary versus Secondary Authority
When navigating the American legal system, it is crucial to distinguish between primary and secondary authority. Primary authority consists of statutes, constitutional provisions, and binding court decisions, which hold the highest level of legal weight and are considered sources of law. On the other hand, secondary authority, such as treatises or law review articles, does not have the same legal force but can serve as valuable resources and case finding tools.
Primary authority forms the foundation of the legal system and includes legislation enacted by Congress, as well as federal and state court decisions that have a binding effect on lower courts within the same jurisdiction. These sources of law are considered mandatory and must be followed by the courts. For example, the United States Constitution is the highest form of primary authority and serves as the supreme law of the land, guiding the interpretation and application of other laws.
Secondary authority, although not binding, can provide valuable insights, analysis, and commentary on legal issues. Treatises, written by legal experts, offer comprehensive summaries and interpretations of the law, while law review articles provide in-depth analysis and academic discussion. These sources can be useful for gaining a deeper understanding of legal principles and for finding relevant cases and authorities that may support a particular argument.
Dual Court Systems
In the United States, the legal system operates on a unique dual court system, which is a key aspect of the country’s federalist structure. This system consists of both federal and state courts, each with its own jurisdiction and responsibilities. While the federal courts handle cases concerning federal law and issues that involve multiple states, the state courts handle matters pertaining to state laws and local issues.
The dual court system reflects the principles of federalism, allowing for a division of powers between the national government and the individual states. It ensures that legal disputes can be addressed at both levels, effectively serving the needs of a diverse and decentralized nation.
Within the dual court system, the federal courts have authority over cases involving federal laws, constitutional matters, and disputes between individuals or entities from different states. On the other hand, the state courts have jurisdiction over cases involving state laws, including criminal offenses, civil disputes, and family matters. Most states have a similar structure to the federal court system, consisting of trial courts, intermediate appellate courts, and a state supreme court.
Differences Between Federal and State Courts
While both federal and state courts have the power to interpret and apply the law, there are certain differences between the two systems. The federal courts are established by the United States Constitution and Congress, and their decisions can have a broader impact across the country. On the other hand, state courts derive their authority from state constitutions and laws, and their decisions primarily affect the residents of that particular state.
Another difference lies in the types of cases each court system handles. Federal courts typically deal with cases involving federal crimes, bankruptcy, constitutional issues, and disputes between states or international parties. State courts, on the other hand, handle a wide range of cases, including criminal offenses, civil disputes, family law matters, probate, and traffic violations.
It’s important to note that while the dual court system provides separate jurisdictions for federal and state matters, there are instances where cases can be heard in both federal and state courts, known as concurrent jurisdiction. This occurs when a case involves both federal laws and state laws or when the parties involved have the option to choose between federal or state courts.
|Key Characteristics||Federal Courts||State Courts|
|Authority||Established by the United States Constitution and Congress||Established by state constitutions and laws|
|Jurisdiction||Handles cases involving federal laws, constitutional issues, disputes between states or international parties||Handles cases involving state laws, criminal offenses, civil disputes, family matters, probate, and traffic violations|
|Impact||Decisions can have a broader impact across the country||Decisions primarily affect the residents of the particular state|
The dual court system in the United States is an integral part of the country’s legal framework. It allows for the effective administration of justice at both the federal and state levels, ensuring that the laws of the land are upheld and disputes are resolved in a fair and impartial manner.
Interrelationship Among Various Sources of Law
Understanding the interrelationship among various sources of law is key to comprehending the complexities of the American legal system. With both state and federal systems at play, it is crucial to recognize how these sources interact and influence each other.
The interrelationship between state and federal systems is defined by a set of rules that determine the relative priority among different sources of law. These rules outline how federal laws and constitutional provisions override conflicting state laws, while also clarifying when state laws can supplement federal laws in areas where the federal government has not legislated.
The supremacy clause in the United States Constitution establishes that the Constitution, federal laws, and treaties take precedence over state laws and constitutions. This means that in cases where there is a conflict, federal law will prevail. However, it is important to note that state laws can still operate in areas not covered by federal laws as long as they do not directly conflict with them.
|Source of Law||Binding Authority||Persuasive Authority|
|Federal statutes||Binding on both federal and state courts||Persuasive authority in state courts|
|State statutes||Binding within the state||Persuasive authority in other state courts|
|Constitutional provisions||Binding on both federal and state courts||Persuasive authority in other state courts|
|Binding court decisions||Binding on lower courts within the same jurisdiction||Persuasive authority in other jurisdictions|
Furthermore, the interrelationship among sources of law is not limited to the state and federal systems. It also involves the hierarchy and relationship between different types of law within each system. For example, constitutional provisions are given the highest level of authority in both state and federal systems, followed by statutes and binding court decisions. Secondary authorities, such as treatises or law review articles, while not binding, can be used for reference and to provide additional insight.
The Role of Precedent
Precedent, derived from the principle of stare decisis, also plays a significant role in the interrelationship among sources of law. When a court makes a decision in a case, that decision becomes a precedent that subsequent courts must follow. This principle ensures consistency and predictability in the application of the law.
The hierarchy of precedent further shapes the interrelationship among sources of law. In general, higher-level courts within the same jurisdiction create binding precedent for lower-level courts. However, decisions from other jurisdictions or from higher-level courts in different jurisdictions may have persuasive authority, influencing the interpretation of the law.
Understanding the interplay between state and federal systems, as well as the hierarchy of sources of law and the role of precedent, is crucial in navigating and comprehending the American legal system. By recognizing the interrelationship among these various sources, individuals can effectively interpret and apply the law in a wide range of legal matters.
What Is Common Law?
Common law in the United States refers to the body of law that has been developed through court decisions, also known as case law. Unlike civil law systems, which are based on codified statutes, common law relies heavily on judicial precedent and the interpretation of previous court decisions. It is often described as judge-made law, as judges play a significant role in shaping and evolving the law through their decisions.
Common law operates within a framework of principles and doctrines that have been established over time. These principles are derived from the reasoning and analysis found in previous court rulings. When confronted with a legal question or dispute, judges will look to existing case law and apply the relevant principles to reach a decision.
One of the advantages of common law is its flexibility and adaptability. It allows the law to evolve and respond to changing circumstances and societal needs. As new cases are decided and new legal issues arise, judges have the ability to interpret the law and establish new precedents, thereby influencing the development of common law.
In summary, common law in the United States is a dynamic system of judge-made law that relies on the interpretation and application of previous court decisions. It provides flexibility and adaptability, allowing the law to evolve over time.
Key Features of Common Law:
- Derived from court decisions and judicial precedents
- Interpretation and application of existing case law
- Flexibility and adaptability to evolving legal issues
- Judicial role in shaping and evolving the law
The American Judicial System: A System Based on Advocacy and the Presence of Actual Controversy
The American legal system is built on the principle of advocacy and the requirement of actual controversy. It is designed to ensure that legal disputes are resolved through the active participation of parties who have a genuine interest in the outcome. This adversarial system promotes the fair and thorough examination of evidence, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand.
Unlike some legal systems that permit judges to issue opinions on hypothetical or advisory matters, federal courts in the United States are specifically prohibited from doing so. This restriction ensures that courts only decide cases that involve real controversies, where the parties have a tangible stake in the outcome. By focusing on actual controversies, the American judicial system aims to deliver decisions that have a practical impact on the parties involved.
“The American legal system is built on the principle of advocacy and the requirement of actual controversy.”
In the American judicial system, the presence of actual controversy serves as a safeguard against the misuse of judicial power. By avoiding hypothetical or advisory opinions, courts maintain their role as neutral arbiters of disputes, rather than becoming involved in speculative legal questions. This approach reflects a commitment to the rule of law and ensures that courts do not exceed their jurisdiction or encroach upon the responsibilities of other branches of government.
Overall, the American judicial system is characterized by the active participation of parties, the requirement of actual controversy, and a commitment to resolving disputes based on concrete evidence and legal arguments. By adhering to these principles, the system promotes fairness, transparency, and the effective administration of justice.
Table: Key Features of the American Judicial System
|Advocacy||The legal system is based on the active participation and representation of parties involved in a dispute.|
|Presence of Actual Controversy||Courts only decide cases that involve real disputes with tangible stakes for the parties.|
|Prohibition of Advisory Opinions||Federal courts are not allowed to issue opinions on hypothetical or advisory matters.|
|Judicial Neutrality||Courts aim to maintain impartiality and avoid exceeding their jurisdiction or encroaching on the responsibilities of other branches of government.|
|Commitment to the Rule of Law||The system upholds the principles of fairness, transparency, and the effective administration of justice.|
Threshold Issues Designed to Preclude Advisory Opinions
When it comes to the federal court jurisdiction in the United States, certain threshold requirements must be met in order for a case to be heard. These requirements are in place to prevent the courts from issuing advisory opinions and to ensure that they only decide cases that involve actual controversies. Let’s take a closer look at some of these threshold issues:
- Standing: In order to bring a case before a federal court, the plaintiff must have standing, which means they must have a personal stake in the outcome of the case.
- Finality: A case must be brought to the court after all other avenues of resolution have been exhausted, ensuring that the court’s decision will have a practical effect.
- Exhaustion: If there are administrative remedies available, the plaintiff must have exhausted those remedies before bringing the case to federal court.
- Ripeness: A case must present a live controversy that is ready for judicial review, rather than a hypothetical or speculative issue.
- Mootness: A case becomes moot if there is no longer a live controversy, usually because the issue has already been resolved.
- Absence of Political Questions: Federal courts are generally not the appropriate venue for resolving political questions, as they are better suited to be addressed by the political branches of government.
By imposing these threshold requirements, the federal court system ensures that it only deals with cases that have a direct impact on the parties involved and that can result in a concrete resolution. This helps to maintain the integrity of the court system and avoid situations where the court is called upon to issue advisory opinions that do not carry legal weight.
Keeping a clear distinction between advisory opinions and cases with actual controversies is essential for upholding the principles of the American legal system and ensuring that the court’s decisions have a practical impact on individuals and society as a whole.
Table: Threshold Issues Designed to Preclude Advisory Opinions
|Standing||The plaintiff must have a personal stake in the outcome of the case.|
|Finality||The case must be brought after all other avenues of resolution have been exhausted.|
|Exhaustion||Administrative remedies must be exhausted before bringing the case to federal court.|
|Ripeness||The case must present a live controversy that is ready for judicial review.|
|Mootness||The case becomes moot if the issue has already been resolved.|
|Absence of Political Questions||Federal courts are not the appropriate venue for resolving political questions.|
Courts Generally Confine Themselves to the Dispute Presented for Resolution
When it comes to dispute resolution, courts in the United States have a clear mandate to confine themselves to the specific issues that are presented in the case before them. This principle, known as dictum, ensures that court decisions are directly relevant to the dispute at hand and avoids unnecessary commentary or speculation. Dictum refers to those portions of a court opinion that are not necessary to resolve the specific issues and, as a result, have limited precedential value.
By adhering to the principle of confining themselves to the dispute, courts provide clarity and maintain the integrity of the legal system. It allows parties to focus on the specific legal questions at hand and ensures that court decisions are based solely on the facts and legal arguments presented. This approach promotes efficiency, as it avoids unnecessary digressions and keeps the proceedings focused on resolving the dispute in a fair and timely manner.
While dictum may be mentioned in court opinions, it does not carry the same weight as the holding, which is the legal interpretation and decision on the issues directly relevant to the dispute. Dictum is often used to provide additional commentary, analysis, or hypothetical scenarios but does not establish binding precedent. As such, lawyers and judges closely examine the holding of a case to determine the legal rule that will guide future decisions, rather than relying on dictum.
Confining Decisions to the Dispute: Why It Matters
“Courts are expected to limit their decisions to the specific issues presented, as this ensures that the resolution of the dispute is fair, concise, and legally sound.”
Confined decisions not only uphold the principles of fairness and justice but also contribute to the stability and predictability of the legal system. By focusing on the specific dispute rather than addressing ancillary issues, courts provide clarity in their rulings and minimize the potential for confusion or conflicting precedents.
In conclusion, the principle of confining court decisions to the dispute at hand, known as dictum, ensures that legal rulings are directly relevant to the specific issues being litigated. This approach promotes efficiency, clarity, and predictability in the legal system, allowing parties to resolve their disputes in a fair and timely manner. Lawyers and judges carefully distinguish between dictum and the holding of a case to determine the applicable legal rule. By adhering to this principle, courts uphold the integrity of the legal process and provide parties with clear guidance for future legal actions.
Tendency to Avoid Constitutional Issues When Possible
Federal courts in the United States have a tendency to avoid deciding constitutional issues if they can resolve a case on other grounds, such as procedural or statutory interpretation. This approach reflects the courts’ preference for not reaching constitutional questions unless it is necessary to do so. By focusing on narrower grounds of decision, the courts aim to maintain judicial restraint and avoid unnecessarily broader pronouncements on constitutional issues.
The avoidance of constitutional issues can be seen as a way for the courts to exercise judicial modesty and defer to the other branches of government. It allows the courts to limit their role to interpreting and applying the law rather than intruding into the policy-making domain of the legislative and executive branches. This approach also promotes stability in the legal system by preventing frequent changes in constitutional interpretation and preserving the authority of other branches to address complex social and political issues.
When a case can be decided on procedural or statutory grounds, it provides a more efficient and practical resolution without the need to address complex constitutional questions. This approach aligns with the principle of judicial economy, as it allows the courts to focus their resources and attention on cases where constitutional issues are unavoidable or central to the dispute at hand. By avoiding unnecessary constitutional determinations, the courts can uphold the rule of law while maintaining a balanced system of checks and balances among the branches of government.
Institutional Roles in the American Legal System
The American legal system involves different institutional roles that work together to ensure the effective functioning of the legal system. These roles include attorneys, the executive branch, the judiciary, and the legislative branch. Each plays a distinct role in shaping and enforcing the law.
Attorneys are integral to the legal system, providing legal advice to clients, negotiating settlements, and representing parties in court. They play a crucial role in advocating for their clients’ interests and ensuring that justice is served.
The executive branch, headed by the President at the federal level, has the power to approve legislation, appoint federal judges, and enforce laws. This branch plays a vital role in the enforcement of legal decisions and the administration of justice.
The judiciary, consisting of federal and state courts, interprets and applies the law. Judges play a crucial role in making legal decisions, resolving disputes, and ensuring the fair and impartial administration of justice.
The legislative branch, represented by Congress at the federal level, has the power to make laws. This branch plays a central role in the creation and amendment of laws, ensuring that the legal framework aligns with the evolving needs of society.
“The American legal system relies on the collaboration and interaction of these institutional roles to ensure the fair and effective functioning of the legal system.”- Legal Expert
Federal and State Legal Systems
The United States operates under a dual legal system, consisting of the federal legal system and the legal systems of individual states. The federal legal system, established by the Constitution, governs matters of federal law and is comprised of federal courts and federal statutes. On the other hand, each state has its own legal system with its own constitution, laws, and courts.
In the federal legal system, cases involving federal law, such as those related to constitutional issues, federal crimes, and disputes between states, are heard in federal courts. The federal legal system is based on common law principles and is designed to ensure uniformity and consistency in the interpretation and application of federal laws throughout the country.
In contrast, each state has the power to create and enforce its own laws, known as state laws. Most states follow the common law tradition, which means that laws are largely derived from court decisions and legal precedent. However, it is important to note that Louisiana operates under a different legal system, known as the Napoleonic civil code. This is an example of the diversity and autonomy within the state legal systems in the United States.
What is the legal framework in the United States?
The legal framework in the United States is a complex system based on common law principles. It impacts the lives of individuals and shapes the relationship between the government and the population.
What is the principle of stare decisis?
The principle of stare decisis means that courts are required to follow decisions of higher level courts within the same jurisdiction. This principle ensures a certain level of predictability and consistency in legal decisions.
How is the American court system organized?
The American court system is organized in a hierarchical structure. At the federal level, there are three tiers of courts: the United States District Courts, the United States Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Decisions made by higher level courts within the same jurisdiction have a binding effect on lower level courts.
What is jurisdiction in American law?
Jurisdiction in American law refers to the formal power of a court to exercise judicial authority over a particular matter. The federal court system is divided into different jurisdictions, with each circuit having its own court of appeals. Additionally, each state has its own jurisdiction.
What is the difference between mandatory and persuasive authority?
Mandatory authority, such as statutes or constitutional provisions, must be followed by courts. Persuasive authority, on the other hand, can be considered by the court but is not binding.
What are the sources of law in the United States?
The sources of law in the United States can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary authority includes statutes, constitutional provisions, and binding court decisions. Secondary authority, such as treatises or law review articles, is not itself law but can be used as a case finding tool or for general information.
What is the dual court system in the United States?
The United States has a dual legal system, consisting of the federal legal system and the legal systems of individual states. Each state has its own legal system with its own constitution, laws, and courts.
How do the different sources of law interact with each other?
There is a set of rules that determines the relative priority among different sources of law and how they relate to each other. This interrelationship is important in determining the hierarchy of laws and the application of precedent.
What is common law in the United States?
Common law in the United States refers to the body of law developed through court decisions, also known as case law. It relies heavily on precedent and the interpretation of previous court decisions.
How does the American judicial system work?
The American legal system is adversarial and based on the idea that legal disputes should involve parties with a genuine interest in the outcome. Attorneys play various roles, the executive branch enforces laws, and the judiciary interprets and applies the law.
What are threshold requirements for a federal court to hear a case?
Certain threshold requirements must be met, including standing, finality, exhaustion, ripeness, mootness, and the absence of political questions. These are in place to prevent the courts from issuing advisory opinions and to ensure that they only decide cases that involve actual controversies.
How do courts limit their decisions to the specific issues presented in a case?
Courts are expected to limit their decisions to the specific issues that are presented in the case before them. Portions of a court opinion that are not necessary to resolve the specific issues have diminished precedential value.
Do federal courts avoid deciding constitutional issues if possible?
Federal courts tend to avoid deciding constitutional issues if they can resolve a case on other grounds, such as procedural or statutory interpretation. This reflects the courts’ preference for not reaching constitutional questions unless necessary.
What are the institutional roles in the American legal system?
Attorneys play various roles, including counseling, negotiating, and litigating. The executive branch approves legislation, appoints federal judges, and enforces laws. The judiciary interprets and applies the law, and the legislative branch makes laws.
What is the difference between the federal and state legal systems?
The federal legal system operates based on the Constitution and federal laws, while each state has its own legal system with its own constitution, laws, and courts.