Law is the rules that govern society. These are written down and enforceable by social institutions, such as the courts. The law can cover issues such as consumer rights, immigration, voting, and healthcare.
In the United States, there are two main branches of law. These are federal and state law. Federal law is the body of legislation passed by Congress. It largely follows the common law system of England, but the United States has also added many innovations to its legal system.
Both federal and state laws have a basis in the United States Constitution, which prescribes the foundation of the federal government. This foundation includes the separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Although the Constitution provides some authority to the judiciary, judges do not command armies or police forces. Instead, the decisions of a court must be interpreted in light of the Constitution.
The judicial branch of the federal government, led by the Supreme Court, is the highest authority in interpreting laws. Congress also has the power to amend the Constitution. However, Congress usually refuses to pass legislation in areas that have already been regulated by states. Consequently, most of the crimes committed in the United States are prosecuted at the state level.
Unlike federal law, state law typically involves interstate situations. State laws are created by both the executive and legislative branches. They can be either statutory or case law. Commonly, a single legislator or a group of legislators creates a law.
When a law is perfect, it is deemed to be in force. However, it may be overruled or repealed. Sometimes, a statute may be amended or rewritten. Also, the perfect case may be overruled.
Legal issues often arise from problems at work or in personal life. For example, if you are accused of a crime, you may have to hire a lawyer. Another example is if you need to file for an annulment of a marriage. Regardless of the reason for your legal issue, you can find information at government and court websites. Some of these sites contain detailed information on consumer rights, young people, and criminal justice systems.
Legal theory is the study of the legal process. There are several theories that can be used to explain how law works. These include the doctrine of precedent, which means that a decision made by one court binds future decisions of the same court. There are also theories that deal with argumentative methods and the rules of linguistic interpretation.
Law can be broken down into three basic categories: federal, state, and civil. Traditionally, federal law focuses on money and military issues. But now, it has become a broad field of law that covers a wide variety of matters. Commercial law, for example, is concerned with the rights to real property and intellectual property.
Another important area of law is family law. Family law deals with the rights of parents and children, including adoption. Similarly, immigration law covers the rights of foreigners to reside and work in the nation-state.