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The Three Branches of the U.S. Government

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Jade Togonon

on 24 September 2013

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Transcript of The Three Branches of the U.S. Government

2)The Legal Issue
In a trial court, the ultimate legal issue is usually one of guilt or innocence.
In the appellate court, the issue is almost always whether something inappropriate occurred in the trial court , in turn, prevented the proper finding.
Bicameral System
1. House of Representatives – consists of persons elected based on the population in geographical districts.
2. Senate – comprises of senators from each state elected by the votes of the state.
Chapter 2
Chapter 4
Chapter 3
The United States Constitution

During the time of the Revolution, the new Americans set out to create a new and powerful nation free of tyranny and oppression. The initial Articles of Confederation were quickly discovered to be ineffective, So the founders replaced them with The Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution along with its amendments, The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Under the Constitution, the tripartite government would consist of the three separate but inter-related branches of the government known as the Judiciary, Executive and Legislative branches.
The Historical Basis and Current Structure of the American Legal System
The Judicial Branch
The Executive Branch and Administrative Authority
The Legislative Branch
Is the only avenue by which individuals can seek individual resolution of personal legal issues.
The court is the only forum in which persons can present information supporting their legal position and request court approval and/or enforcement of legal action.

Legal Analysis - The process of examining precedent in detail in order to predict its effect on future similar circumstances.
Analytic Ability - The skill of applying past experiences to current or foreseen circumstances to determine the probable outcome.
Case Analysis - Refers to the specific legal analysis of past judicial opinions and their impact on a current situation.
Legal Analysis of Case Law
Primary source of U.S. Law is the legislation enacted by the federal legislative branch known as Congress.

Characteristics of Judicial Law
Executive branch monitors the conduct of Congress.
Congress sets down statutory law that guides the conduct of all the people
Judiciary reviews the acts of Congress & Executive Branch but more importantly serves as a forum for the people.

...consists of:
The U.S. District Courts
Special Federal Courts
The U.S. Courts of Appeals
The U.S. Supreme Court

Trial Courts and Appellate Courts
Two Basic Judicial Systems
Three-tiered System
Two-tiered System
Primary source of U.S. Law is the legislation enacted by the federal legislative branch known as Congress.
Legal Analysis (examining precedent in detail in order to predict its effects on future similar circumstances)


Protective Purpose
Statutes that protect citizens not only from the invasion of personal rights but also from injury to personal property.

Changes in the Electoral Process
-The president must receive a majority vote in the electoral college to win an election. If no majority is reached in the electoral college then the House of Representatives votes on the President.
-The person that receives the 2nd most votes in the electoral college becomes the vice president. If no majority was reached, then the Senate elects the vice president.
Powers and Authority of the President
-Negotiate treaties
-Appoint judges and other government officers
-Convene Congress
-Grant pardons
-Appoint ambassadors and heads of departments(the Cabinet)
-Command the armed forces
-Enforce Laws
The Role of the President, Then and Now
-In the past, the President's role was primarily ceremonial, with less responsibilities due to limited travel capabiliy, no form of rapid or mass communication, and a largely rural population.

-As a result of the civil war, a primary post objective was made to bring the nation together so that the nation would not look weakened and open to intrusion.

-With the advent of technologies such as telegraph lines, railways, and boats, the president took on more responsibilities and the ceremonial roles were abandoned. As a result, numerous agencies administrative agencies were created and it became the President job to oversee these agencies.
The Role of the Administrative Agency
-When a law is written, the language must be broad enough to encompass all situations it was designed to address, but also must be specific enough so people reading the law know what is considered violating the law and complying with the law.

-An Administrative Agency acts as a liaison between Congress and the people to enforce and interpret the law, thus allowing people to have personal access to the governing authorities. This takes pressure off the president and Congress.
The Creation of an Administrative Agency
-Before an agency comes into existence, Congress must determine that an agency is necessary to carry out certain goals. Congress then passes an enabling act-a statute that expresses the goals of congress for a particular subject of legislation.

-When administrative agencies are created, the main concern is that there is no violation of the delegation doctrine, which is congress's principle that it may not give away or lend law making power. Thus administrative agencies cannot actually create law, but can create regulations to promote an efficient, responsive, and effective government.

Agencies must essentially posess the following criteria:
-Goals and stautes must be clear and statutes must have definable limits.
-Methods the agency use to enforce the statutes must be fair and open, disclosed to all members of the public.
-Enforcement of the statutes must be enforced by officers of the government.
Agencies Today
In 1946 Congress created the administrative procedure act (APA) which establishes the elements necessary to satisfy the requirements of the delegation doctrine and also requires that all administrative agencies follow certain procedures in the issuance of administrative law.
The Operation of an Administrative Agency
Some common responsibilities of Administrative Agencies include:
-Enforcing federal statutes through procecution
-Negotiating settlement claims made against government entities
-Testing, inspecting, and monitoring industries
-Recalling, seizing, or suspending products or activities that violate federal laws
-Advising the public of the legal effect of the law
Authority of Administrative Agecnies
-The most prominent function of administrative agencies is their authority to issue administrative regulations, which is a form of administrative law; a regulation that defines, clarifies, or enforces a statutory objective.

Most agencies must adhere to the following procedures when passing regulations:

1) The agency must give advance notice to the public of the rules it will enact. This is done in the Federal Register, which is a daily publication about the actions of federal administrative agencies.
2) Agency must give public opportunity to participate in the agency decision by submitting comments, ideas, and suggestions.
3) After consideration of the public opinion, agency must issue a general statement supporting the final rule.

After all the requirements of the APA are satisfied, the agency must publish its formal regulations in the Federal Register and then in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

If a citizen feels an administrative agency has somehow wronged them, then citizens may challenge the agency, but first they must exhaust all potential remedies and follow all procedures to resolve the dispute before they can turn to the courts. This is known as the exhaustion of administrative remedies.
Constitutional Amendments
The Function of Lobbyists
Lobbyists represent groups of citizens or industries that have a special interest in certain bills. Critics of lobbying argue that this process allows a few people to unduly influence legislators. Proponents say that lobbyists actually represent people who stand to be affected by proposed legislation. A lobbyist is extremely well educated in the subject of the legislation and can offer insight to legislators about a bills strengths and weaknesses.

Public Hearings and Sessions
Publication of Legislation
The United States Code
The U.S.C. is published in a multivolume set and is divided by sections, or Titles. All subjects are arranged
in alphabetical order and each law within a title is assigned a section number, allowing for
future organizational revision.
Supplements to the U.S.C. are issued between publications of the bound volumes.
These pocket parts are placed behind the back cover where the codified law will appear.
Annotated Statutes
Annotated statutes include the text of the statutes and annotations - brief descriptions
of judicial opinions that interpret the given statute.
The judicial branch, as interpreter of the law, decides whether
1. a statute should be applied to a given situation and
2. how the statute should be applied to the specific circumstances of the case. The court uses legal analysis to do so.
Legal Analysis
First, to legally analyze a statute, break it down into its elements. Then compare each element to the facts of the particular case.

Constitutional Protection
If a court decides a person’s rights have been violated, it can strike down the particular offending statute. This is the only circumstance in which a court can overrule the actions of the legislature.

Quasi-advisory Role
The court can issue messages to Congress in its ruling on judicial opinions, but only on the circumstances of the particular cases.
Procedural Purpose
Gives specific directions on everything from how to initiate a lawsuit to how a trial is to be conducted
Remedial Purpose
Corrects an existing laws or remedies an existing grievance
Each State has it's own
method of enacting statutes
The Path from Concept to Law
Revenue-raising bills are introduced initially in the House of Representatives. A bill is assigned a number when introduced in Congress

Bills are assigned to committees of Congress. After committee hearings, the bill is presented to the originating body of Congress for a vote by the legislators. The bill is debated by Congress and sent to the corresponding body for consideration.

Executive Branch and the veto
The president may exercise veto power - a key element of the system of checks and balances. If the President does not act on the bill within 10 days, excluding Sundays, then it becomes law. Congress can overridethe veto by a vote of 2/3rds of both houses.
An Amendment must pass a two thirds majority
vote in both houses rather than the typical
-Citizens may attend frequent public hearings and voice their opinions. After a full session of Congress, all laws passed during the session take on the collective name of session law and are published in the Statutes at Large.

-Session law: Laws that are passed in a particular session of congress.
-Codification: The process of incorporating the public law into the existing statutory code is known as codification.
First step in preparing a case brief is to identify the key facts. A case brief has two types of facts: Occurrance Facts & Legal Facts.
Before the Government
The Results of the Revolution
Establishments of Branches of government
The Bill of Rights
Additional Individual Rights
1)The Facts
The first step in preparing a case brief is to identify the key facts. A case brief contains two types of facts: Occurrence Facts & Legal Facts.
The Influence of Political Theories
Balance as the key to success
The Sources of Law
Statutory Law
Judicial Law
Administrative Law
The Hierarchy of Law
Regulates and decisions that explain and detail statutes issued by the administrative agencies.

Interprets law from other sources and creates legal standards known as common law.
Clarification of the Law
Because statutes are written in very general terms, judges are relied upon to evaluate statutes and determine if they apply to particular situations. In a sense, they clarify the law.
For instance,
Protection of the Law
The judiciary also protects the law by upholding laws that are consistent with the Constitution.
Trial Court: A Court that has the authority to hear the evidence of the parties and render a verdict. Usually heard by a judge or jury.

Appellate Court: The court that can review the actions of a trial court and determine whether an error has been committed that requires corrective action. Appellate courts' authority is superior to that of trial courts and they have the power to change the verdict of a trial court.
...consists of

Federal Courts: A court that is par of the U.S court
system that has limited authority and hears only cases
involving the U.S government, federal laws, or cases of
diversity of citizenship

State Courts: A court that is part of the judicial branch that typically hears cases involving state law.
The U.S District Courts
3)The Law
The third step in case analysis is to determine the authority on which the court's decision was based. In any event, the decision in a case will be based on some existing statement of law or wisdom.
The Federal Court System
4)The Rule:
An explanation about why or how the legal standard applies ot the facts and issue of the case.
-Also known as the trial courts,
-District courts are separated by predefined geographical boundaries. District courts handle the bulk of cases in the U.S and are the lowest courts.

Special Federal Courts
The Role of the President then and now
-While U.S district and appellate courts handle the bulk of cases, there are also other federal courts that are set up for the express purpose of handling special claims, such as federal taxation or international trade.
The U.S Court of Appeals
-There are 13 U.S courts of appeals, known as circuit courts.
-The U.S courts of appeals publish many more decisions than the U.S Supreme or U.S District courts.
-No U.S court of appeals has authority over any other.
The U.S Supreme Courts
-Final authority on all judicial matters. Primary purpose is to review cases.
-The Supreme Court decides which cases it will hear. Some cases are heard by right and others are heard through certiorari, wherein there is no right to review but the supreme court selects the case because it would serve the interests of justice.
Statutory and Administrative Analysis
-To examine a statute, the first step is to break it down into specific elements

Application of Legal Analysis
The second step in legal analysis is to compare the legal precedent with the current case.
-The first settlers came to the New World to escape religious persecution and to benefit from the economic opportunity.
-The colonists adhered to the common law system of England, but many were not fond of a governments which was unresponsive to their will.
-The original system of justice was based on naturalist theory, which is a philosophy that all persons inherently know the difference between right and wrong.
-With the increase of population, advancements in industry, mixing of cultures, Americans needed a new legal system that could be applied fairly to many different circumstances.
-The colonies came together and issued their Declaration of Independence.
-The Articles of Confederation guided government for about 11 years but was largely ineffective as it had very little enforcement power.
-It was decided that each state should have it's own government and a national government should be created.
Statutory law is enacted by a state legislature or Congress. Federal laws must be in accordance with the Constitution and state law must be consistent with both the state and federal constitutions.

If a court determines that a statute is overly broad, it can be overturned by a court.
First in the hierarchy of law is the U.S. Constitution
Next are the statutory laws of Congress. Statutes are most likely to represent the laws intended for and desired by the majority.
The judiciary protects the Constitution. The court has the authority to strike down statutes that are, for example, overbroad.
Last in the hierarchy is administrative law. Congress can eliminate a federal agency and the judiciary can overrule its actions when they are unconstitutional.
-Congress, or the Legislative branch, was the first branch created during the Constitutional convention.
- Next was the Executive Branch, headed by the president.
-Lastly, the judicial branch was created
-Through a system of checks and balances each branch can use it's power to ensure that the other branches operate within their defined limits.
Protects what are to be considered fundamental human rights and freedoms in the 10 Amerndments to the Constitution.
-In recent years, addtional
language has been added
to the Constitution through more
amendments to address the changing
in times.
Positivist theory: Political belief that there should be a superior governmental entity that is not subject to question or challenge.
Sociological theory: Doctrine following the principle that government should adapt laws to reflect society's current needs and beliefs.
Traditional Balance: Goal of the judiciary to allow maximum personal freedom without detracting from the welfare of the general public

Modern Balance: Goal of lawmaking to balance the need for consistency and stability against the need for a flexible and adaptive government.
Bicameral System

1. House of Representatives – consists of persons elected based on the population
in geographical districts.

2. Senate – comprises of senators from each state elected by the votes of the state.
Group A Members:
McMahon, John
Ng, Dan
Aguilar, Indira
Blake, Aisha
Reyes, Xiomara
Togonon, Jade
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