Foundation of the American Legal System Essay example

751 Words Mar 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
Unit 3 assignment
Name
Kaplan University
LS100

Describe the organization and foundation of the American legal system. Explain the different roles of the federal and state government.

The American legal system consists of two separate levels of court, defined as federalism, which together administer and enforce the laws in the United States. Federalism distributes the government powers between both the federal governments and the state governments, which ensures that the power of the national government is decentralized.
The US Constitution divides the federal government into three branches - legislative, executive, and judicial. The legislative branch, consisting of the House of Representative and the Senate, make laws,
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Each state prosecutes crimes committed against the state or society as a whole. Each state court must adhere to guidelines set forth by the federal government. Crimes against a state are held to a higher standard and must prove a party is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Whereas crimes against an individual are civil cases, generally do not result in jail time and have a lower burden of proof. I agree with federalism because it ensures that one group never has too much power. Additionally, different states may have different values or needs and should be able to adopt their own policies. The structure of the legal systems ensures that no one branch has unlimited power and allows the three branches to keep each other in check. The organization of the American legal system is both diverse and unified at the same time.

Describe the Supremacy Clause and explain what happens when there is a direct conflict between federal and state law. The US Constitution defines the federal government as “The Supreme Law of the land”, known as the Supremacy Clause. Article VI, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution states that, should the federal government exercise their rights enumerated in the Constitution, they would prevail over any conflicting state implementation of power. The clause ensures that the federal laws take precedence over state laws and ensures that state judges uphold these laws. The Supremacy Clause checks the power of the local governments by

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