United States Law And Legal Systems Essay

3054 Words Nov 16th, 2014 13 Pages
United States Law and Legal Systems
The law and legal systems of the United States play a role in the lives of Americans each and every day, some more than others. Some may be at the mercy of the court’s decision in a legal proceeding and others may be affected as they enter into a contract to purchase a home or prepare a will. The United States legal system can be complex due to the divide between federal and state law.
Federal System
In 1787, the U.S. Constitution was adopted (and ratified in 1788). The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States and the basis for which other laws are created. The Constitution establishes the powers of the government and also limits the powers of the government in many respects. Power that is not defined in the Constitution for the federal government is left up to the states.
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was written by James Madison, who was the fourth President of the United States. There were concerns about the Constitution since it did not address individual rights. In other words, it stated what the government could do, but did not address areas in an individual’s life where it should not be involved. This caused tension between the government parties as one party felt there was no need to include specific individual rights because any areas not specifically addressed in the Constitution were left up to the states. The other party felt it was…

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