Intro to Law (POSC 209, Isaacs) All notes leading up to our first quiz
Intro to Law (POSC 209, Isaacs) All notes leading up to our first quiz POSC 209
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This 13 page Bundle was uploaded by Bella Montoya on Monday February 22, 2016. The Bundle belongs to POSC 209 at Towson University taught by John Isaacs in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 146 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Law in Political Science at Towson University.
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Date Created: 02/22/16
POSC 209 Class 2 COMMON LAW Custom becomes law through recognition in the courts The U.S.A. uses a common law legal system Only Louisiana does not use the common law in it’s state courts In Louisiana’s federal courts they use common law as everyone else does In its’ state courts it uses civil law legal system It is the most common legal system in the whole world Everything is by statute If there is no statute to relate to the current case, a new statute is created This is due to their French heritage France uses the civil law legal system In Louisiana law schools you are exposed to both civil law and common law Often referred to as “judge made law” This is because it is not made by the legislative branch Judges ﬁll in the blanks in the legal system Example: Surrogate mother in New Jersey decided she didn’t want to give the baby to the family, there was no current legislature, so the judge examined the prevailing custom Example: Same sex marriage Two key components: 1. Precedent Court decides a matter for the ﬁrst time and sets the precedent A case can be a precedent case for years and then get overturned Precedent cases can be overturned Example: Separate but equal was the precedent case for many years 2. Stare decisis Latin for let the decision stand Stand by what has been decided If there is an earlier case (precedent case) that has dealt with the same matter, the court should decide the current case in the same way This allows for uniformity and consistency in the law The current case should be decided the same way as the precedent case Judges believe in this but they are not locked into it Example: The precedent case of abortion was Roe vs Wade, however overtime as the political climate of the supreme court have changed, there has been less thought to Roe vs Wade. To get around following the precedent, one must only show the current case is different than the precedent case STATUTES The majority of common law has been put into statute form This allows legislators to make the law exactly as they want it It is also easier to ﬁnd If there is a conﬂict between common law and a statute, the statute will be respected NATIONAL GOVERNMENT 1. U.S. Constitution These are deﬁned as the three laws of the land in the supremacy clause in article VI of the constitution Articles of the constitution are always in Roman numerals 2. Statutes enacted by congress (federal statutes) Congress may intentionally use general language in its’ statutes The broader the bill the greater chance it has of being enacted Anything that is technological, congress will leave broad and general Example: Bill Clinton wanted affordable healthcare for all Americans, but by making his bill too speciﬁc, he turned members of his own party off of a bill that at its’ core was extremely bipartisan 3. Treaties entered into by the United States President makes (with help of advisors) Senate ratiﬁes by a 2/3 vote Nothing in the constitution on how to get out of a treaty Senate does not have to de-ratify a treaty by a 2/3 vote Some treaties have end dates INDEPENDENT REGULATORY AGENCIES Extensions of congress They do what congress has the power to do When congress creates an independent regulatory agency they are not a part of the executive branch, and therefore not controlled by the president Economically regulates some part of the private sector This is something congress could do This is something congress might have done This is something congress does not want to put in the hands of the president Example: Interstate commerce commission was created to regulate interstate commerce (commerce between two states) Example: Federal communications commission controls content of over the air broadcast and who can broadcast Example: Agency that regulates the sale of stock and bonds. Created shortly after the 1929 crash Example: Agency that deals with truth in advertising. Certain things are legal and other are illegal. If you put marbles in the bottom of a bowl to keep alphabet soup from sinking that is okay as long as you don’t comment on how well they ﬂoat. Example: Federal reserve board sets the rates it charges its’ banks. This trickles down. Quasi-legislative powers You can put forth rules and regulations A regular department or agency would have to go through congress Independent regulatory agencies are extensions of congress they are able to function like a mini-congress Quasi-judicial powers If you are a regular department or agency you have to go through a court of law EXECUTIVE ORDERS President can issue Example: Bill Clinton issued executive order against smoking FEDERAL COURT DECISIONS Typically these decisions impact many Americans Impact others than just the parties involved in the case POSC 209 Class 3 Quiz Tuesday February 16th! STATE LAW Constitution Statutes enacted by the state legislature Maryland state legislature will go until April Rules, regulations, administrative adjudications Executive orders Does not include when the state calls in the national guard State court decisions LOCAL GOVERNMENT A creation of the state Everything must comply with the state laws which must comply with the national law due to the supremacy clause in article XVI of the US Constitution Charter Sets forth its’ geographic area Example: In Baltimore county there are no incorporated cities or towns. We can say we’re in Towson, but there are no town limits and no Towson government. Example: Ocean City is incorporated. It has a mayor and town limits No mention in constitution Constitution only mentions relationship between state government and national government Depending on the structure of the local government You may have a chief executive that can issue executive orders You might have a council Example: Baltimore City Council TYPES OF LAW IN THE US Cases can either be criminal law, civil law, or equity Not all are in neat little boxes Some overlap Example: A boss writes in his contract no strikes, then his employees go on strike, he goes to court and brings an equity lawsuit to make them go back to work. Then once everyone is back at work he can calculate the money he lost while his employees were on strike and then take his employees to civil court. Common law Judge made law because there is no statute to cover a particular situation Judge will look at precedent/custom and then decide Fills in gaps in legislature Statutory law Laws enacted by a legislative body Criminal law A subset of public law One possible type of case Deals with conduct that is offensive to the people or society as a whole The individual victim does not bring forth the legal action The government brings forth the legal action Civil law Much of it falls within private law One possible type of case Deals with disputes concerning the rights and duties that exist between private persons or between citizens and the governments Normally it is a dispute between private persons Normally about one party suing the other for money after a breech in duty Example: Personal injury Example: Breech of contract Example: Automobile accident. Party A runs a red light and crashes into party B, since party A breeches the contract of the road by running a red light, party B sues party A. Example: Wrongful death Example: Malpractice Equity One type of case When a party goes to court seeking judicial relief Asking a judge for a court order Time is often a factor The party seeking the court order is doing so under peril You are NEVER seeking money Example: Restraining order Example: A protective order which is a type of restraining order Private law Deals with relationships between persons Examples: Who can legally get married. Can you marry your sibling? Can same sex couples get married? Examples: How do you legally end a marriage? The part of civil law that concerns the rights and duties of private individuals Public law Nearly all statues and legislatures enacted are public law Beneﬁts the people or society Might not beneﬁt all citizens Administrative law Deals with rules, regulations, and administrative judicators Constitutional law Deals with the language (provisions, words, phrases, etc.) in a given constitution Normally refers to the US Constitution Can also refer to a state constitution Federal, state, local laws Not a real type of law Only mentioned because it is in reading Disregard Will never be tested on it International law Part 1.) Rules that control the conduct of nations in their relations with each other Diplomacy Certain things you can and cannot do in warfare Some of this is controlled by treaty How you recognize what is a legitimate government of another nation Examples: United Nations Part 2.) Laws that determine before which nations court and which nations law shall govern a particular situation Example: On a Pan America Airlines (PanAm) ﬂight a bomb went off while the plane was ﬂying over Scotland killing those on board and some on the ground. The perpetrators were two men in Libya. So Lybia said they would trail the two men in Libya courts, however since it happened in the UK, Scotland argued that they should be tried in the UK. And the US argued the men should be tried in the US because the airline and the majority of people on board were from the US. POSC 209 Class 4 QUIZ TUESDAY THE 16TH In one week Review Thursday Possible exam questions What is a speciﬁc part of a citation refer to? What does the citation of the publication stand for TYPES OF LAW MILITARY LAW Extra laws that those serving in the armed forces abide by in addition to the civil and criminal laws that they (and other civilians) abide by Uniform Code of Military Justice Covers military bases Can also cover conduct by military ofﬁcials off base Courts typically run by those in the military Military lawyers are typically better (in military court) than a civilian lawyer, because military lawyers are familiar with military law MARTIAL LAW When a civilian government cannot handle a situation Allowing the military to exercise control of civilians (normally this is the reverse) Temporary The president holds the power to declare When it is declared it applies to everyone (civilians and military) Normally declared if there is an attack or imminent threat of an attack on the U.S Can also be declared if there is a state of rebellion Rarely used Example #1: Several occasions during the Civil War. This was an act of rebellion Example #2: Hawaii during World War 2. At that point in time, Hawaii was a territory. For most of WW2 Hawaii stayed under Martial Law. This was an attack on the United States. Example #3: War of 1812. The British came back and marched into D.C.. This was an attack on the United States Martial law could have been used after 9/11 When governors call in the National Guard, that is not martial law Because the military is under the control of civilians This is used fairly frequently after natural disasters, riots, etc. Essentially the national guard acts as police ofﬁcers FINDING THE LAW U.S. CONSTITUTION Published in many places Some mistakes exist in those places The ofﬁcial place is the U.S. code Statutes enacted by Congress which are still in effect Most are published in the US code Rules, regulations, and adjudications Initially published in the federal register Federal register is published by the government on weekdays If you are looking for something speciﬁc it is important to know the date Code of Federal Regulations EXECUTIVE ORDERS By the president Will appear in tomorrow’s federal register if done today All executive orders are grouped together and organized by date and name US SUPREME COURT US reports Government published Original publication Always goes ﬁrst when citing No extra stuff Citation Party That Brought The Case To Court v. Other Party, Volume number Publication First page case appears on at Page where speciﬁc information came from (year the court decided the case) Example: Brown v. Board of Education, 347 US 483 (1954) Supreme court reporter Private publication of supreme court cases Does not matter where it goes after US reports when citing Citation Case title, Volume number Publication First page it appears on (year court decided) Example: Brown v. Board of Education, 74 S.C.T. 686 (1954) Lawyers edition Private Does not matter where it goes after US reports when citing n o i t a t i C Case, Volume Publication First page it appears on (year court decided) Example: Brown v. Board of Education, 98 L.Ed. 873 (1954) US Supreme court decisions published in both private and government publications US reports is a public document and is therefore free Supreme court reporter and Lawyers edition are private and cost The private resources are typically easier for cross referencing Many publications create a “second” volume 1 by creating a second series Citation Example: L.Ed. 2d (Lawyers Edition 2nd series) 3d=3rd series US COURTS OF APPEALS 12 courts of appeals 1-12 And D.C. is an informal 13th Has limited appellate jurisdiction Federal reporter Citation Party that brought appeal to court v. other party, Volume F.series if applicable First page case appears on (Number of circuit or D.C. Cir. Year court decided case) Example: United States v. City of Parma, 661 F.2d 562 (6th Cir. 1981) US DISTRICT COURTS Most decisions of trial courts are not published This is because most trial courts only impact the parties involved in the case Some decisions impact more than just the parties Federal supplement Structure is the same Citation Party that brought case to court v. Other party, Volume Publication First page (Year the court decided case) Example: United States v. City of Parma, 504 F.Supp. 913 (1980) CITATIONS The order of the names in cases can change If one party wins in one court and then the other party appeals the names switch The order can stay the same The citations here are not correct POSC 209 Class 5 I.A. Federal Judiciary RESPECT FOR THE LAW Those who govern and those who are governed should respect the law Americans believe in the respect for the law Without respect for the law you will have chaos which can lead to anarchy Respect and obeying are not anonymous This does not mean that Americans will not disobey particular laws Examples: Speeding, j-walking, underage drinking, fake ids, gambling This does not diminish the overall respect for the law ` Each year approximately 250,000 new cases are ﬁled in federal courts each year Each year approximately 100 million new cases are ﬁlled in state courts Not all these cases are tried because there are not enough resources Most civil cases get settled prior to trial Most criminal cases end in a plea bargain THREE UNIVERSAL WAYS TO CHANGE A LAW 1. Legislature enact a new law Enact/repeal/etc. a new statute 2. Court ruling Argue that a statute is deﬁcient in court Take it to a higher court 3. Amend a constitution Difﬁcult to do Amending the US Constitution is “the best of all” Provisions to amend the US Constitution are included in the US Constitution Can also amend a state constitution Referendums are not universal Not all executives have the power to use executive order QUIZ If for some reason there is no class Tuesday it will be the next class Before the quiz there will be an opportunity to ask questions before the quiz No emails Material comes from the assigned reading I.A. Foundations of Law 9-10 questions Some short answers Some ﬁll in the blanks And some true or false If there is a multiple choice on the quiz- which is rare- the answers will be on the board Questions are asked orally twice Questions can be repeated a third time but not backtracked Questions must be written down You will need a piece of paper and something to write with We go over the quiz immediately afterwards The next class quizzes will be returned with a grade The second quiz is normally more indicative of progress I.B. FEDERAL JUDICIARY THIS WILL NOT BE ON THE QUIZ TERMINOLOGY Important to learn This will be used throughout the course Jurisdiction The power, right, and authority of a court to hear and decide a case A case cannot be taken to any court Example: You cannot take a Maryland state criminal case to California Jurisdiction can be found in the relevant constitution Example: State courts jurisdiction will be set forth in state constitution Jurisdiction can also be found in statutes enacted by the relevant legislature Example: State courts jurisdiction may also be found in state legislature Original jurisdiction Three things courts of original jurisdiction do: 1. Hears evidence 2. Determines facts 3. Applies the law to the facts Venue Where the case can be brought to Make sure the case of original jurisdiction is brought to correct trial court In a criminal case only one court has venue Based on where the crime occurred In civil cases there are more options Where it occurred Maybe the plaintiff can ﬁle a lawsuit where he/she/it/they reside Where the defendant resides The choice is up to the plaintiff where they request venue Normally the choice is made based off of the judge You want the judge most likely to rule in your favor Example: First police ofﬁcer in Freddie Gray trial wanted a change of venue. He was not granted a change of venue. This case is currently at the appellate level. Ordered that he testify in the other ﬁve trials. It is the judge’s decision to grant or not grant a change in venue Bench trial A trial without a jury In the US most trials are without a jury The judge does the three things that original courts of jurisdiction do Jury trial The jury does the three things original courts of jurisdiction do Appellate jurisdiction Reviewing a case that has already been tried May have been reviewed by a lower level of appellate court Review to make sure there are no mistakes in law Do not hear evidence Reviews judge made mistakes at request of lawyers Do not determine facts They accept the facts determined by trial courts as true Look at judge rulings Example: At OJ Simpson’s criminal trial, the government wanted to introduce a glove into evidence, the defense attorneys did not. The glove was found when the police were looking for OJ Simpson who was in Chicago after ﬁnding his wife’s body. The defense lawyers argued that the glove was found by illegal search and seizure. The judge allowed the judge into evidence because Simpson was not a suspect at the time. If Simpson and been found guilty, the defense could have argued that the gloved was introduced unfairly into evidence. If an appellate court ﬁnds a mistake in law the mistake will be corrected Lawyers must make an objection during trial if they believe a mistake was made Trial Civil case Plantiff One bringing the case Defendant One being sued Always written plaintiff v. defendant Criminal case State Defendant Either written State v. defendant People v. defendant United states v. defendant Equity Petitioner Sometimes called plaintiff Respondent Written Petitioner v. respondent Plantiff v. defendant Appeal Anyone other than someone who is found not guilty at trial can appeal Very limited right to appeal to supreme court Most are petitions One appeal per case When a case is appealed The appellate court must take the case and render a decision No court can deny an appeal When a case is petitioned The appellate court does not have to take the case In the US most appellate cases are denied Once appeal is used up if either party believes a mistake in law was made Party can petition appellate court This becomes an equity trial Appellant The party who appeals Appellee The other party Written Appellant v. appellee Trick to remember Appellant v. appellee Ant Lee Appellant v. appellee TERMS Jurisdiction Original jurisdiction Venue Bench trial Jury trial Appellate jurisdiction Plaintiff Defendant Petitioner Respondent Appeal Class 1 “Law is the rules of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority.”
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