Law and Opinion Paper

In: Other Topics

Submitted By 12soccer12
Words 958
Pages 4
Cjs 220
06/19/2011

As a democracy, the United States is governed by laws enacted by public officials. The legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government work together as a system of checks and balances. A single branch of government is not free to act on its own accord; oversight from the other two branches is required. The legislative branch, at both state and federal levels is responsible for enacting laws. The executive branch controls law enforcement agency practices. Upon enactment, the executive branch is responsible for enforcing laws. The judicial branch acts as a median between the legislative and executive branches. This branch is responsible for applying and determining the validity of laws in comparison to the principles established in the United States Constitution. Usally provide for the formation of legislative bodies empowered to perform criminal and other laws. U.S. constitution creates congress and gives it lawmaking power. The bill of rights of the U.S. constitution as well as similar amendments to states constitution, also describe procedural laws that dictate hoe substantive laws are to be administered. Constitutions are important to the substantive criminal law they set limits on what can be defined as a crime.

The common law heritage of the American legal system is rooted in medieval English legal practices. Judges decided both civil and criminal cases individually, and according to their interpretations of existing customs. Because of this, historical common laws may be referred to as “judge made” laws (Meyer & Grant, 2003). The current American legal system developed greatly upon two concepts that are rooted in medieval England’s common law. The two concepts are precedent and codification. Many American criminal and civil court cases are decided according to precedent or stare decisis. Judges often apply rules of law…...

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