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Trees of Government (UNC Law)

updated 24 August 2015 AZC
by

Katie Pryal

on 29 August 2016

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Transcript of Trees of Government (UNC Law)

Art. 1. The Federal Legislative Branch
- Composed of the
Senate
and the
House
of Representatives.

- Creates Acts of Congress, commonly called
statutes (or Acts)
.

- Can you name a
recently enacted
statute?
Art. 3. The Federal Judicial Branch
Art. 2. The Federal
Executive Branch
- Composed of the
President
of the United States and administrative
agencies

- The President signs
Executive Orders

- Agencies enact
administrative regulations
and conduct administrative
hearings

- Can you name an administrative agency?
- The federal court system has three levels:

1. The
Supreme Court
of the United States (
SCOTUS
- the highest court in the land)
2. The Federal
Circuit Courts of Appeal
3. The Federal
District Courts
(the trial courts of the federal system)

- The judiciary decides
cases
and issues
judicial opinions
.

- Can you name a recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion and give a summary of the holding?
There are 11 regional circuits, plus the D.C. circuit and the federal circuit.
N.C. is in the 4th circuit.
The Trees of Government
Because Social Studies Was
Boring
The
Federal Tree

United States Constitution
The U.S. Constitution created and governs the
three branches
of government:

- Article 1 governs the
Legislative
Branch
- Article 2 governs the
Executive
Branch
- Article 3 governs the
Judicial
Branch
The U.S. Constitution also delegates powers to the
states
.
State Legislative Branch
- Composed of state legislative bodies

- In N.C., the legislature is called the
General Assembly
, and it is composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives

- State legislatures enact
statutes
State Judicial Branch
State Executive Branch
- Composed of the state
Governor
and state administrative
agencies

- Agencies enact
administrative regulations
and conduct administrative
hearings

- Can you name a North Carolina state adminstrative agency?
- The N.C. state court system has three levels:

1. The
Supreme Court
of North Carolina
2. The North Carolina
Court of Appeals
3. The trial courts, composed of
District Courts and Superior Courts
(depending on the matter)

- The judiciary decides
cases
and issues
judicial opinions
.
State Tree of Government
A parallel universe of governance (not really) (well, kind of).
The
State Tree

North Carolina Constitution
The N.C. Constitution created and governs the
three branches
of government:

- Article 1 governs the
Legislative
Branch
- Article 2 governs the
Executive
Branch
- Article 3 governs the
Judicial
Branch
Thus, the states have
parallel systems
of governance & sources of law to the federal systems.
If a federal constitutional matter is at issue, then parties can appeal from the N.C.S.C. to S.C.O.T.U.S.
When a branch of government
creates a law
(like a statute, regulation, or case), it
publishes
that law in a
compilation
that is specific to the particular kind of law created.

These compilations used to exist just as
books
, but now they are available
electronically
as well. Regardless, lawyers use the same
citation rules
to describe a law's location in a
source
.

Let's look at the most common
sources of law
and get familiar with how to
cite
them.
Sources of Law
Federal Statutes
- Published in the United States Code (abbreviated "U.S.C.")
- Exception: Brand-new laws (Public Laws, Statutes at Large); U.S.C. is republished every 6 years
- Citation example: 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2006). See Bluebook Rules B12 & 12.
Publication of Administrative Regulations
- Federal Register (Fed. Reg.): Published daily, prints all the new regs of all the agencies.
- Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.): Published annually, codifies the finalized regulations. Cite to this if possible.
- Citation Example: Occupational Safety and Health Standards Hazard Communication Standard, 29 C.F.R. 1910.1200 (2012).
- Bluebook Rules B14 & 14.
U.S. Supreme Court
- Published in the official
United States Reports
, abbreviated "U.S." Prefer this reporter when citing.
- New opinions (less than a year old) are published in unofficial reporters.
- Citation Example:
Plessy v. Ferguson
, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)
U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal
- Published in the
Federal Reporter
, abbreviated F., F.2d, and F.3d (they had to restart the numbering, creating the second and third "series")
- Citation Example:
Fisher v. Univ. of Texas at Austin
, 631 F.3d 213 (5th Cir. 2011).
Federal District Courts
- Select opinions are published in the
Federal Supplement
, F. Supp. (and F. Supp. 2d).
- Published by West (not the gov't) but widely accepted.

- Citation Example:
Washington County v. U.S. Dep't of the Navy
, 317 F. Supp. 2d 626 (E.D.N.C. 2004).
Sources of Federal Judicial Authority
Bluebook Rules B10 & 10 cover case citation in detail.
Sources of State Law
Published in the North Carolina General Statutes. They're codified every two years on the odd year.

Lexis publishes our official state code, so you can look our state statutes up online on Lexis.

Citation Example: N.C. Gen. Stat. § 115C-407 (2013).
State Statutes
North Carolina Administrative Regulations
- Administrative regulations are compiled in the North Carolina Administrative Code (published by West).
- The daily publication of regulations is the North Carolina Register, published by Lexis.
- Citation Example: 27 N.C. Admin. Code 01A.0101 (2014).
N.C. Appellate Court Opinions
- The official state reporters are the North Carolina Reports (N.C.) and the North Carolina Court of Appeals Reports (N.C. App.).
- West publishes regional reports; N.C. opinions (both Supreme Court & Court of Appeals) are the South Eastern Reporter, S.E. and S.E.2d.
- Citation Example:
Cannon v. Miller
, 313 N.C. 324 (1985).
Here is a map of the West regional reporters. The regions are a little funny.
Created by Professors Katie Pryal & Craig Smith, The Writing & Learning Resources Center, UNC School of Law, (c) 2013
Full transcript