State law (United States)
In the United States, state law refers to the law of each separate U. S. state. The fifty American states are separate sovereigns, with their own state constitutions, state governments, state courts. All states have a legislative branch which enacts state statutes, an executive branch that promulgates state regulations pursuant to statutory authorization, a judicial branch that applies and overturns both state statutes and regulations, as well as local ordinances. States retain plenary power to make laws covering anything not preempted by the federal Constitution, federal statutes, or international treaties ratified by the federal Senate. State supreme courts are the final interpreters of state institutions and state law, unless their interpretation itself presents a federal issue, in which case a decision may be appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court by way of a petition for writ of certiorari. State laws have diverged in the centuries since independence, to the extent that the United States cannot be regarded as one legal system as to the majority of types of law traditionally under state control, but must be regarded as 50 separate systems of tort law, family law, property law, contract law, criminal law, so on.
Most cases involve claims and defenses under state laws. In a 2012 report, the National Center for State Courts' Court Statistics Project found that state trial courts received 103.5 million newly filed cases in 2010, which consisted of 57.8 million traffic cases, 20.4 million criminal cases, 19.0 million civil cases, 5.9 million domestic relations cases, 1.9 million juvenile cases. In 2010, state appellate courts received 272,795 new cases. By way of comparison, all federal district courts in 2010 together received only about 282,000 new civil cases, 77,000 new criminal cases, 1.5 million bankruptcy cases, while federal appellate courts received 56,000 new cases. The law of most of the states is based on the common law of England; the passage of time has led to state courts and legislatures expanding, overruling, or modifying the common law. Thus, as noted above, the U. S. must be regarded as 50 separate systems of tort law, family law, property law, contract law, criminal law, so on. A typical example of the diversity of contemporary state law is the legal test for finding a duty of care, the first element required to proceed with a lawsuit for negligence.
A 2011 article found that 43 states use a multifactor balancing test consisting of four to eight factors, but there are 23 various incarnations because so few states use the same test, consolidating those into a single list results in 42 unique factors. The laws of different states come into conflict with each other, which has given rise to a huge body of law regulating the conflict of laws in the United States; the diversity of U. S. state law first became a notable problem during the late 19th century era known as the Gilded Age, when interstate commerce was nurtured by new technologies like the telegraph, the telephone, the railroad. Many lawyers during the Gilded Age complained about how the diversity and volume of state law hampered interstate trade and introduced complexity and inconvenience into any interstate transaction. There have been three major reactions to this problem, none of which were successful: codification, uniform acts, the Restatements; the United States, with the exception of Louisiana inherited a common law system in which the law was not organized and restated such that it could be identified as relevant to a particular legal question and in force.
The process of organizing the law, called codification, was borrowed from the civil law through the efforts of American lawyer David Dudley Field. Field, in turn, was building upon early foundational work by the English legal philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who coined the verb "to codify" for the process of drafting a legal code; the earliest attempt at codification occurred in Massachusetts with a 1648 publication. Today, all states but Pennsylvania have completed the process of codifying all of their general statutory law into legal codes. There is much diversity in the structure of the state codes, reflecting the diversity of the statutory law on which they were built. New York's codes are known as "Laws." California and Texas call them "Codes." Other states use terms such as "Code of ", "Revised Statutes", or "Compiled Statutes" for their compilations. California, New York, Texas use separate subject-specific codes. Louisiana is a unique hybrid in that it has five subject-specific codes and a set of Revised Statutes for everything else.
A poorly drafted 1864 anti-corruption amendment to Pennsylvania's constitution prevented its legislature from starting comprehensive codification until 1970. The advantage of codification is that once the state legislature becomes accustomed to writing new laws as amendments to an
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a city, state, or country. Statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. Statutes are rules made by legislative bodies. In all countries, newly enacted statutes are published in a Government gazette, distributed so that everyone can look up the statutory law. A universal problem encountered by lawmakers throughout human history is how to organize published statutes; such publications have a habit of starting small but growing over time, as new statutes are enacted in response to the exigencies of the moment. Persons trying to find the law are forced to sort through an enormous number of statutes enacted at various points in time to determine which portions are still in effect; the solution adopted in many countries is to organize existing statutory law in topical arrangements within publications called codes ensure that new statutes are drafted so that they add, repeal or move various code sections. In turn, in theory, the code will thenceforth reflect the current cumulative state of the statutory law in that jurisdiction.
In many nations statutory law is subordinate to constitutional law. The term statute is used to refer to an International treaty that establishes an institution, such as the Statute of the European Central Bank, a protocol to the international courts as well, such as the Statute of the International Court of Justice and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Statute is another word for law; the term was adapted from England in about the 18th century. In the Autonomous Communities of Spain, the autonomy statute is a legal document similar to a state constitution in a federated state; the autonomies statutes in Spain have the rank of "Ley Organica", a category of special laws reserved only for the main institutions and issues and mentioned in the Constitution. Leyes Organicas rank between ordinary laws; the name was chosen, among others. In biblical terminology, statute refers to a law given without any justification; the classic example is the statute regarding the Red Heifer. The opposite of a chok is a mishpat, a law given for a specified reason, e.g. the Sabbath laws, which were given because "God created the world in six days, but on the seventh day He rested".
That which upholds, supports or maintains the regulatory order of the universe meaning the Law or Natural Law. This is a concept of central importance in Indian religion. Constitution Legislation Legislature Organic statute Statutory law Super statute
United States Statutes at Large
The United States Statutes at Large referred to as the Statutes at Large and abbreviated Stat. are an official record of Acts of Congress and concurrent resolutions passed by the United States Congress. Each act and resolution of Congress is published as a slip law, classified as either public law or private law, designated and numbered accordingly. At the end of a Congressional session, the statutes enacted during that session are compiled into bound books, known as "session law" publications; the session law publication for U. S. Federal statutes is called the United States Statutes at Large. In that publication, the public laws and private laws are numbered and organized in chronological order. U. S. Federal statutes are published in a three-part process, consisting of slip laws, session laws, codification. Large portions of public laws are enacted as amendments to the United States Code. Once enacted into law, an Act will be published in the Statutes at Large and will add to, modify, or delete some part of the United States Code.
Provisions of a public law that contain only enacting clauses, effective dates, similar matters are not codified. Private laws are not codified; some portions of the United States Code have been enacted as positive law and other portions have not been so enacted. In case of a conflict between the text of the Statutes at Large and the text of a provision of the United States Code that has not been enacted as positive law, the text of the Statutes at Large takes precedence. Publication of the United States Statutes at Large began in 1845 by the private firm of Little and Company under authority of a joint resolution of Congress. During Little and Company's time as publisher, Richard Peters, George Minot, George P. Sanger served as editors. In 1874, Congress transferred the authority to publish the Statutes at Large to the Government Printing Office under the direction of the Secretary of State. Pub. L. 80–278, 61 Stat. 633, was enacted July 30, 1947 and directed the Secretary of State to compile, edit and publish the Statutes at Large.
Pub. L. 81–821, 64 Stat. 980, was enacted September 23, 1950 and directed the Administrator of General Services to compile, edit and publish the Statutes at Large. Since 1985 the Statutes at Large have been prepared and published by the Office of the Federal Register of the National Archives and Records Administration; until 1948, all treaties and international agreements approved by the United States Senate were published in the set, but these now appear in a publication titled United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, abbreviated U. S. T. In addition, the Statutes at Large includes the text of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, amendments to the Constitution, treaties with Indians and foreign nations, presidential proclamations. Sometimes large or long Acts of Congress are published as their own "appendix" volume of the Statutes at Large. For example, the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was published as volume 68A of the Statutes at Large.
Revised Statutes of the United States Procedures of the United States Congress Enrolled Bill Federal Register United States Reports California Statutes Laws of Florida Laws of Illinois Laws of New York Laws of Pennsylvania This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the U. S. Government Publishing Office. How Our Laws Are Made, by the Parliamentarian of the House of Representatives. Volumes 1 to 18 of the Statutes at Large made available by the Library of Congress Volumes 1 to 64 of the Statutes at Large made available by the Congressional Data Coalition via LEGISWORKS.org Volumes 65 to 125 of the Statutes at Large made available by the GPO and the Library of Congress via FDsys Sortable by Bills Enacted into Laws, Concurrent Resolutions, Popular Names, Presidential Proclamations, or Public Laws. Volumes 1–124 of the Statutes at Large made available by the Constitution Society Public and private laws from 104th Congress to present from the Government Printing Office, in slip law format with Statutes at Large page references Early United States Statutes includes Volumes 1 to 44 of the Statutes at Large in DjVu and PDF format, along with rudimentary OCR of the text.
United States Statutes and the United States Code: Historical Outlines, Lists and Sources from the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, DC Second Edition of the Revised Statutes of the United States
Law of the United States
The law of the United States comprises many levels of codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the United States Constitution, the foundation of the federal government of the United States. The Constitution sets out the boundaries of federal law, which consists of Acts of Congress, treaties ratified by the Senate, regulations promulgated by the executive branch, case law originating from the federal judiciary; the United States Code is the official compilation and codification of general and permanent federal statutory law. Federal law and treaties, so long as they are in accordance with the Constitution, preempt conflicting state and territorial laws in the 50 U. S. in the territories. However, the scope of federal preemption is limited because the scope of federal power is not universal. In the dual-sovereign system of American federalism, states are the plenary sovereigns, each with their own constitution, while the federal sovereign possesses only the limited supreme authority enumerated in the Constitution.
Indeed, states may grant their citizens broader rights than the federal Constitution as long as they do not infringe on any federal constitutional rights. Thus, most U. S. law consists of state law, which can and does vary from one state to the next. At both the federal and state levels, with the exception of the state of Louisiana, the law of the United States is derived from the common law system of English law, in force at the time of the American Revolutionary War. However, American law has diverged from its English ancestor both in terms of substance and procedure, has incorporated a number of civil law innovations. In the United States, the law is derived from five sources: constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations, the common law. Where Congress enacts a statute that conflicts with the Constitution, state or federal courts may rule that law to be unconstitutional and declare it invalid. Notably, a statute does not automatically disappear because it has been found unconstitutional.
Many federal and state statutes have remained on the books for decades after they were ruled to be unconstitutional. However, under the principle of stare decisis, no sensible lower court will enforce an unconstitutional statute, any court that does so will be reversed by the Supreme Court. Conversely, any court that refuses to enforce a constitutional statute will risk reversal by the Supreme Court. Commonwealth countries are heirs to the common law legal tradition of English law. Certain practices traditionally allowed under English common law were expressly outlawed by the Constitution, such as bills of attainder.</ref> and general search rrts. As common law courts, U. S. courts have inherited the principle of stare decisis. American judges, like common law judges elsewhere, not only apply the law, they make the law, to the extent that their decisions in the cases before them become precedent for decisions in future cases; the actual substance of English law was formally "received" into the United States in several ways.
First, all U. S. states except Louisiana have enacted "reception statutes" which state that the common law of England is the law of the state to the extent that it is not repugnant to domestic law or indigenous conditions. Some reception statutes impose a specific cutoff date for reception, such as the date of a colony's founding, while others are deliberately vague. Thus, contemporary U. S. courts cite pre-Revolution cases when discussing the evolution of an ancient judge-made common law principle into its modern form, such as the heightened duty of care traditionally imposed upon common carriers. Second, a small number of important British statutes in effect at the time of the Revolution have been independently reenacted by U. S. states. Two examples are the Statute of 13 Elizabeth; such English statutes are still cited in contemporary American cases interpreting their modern American descendants. Despite the presence of reception statutes, much of contemporary American common law has diverged from English common law.
Although the courts of the various Commonwealth nations are influenced by each other's rulings, American courts follow post-Revolution Commonwealth rulings unless there is no American ruling on point, the facts and law at issue are nearly identical, the reasoning is persuasive. Early on, American courts after the Revolution did cite contemporary English cases, because appellate decisions from many American courts were not reported until the mid-19th century. Lawyers and judges used English legal materials to fill the gap. Citations to English decisions disappeared during the 19th century as American courts developed their own principles to resolve the legal problems of the American people; the number of published volumes of American reports soared from eighteen in 1810 to over 8,000 by 1910. By 1879 one of the delegates to the California constitutional convention was complaining: "Now, when we require them to state the reasons for a decision, we do not mean they shall write a hundred pages of detail.
We not mean that they shall include the small cases, impose on the country all this fine judici
Maryland General Assembly
The Maryland General Assembly is the state legislature of the U. S. state of Maryland that convenes within the State House in Annapolis. It is a bicameral body: the upper chamber, the Maryland State Senate, has 47 representatives and the lower chamber, the Maryland House of Delegates, has 141 representatives. Members of both houses serve four-year terms; each house elects its own officers, judges the qualifications and election of its own members, establishes rules for the conduct of its business, may punish or expel its own members. The General Assembly meets each year for 90 days to act on more than 2,300 bills including the state's annual budget, which it must pass before adjourning sine die; the General Assembly's 438th session convened on January 10, 2018. The forerunner of the Maryland General Assembly was the colonial institution, an assembly of free Marylanders, which bore the same name. Maryland's foundational charter created a state ruled by Lord Baltimore; as ruler, Lord Baltimore owned directly all of the land granted in the charter, possessed absolute authority over his domain.
However, as elsewhere in English North America, English political institutions were re-created in the colonies, the Maryland General Assembly fulfilled much the same function as the House of Commons of England. An act was passed providing that: from henceforth and for everyone being of the council of the Province and any other gentleman of able judgement summoned by writ shall and may have his voice and place in every General Assembly... together with two or more able and sufficient men for the hundred as the said freedmen or the major part of them... shall think good. In addition, the Lord Proprietor could summon any delegates. In some ways the General Assembly was an improvement upon the institutions of the mother country. In 1639, noting that Parliament had not been summoned in England for a decade, the free men of Maryland passed an act to the effect that "assemblies were to be called once in every three years at the least", ensuring that their voices would be heard. During the American Revolution the colonial Assembly ceased to exist, was replaced by its modern successor.
Each senator or delegate must be a U. S. citizen and a resident of Maryland for at least one year preceding his or her election. A prospective legislator must have resided in the legislative district the candidate seeks to represent for the six months prior to election. A senator must be at least twenty-five years of age at the time of election and a delegate at least twenty-one. Military officers other than members of the reserves are not eligible for election to the General Assembly; each term lasts four years. However, members of the General Assembly are not term-limited. If a vacancy occurs in either house through death, resignation, or disqualification, the Governor of Maryland appoints a replacement whose name is submitted by the State Central Committee of the same political party as the legislator whose seat is to be filled; the current pattern for distribution of seats began with the legislative apportionment plan of 1972 and has been revised every ten years thereafter according to the results of the decennial U.
S. Census. A Constitutional amendment, the plan created 47 legislative districts, many of which cross county boundaries to delineate districts equal in population; each legislative district elects three delegates. In most districts, the three delegates are elected at large from the whole district via block voting. However, in some more sparsely populated areas of the state, the districts are divided into subdistricts for the election of delegates: either into three one-delegate subdistricts or one two-delegate subdistrict and one one-delegate subdistrict; the Senate is led by a President and the House by a Speaker whose respective duties and prerogatives enable them to influence the legislative process significantly. The President and the Speaker appoint the members of most committees and name their chairs and vice-chairs, except in the case of the Joint Committee on Investigation whose members elect their own officers; the President and Speaker preside over the daily sessions of their respective chambers, maintaining decorum and deciding points of order.
As legislation is introduced, they assign it to a standing committee for consideration and a public hearing. The president pro tempore appoints majority and minority whips and leaders. A bill is a proposal to repeal, or add to existing state law. A House Bill is one introduced in the House of Delegates. Bills are designated in the order of introduction in each house. For example, HB 16 refers to the sixteenth bill introduced in the House of Delegates; the numbering starts afresh each session. The names of the sponsor, the legislator who introduced the bill, becomes part of the title. Bills listed as "The Speaker", "The President", "Minority Leader", or "Committee Chair" are bills proposed by the Governor and his agencies and are not proposals of the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the Minority Leader, or the respective Committee Chair, they are listed with the official title of a legislator rather than the Governor due to requirements in the Maryland Constitution. The legislative procedure, is divided into distinct stages: Drafting.
The procedure begins when a Delegate decides to author a bill. A legislator sends the idea for the bill to the Department of Legislative Services' bill drafting division, where it is drafted into bill form. The