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POSC 209, Class 2 Notes

by: Bella Montoya

POSC 209, Class 2 Notes POSC 209

Marketplace > Towson University > Political Science > POSC 209 > POSC 209 Class 2 Notes
Bella Montoya

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These notes cover what we went over in the second class
Introduction to Law
John Isaacs
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bella Montoya on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSC 209 at Towson University taught by John Isaacs in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 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


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