American legal system by liaoqinmei

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									American legal system
General outlook
The main document on which everything is based
       and referred to in the USA is Constitution.
       What is it in terms of legality?
       The US Constitution:
       1. is the foundation of the federal
       government of the US
       2. and it sets out the boundaries of
       Federal Law
 History of the USA law
 The law of the United States was originally derived from the common
   law system of English law which was in force at the time of the
   Revolutionary War.
 U.S. law has diverged greatly from its English ancestor both in terms
   of substance and procedure, and has incorporated a number of
   civil law innovations.
 The US Constitution applies to everyone in the US, irrespective of
   citizenship or immigration status, and even illegal immigrants have
   most of the same basic legal rights as US citizens.
History of the USA law
The law of the United States
 was originally derived from
 the common law system of
 English law which was in
 force at the time of the
 Revolutionary War.
U.S. law has diverged
 greatly from its English
 ancestor both in terms of
 substance and procedure,
 and has incorporated a
 number of civil law
 innovations.
The US Constitution applies to
 everyone in the US,
 irrespective of citizenship or
 immigration status, and
 even illegal immigrants have
 most of the same basic legal
 rights as US citizens.
Most rights and freedoms enjoyed
 by Americans are enshrined in
 the first ten amendments of the
 US Constitution and popularly
 known as the ‘Bill of Rights’.
The following is the first 10 amendments to the
  United States Constitution, called the "Bill of
  Rights", these amendments were ratified on
  December 15, 1791. This document covers the
  following points:
• Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition
• Right to keep and bear arms
• Conditions for quarters of soldiers
• Right of search and seizure regulated
• Provisions concerning prosecution
• Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc.
• Right to a trial by jury
• Excessive bail, cruel punishment
• Rule of construction of Constitution
• Rights of the States under Constitution
The following should be said about the US Judiciary
  System.
The US Judiciary
• is independent of the government
• consists of the Supreme Court, the US Court of
  Appeals and the US District Courts.
The Supreme Court in its turn
• consists of nine judges who are
  appointed for life by the
  President.
• its decisions are final and legally
  binding on all parties.
• reviews the activities of state and
  federal governments and decides
  whether laws are constitutional.
• has the right to nullify laws
  passed by Congress and even
  declare the actions of US
  presidents unconstitutional.
• and when appointing a Supreme
  Court judge, the President’s
  selection is based on a
  candidate’s political and other
  views, which must usually
  correspond with his own.
Dual-sovereign system of American
  federalism is called dual because it consists
  of:
• the federal sovereign
• and each state is a sovereign
If you look at the map below you will see the
  states of the country, what a huge territory
  they occupy and you may suppose how
  different they may be in culture, customs,
  traditions and even the language (you may
  know that Spanish is widely spoken in the
  south, that there are some French and German
  settlements in the north and so on).
Never assume that the law is the same in
  different states (Conflict of State Laws is a
  popular course in American law schools).
There are many variations in state and
 local laws. These are some particular
 laws which are binding only for the
 states they were made in. and as you
 can see they are quite funny,
 intriguing and bizarre. But what can
 Federal Government do with it if each
 state can issue laws of its own? So,
 let’s have a look at them.
Dumb Laws in Alabama
• It is illegal to maim oneself to escape duty.
• You may not drive barefooted.
• It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that
  causes laughter in church.
• Masks may not be worn in public.
Dumb Laws in Georgia
• Members of the state
  assembly cannot be
  ticketed for speeding
  while the state
  assembly is in session.
• Signs are required to
  be written in English.
Dumb Laws in Minnesota
• It is illegal to stand around any building without
  a good reason to be there.
• It is illegal to sleep naked.
Dumb Laws in New York
• You may not smoke within 100 feet of the
  entrance to a public building.
• It is against the law to throw a ball at someone’s
  head for fun.
  Dumb Laws in California
•Women may not drive in a house coat.
•Bathhouses are against the law.
If you think that we just made up these laws in order to
amuse you, maybe even make you laugh, you are
mistaken. Let’s take the last in the list – “Bathhouses are
against the law” made in the state of California. The full
text of the regulation is below, so we just gave you the
gist of this ridiculous law.
CALIFORNIA CODES PENAL CODE SECTION 11225
• (a) Every building or place used for the purpose of illegal gambling as defined by state law or local
  ordinance, lewdness, assignation, or prostitution, and every building or place in or upon which acts
  of illegal gambling as defined by state law or local ordinance, lewdness, assignation, or
  prostitution, are held or occur, is a nuisance which shall be enjoined, abated, and prevented, and
  for which damages may be recovered, whether it is a public or private nuisance.
•
• Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to apply the definition of a nuisance to a private
  residence where illegal gambling is conducted on an intermittent basis and without the purpose of
  producing profit for the owner or occupier of the premises.
•
• (b) Every building or place used as a bathhouse which as a primary activity encourages or permits
  conduct that according to the guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control can transmit
  AIDS, including, but not limited to, anal intercourse, oral copulation, or vaginal intercourse, is a
  nuisance which shall be enjoined, abated, and prevented, and for which damages may be
  recovered, whether it is a public or private nuisance.
•
• For purposes of this subdivision, a "bathhouse" is to be defined as a business which, as its primary
  purpose, provides facilities for a spa, whirlpool, communal bath, sauna, steam bath, mineral bath,
  mud bath, or facilities for swimming.
•
• Why does this law exist?
• This law was enacted shortly after the AIDS epidemic came into the News in the 1980's. Bathhouses
  were one of the primary places people could go for anonymous sex. This law was designed to
  curtail exposure to HIV and other STD's.
So, that’s what America like!

								
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