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Business Law

Legal Heritage and the Digital Age


1) Businesses that are organized in the United States are subject to its laws, but not to the laws of
other countries in which they do business.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Introduction to Legal Heritage and the Digital Age
2) Laws in the U.S. are not set to evolve with changes in social norms.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: What is Law?
3) The Law and Economics School of jurisprudential thought holds that rights are not worth
protecting if it is too costly from an economic viewpoint.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
4) The Critical Legal Studies School proposes that legal rules are unnecessary and are used as an
obstacle by the powerful to maintain the status quo.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
5) The Critical Legal Studies School of jurisprudential thought seeks to restrict the subjective
decision-making powers of judges.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
6) The Command School of jurisprudence believes that the law is a set of rules developed,
communicated, and enforced by the ruling party.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought

7) Sociological philosophers are unlikely to adhere to past law as precedent.


Answer: TRUE
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
8) The Analytical School of jurisprudence lays emphasis on how the result of a case is reached
rather than the logic of the result itself.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
9) Natural Law School of jurisprudence emphasizes shaping laws based on morals and ethics.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
10) Legal precedence is a key feature of the Historical School of jurisprudence.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
11) The Law and Economics School believes that legal decision making should be functional to
market efficiency.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
12) Equitable orders and remedies of the Court of Chancery took precedence over the legal
decisions and remedies of the law courts.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: History of American Law
13) The merchant courts were established because of the unfair results and limited remedies
available in the chancery courts.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: History of American Law

14) The adoption of the English common law led to precedence being an important feature of the
American legal system.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: History of American Law
15) The Chancery courts under the English common law were under the authority of the lord
chancellor.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: History of American Law
16) The law courts of the English common law could only provide monetary awards for
damages.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: History of American Law
17) The law courts of the English common law emphasized legal procedure over the merits of
the individual case.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: History of American Law
18) Powers not given to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution are reserved to the
states.
Answer: TRUE

19) Provisions of federal law are valid as long as they do not conflict with any state law.
Answer: FALSE

20) Within a state, the state constitution precedes the U.S. Constitution.
Answer: FALSE

21) Administrative agencies are created by the judicial branch of government.


Answer: FALSE

22) A treaty does not require Senate approval before being passed.
Answer: FALSE

23) Federal statutes take precedence over treaties.


Answer: FALSE

24) Treaties are considered to be a part of the supreme law of the United States of America.
Answer: TRUE

25) Statutes are written laws that establish certain courses of conduct that covered parties can use
as a form of guidance.
Answer: FALSE

26) Statutes are enacted by Congress and state legislatures.


Answer: TRUE

27) Federal statutes are organized by topic into code books.


Answer: TRUE

28) A set of state or federal laws that describes conduct that must be followed by those the set of
laws was designed to protect is known as a statute.
Answer: TRUE

29) The authority to enact ordinances lies solely with the state legislatures.
Answer: FALSE

30) Executive orders are an example of codified law.


Answer: FALSE

31) Ordinances are not codified into code books.


Answer: FALSE

32) Executive orders are issued only by the executive branch of the federal government.
Answer: TRUE

33) Decisions issued by administrative agencies are called statutes.


Answer: FALSE

34) State courts of one state are not required to follow the legal precedent established by the
courts of another state.
Answer: TRUE

35) The doctrine of stare decisis provides that each court decision is independent and should
stand on its own.
Answer: FALSE

36) ________ is that which must be obeyed and followed by citizens subject to sanctions or legal
consequences.
A) Morality
B) Philosophy
C) Law
D) Religion
Answer: C
Topic: What is Law?
37) Law is described as ________.
A) a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having binding
legal force
B) a study of fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge and
language
C) a system that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and
predictions
D) a group of hypotheses employed to explain a phenomenon
Answer: A
Topic: What is Law?
38) Which of the following would be considered an example of "shaping moral standards," as
seen as a function of the law?
A) laws granting freedom of speech and religion
B) laws discouraging drug and alcohol abuse
C) laws providing rights to peaceful protest
D) laws preventing overthrow of the government
Answer: B
Topic: What is Law?

39) What function of the law is being served when passing laws that prohibit discrimination at
workplaces?
A) keeping the peace
B) providing a basis for compromise
C) maintaining the status quo
D) promoting social justice
Answer: D
Topic: What is Law?
40) Halfren, a county in the state of Halizona, is extremely earthquake-prone. The governor of
Halizona set up a committee to study the effects of past earthquakes on Halfren and the possible
methods that could be used to minimize damage and loss of life. The committee found that a new
technique of using steel reinforcements in building columns would help reduce overall damages.
The findings were put to a debate at the local town hall, where it was accepted by a majority of
the residents of Halfren. The state government then passed a law making it mandatory to use the
new steel-reinforced columns while constructing new buildings in Halfren. Which of the
following function of the law did the state government of Halizona exhibit in this case?
A) promoting social justice
B) maximizing individual freedom
C) shaping moral standards
D) facilitating orderly change
Answer: D
Topic: What is Law?
Skill: Factual Application
41) What function of the law is being served when passing laws that protect the U.S. government
from the risk of being forcefully overthrown?
A) maintaining the status quo
B) shaping moral standards
C) facilitating orderly change
D) promoting social justice
Answer: A
Topic: What is Law?

42) By allowing U.S. citizens to practice any religion of their choice, what essential function of
the law does the U.S. Constitution serve?
A) facilitating orderly change
B) maintaining the status quo
C) maximizing individual freedom
D) facilitating planning
Answer: C
Topic: What is Law?
43) Mark Walton was involved in a car accident in which the airbag of his car failed to deploy.
He sued the car manufacturer for installing faulty airbags. But in the course of the case being
heard in court, the car company and Mark decided settle the lawsuit out of court. What important
function of the law was served in this case?
A) promoting social justice
B) maximizing individual freedom
C) providing a basis for compromise
D) maintaining the status quo
Answer: C
Topic: What is Law?
Skill: Factual Application
44) The Supreme Court case decision on the case of Brown v. Board of Education was important
because it exhibited ________.
A) the use of the affirmative action policy
B) the scope of flexibility of the law
C) the state's supremacy over federal rulings
D) the importance of following precedence
Answer: B
Topic: What is Law?
45) ________ is described as the theory or philosophy of law.
A) Morality
B) Ethics
C) Natural law
D) Jurisprudence
Answer: D
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought

46) Proponents of the ________ School of jurisprudence emphasize a moral theory of law, where
law is based on morality and ethics, and is discovered by human reasoning and making choices
between good and evil.
A) Sociological
B) Analytical
C) Historical
D) Natural Law
Answer: D
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
47) The Analytical School of jurisprudence maintains that the law should be ________.
A) shaped by logic
B) based on social behavior
C) set by the ruling class
D) based on morality
Answer: A
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
48) Which school of jurisprudence views law as a sort of evolutionary process, where changing
norms of society will be reflected in the law?
A) the Natural Law School of jurisprudence
B) the Sociological School of jurisprudence
C) the Analytical School of jurisprudence
D) the Historical School of jurisprudence
Answer: D
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
49) Imposing a ban on public smoking can serve as an example of a law that adheres to the
________ School of jurisprudence.
A) Command
B) Sociological
C) Law and Economics
D) Analytical
Answer: B
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought

50) Proponents of the Command School of jurisprudence will assert that the law is ________.
A) developed, communicated, and enforced by the ruling party
B) a means to achieve and advance sociological goals
C) a collection of a society's traditions and customs that has developed over the centuries
D) based on human reasoning, and humans' choosing power between what is good and evil
Answer: A
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
51) What school of jurisprudence bases its principles, for solving legal disputes, on broad notions
of "fairness," and subjective decision making by judges?
A) the Natural Law School of jurisprudence
B) the Analytical School of jurisprudence
C) the Critical Legal Studies School of jurisprudence
D) the Sociological School of jurisprudence
Answer: C
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
52) What school of jurisprudential thought emphasizes using law as a tool for market efficiency
while solving legal disputes?
A) the Critical Legal Studies School of jurisprudence
B) the Command School of jurisprudence
C) the Sociological School of jurisprudence
D) the Law and Economics School of jurisprudence
Answer: D
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
53) What School of jurisprudential thought is reflected in documents such as the U.S.
Constitution, the Magna Carta, and the United Nations Charter?
A) the Natural Law School
B) the Historical School
C) the Sociological School
D) the Analytical School
Answer: A
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought

54) The U.S. government passed draft laws during the Vietnam War decreeing that men of a
certain age had to serve in the military if they met physical requirements. Which of the following
schools of jurisprudential thought do such draft laws adhere to the most?
A) the Historical School of jurisprudential thought
B) the Natural Law School of jurisprudential thought
C) the Sociological School of jurisprudential thought
D) the Command School of jurisprudential thought
Answer: D
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
55) What was the key factor in the development of the English common law?
A) the development of forensic science in helping decide cases
B) the supremacy of the king and his intervening powers when deciding cases
C) the use of precedence of past cases for judges to decide present similar cases
D) the subjective decision making of judges when it came to similar cases
Answer: C
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
56) What was the key reason for the creation of law courts during the early development of the
English common law?
A) to administer law in a uniform manner
B) to help merchants form a standardized set of commercial laws
C) to increase the power of the king in law-making
D) to facilitate legal disputes for the wealthy and influential
Answer: A
Topic: History of American Thought
57) Which of the following statements best indicates how chancery courts were different from
law courts?
A) Chancery courts emphasized developing merchant laws rather than laws for the common
citizen.
B) Chancery courts inquired into the merits of the case rather than emphasize legal procedures.
C) Chancery courts emphasized a standard set of remedies across different cases rather than
provide equitable remedies.
D) Chancery courts had lower precedence level over legal decisions than the law courts.
Answer: B
Topic: History of American Thought

58) ________ courts were allowed to give equitable remedies under the English common law.
A) Merchant
B) Law
C) Chancery
D) Appellate
Answer: C
Topic: History of American Thought
59) What led to the creation of the Chancery Courts?
A) the insistence for a court system that emphasized legal procedure rather than the merits of a
case
B) the law courts' inability to hear all the cases presented to them
C) the increase in overseas trade and proliferation of piracy
D) the unfair results and limited remedies provided by the law courts
Answer: D
Topic: History of American Thought
60) What is considered as the supreme law of the land in the United States?
A) judicial decisions issued by the state courts
B) the Constitution of the United States of America
C) the federal statutes passed by the United States Congress
D) executive orders passed by the President
Answer: B

61) The ________ branch of the federal government has the power to enforce the law.
A) judicial
B) legislative
C) executive
D) commissary
Answer: C

62) What is the function of the judicial branch of the federal government?
A) It has the power to interpret and determine the validity of the law.
B) It has the power to enact the law.
C) It has the power to enforce the law.
D) It has the power to act as a liaison between legislative and the executive branches.
Answer: A

63) The branch of the federal government that has the power to enact laws is the ________.
A) legislature
B) judiciary
C) consulate
D) executive
Answer: A

64) Which of the following legal documents establishes the U.S. federal government and
specifies its powers?
A) federal statutes
B) the U.S. Constitution
C) the combined list of state statutes
D) the set of codified laws called ordinances
Answer: B

65) A(n) ________ is a compact made between two or more nations.


A) amendment
B) treaty
C) charter
D) statute
Answer: B

66) A(n) ________ is a written law enacted by the legislative branch of the federal and state
governments that establishes certain courses of conduct that covered parties must adhere to.
A) charter
B) treaty
C) executive order
D) statute
Answer: D

67) What would be an example of codified law in the United States?


A) judicial rulings
B) federal statutes
C) treaties
D) executive orders
Answer: B

68) Ordinances are codified laws that are issued by ________.


A) the President
B) the state legislature
C) Supreme Court judges
D) local government bodies
Answer: D

69) ________ are established by the legislative and executive branches of the federal
government to enforce and interpret statues enacted by the Congress and state legislatures.
A) Commissaries
B) State courts
C) Administrative agencies
D) Councils
Answer: C

70) What is a judicial decision?


A) a decision issued by the executive branch in a state of emergency
B) a decision about an individual lawsuit issued by a federal or state court
C) a codified law passed by the state legislature
D) a decision issued by the legislative branch to establish courses of conduct that covered parties
must adhere to
Answer: B

71) Stare decisis is the doctrine of ________.


A) providing proof to assert a fact in court
B) adhering to legal precedent
C) separating powers between state and religion
D) ensuring all legal rights are provided to a person when otherwise deprived of them
Answer: B

72) How is legal precedent used between courts of different states?


A) Courts of a state cannot cite the judicial decisions of courts of another state in its decisions.
B) Courts of a state must follow precedent from courts of another state for similar cases.
C) Courts of a state can use precedent from courts of another state as a form of guidance.
D) Courts of a state cannot challenge the precedence of courts of another state.
Answer: C

73) How does the doctrine of stare decisis help in creating stability in a legal system?
A) by ensuring that witnesses of a case will be protected by the state
B) by ensuring that the legal rights of a defendant are preserved
C) by allowing the use of precedence in deciding future cases
D) by allowing the use of writs
Answer: C

74) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), created by the Congress to enforce federal
securities laws, is an example of a(n) ________.
A) intelligence agency
B) congressional body
C) judicial body
D) administrative agency
Answer: D

75) According to the priority of law in the United States, which of the following statements is
true?
A) State regulations take precedence over state statutes.
B) Valid state laws take precedence over any conflicting federal laws.
C) Valid state laws take precedence over local laws.
D) State laws take precedence over the U.S. Constitution within that state.
Answer: C

76) Differentiate between the Historical School of jurisprudence and the Sociological School of
jurisprudence.
Answer: The Historical School of jurisprudence believes that the law is an aggregate of social
traditions and customs that have developed over the centuries. It believes that changes in the
norms of society will gradually be reflected in the law. To these legal philosophers, the law is an
evolutionary process. Historical legal scholars look to past legal decisions (precedent) to solve
contemporary problems.
While, the Sociological School of jurisprudence asserts that the law is a means of achieving and
advancing certain sociological goals. The followers of this philosophy, known as realists, believe
that the purpose of law is to shape social behavior. Sociological philosophers are unlikely to
adhere to past law as precedent.
Topic: Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
77) Give an account of the Law Merchant in early English common law.
Answer: As trade developed during the Middle Ages, the merchants who traveled about England
and Europe developed certain rules to solve their commercial disputes. These rules, known as the
"law of merchants" or the Law Merchant, were based on common trade practices and usage.
Eventually, a separate set of courts was established to administer these rules. This court was
called the Merchant Court. In the early 1900s, the Merchant Court was absorbed into the regular
law court system of England.

78) Explain the doctrine of stare decisis and how it has influenced the legal system.
Answer: Adherence to precedent is called the doctrine of stare. The doctrine of stare decisis
promotes uniformity of law within a jurisdiction, makes the court system more efficient, and
makes the law more predictable for individuals and businesses. A court may later change or
reverse its legal reasoning if a new case is presented to it and change is warranted. Based on the

common law tradition, past court decisions become precedent for deciding future cases. Lower
courts must follow the precedent established by higher courts. That is why all federal and state
courts in the United States must follow the precedents established by U.S. Supreme Court
decisions. The courts of one jurisdiction are not bound by the precedent established by the courts
of another jurisdiction, although they may look to each other form guidance.

79) Explain the priority of law in the United States.


Answer: In the United States, the U.S. Constitution and treaties take precedence over all other
laws in the United States. Federal statutes take precedence over federal regulations. Valid federal
law takes precedence over any conflicting state or local law. State constitutions rank as the
highest state law. State statutes take precedence over state regulations. Valid state law takes
precedence over local laws.

80) Give an account of how the digital age has affected lawmaking in the United States.
Answer: In a span of about three decades since their use became worldwide, computers have
revolutionized society.
Computers, once primarily used by businesses, have permeated the lives of most families as
well. The electronic age arrived before new laws were written that were unique and specific for
this environment. Courts have applied existing laws to the new digital environment by requiring
interpretations and applications. In addition, new laws have been written that apply specifically
to this new environment. The U.S. Congress has led the way, enacting many new federal statutes
to regulate the digital environment.

LEGAL HERITAGE AND THE DIGITAL AGE


Where there is no law, there is no freedom.

John Locke

I. Teacher to Teacher Dialogue

One of the most common dilemmas facing instructors of business law is the
issue of topic choice. By the very nature of the subjects we teach, the breadth of
materials is so wide that choosing what to focus on in the limited classroom time we
have with our students can be a most daunting task. This problem is especially
exacerbated when the topics we are dealing with are all of deep interest and can
stand alone as separate courses.
In this chapter, for example, we are asked to introduce students to topics
ranging from the definitions and purposes of law to how our system affects business
decisions, to some of the most important provisions found in the U.S. Constitution.
Any one of these subparts can provide the raw materials for an entire course at the
law school level. Our job must start with a self-evident, but sometimes forgotten,
point: this is not law school. We are here not to train future lawyers but rather
students who need to know enough about these issues to recognize that they are
issues. The technical legal problems they may be facing later will ultimately need to
be resolved using law and other practitioners.
The plus side of this dilemma is that because we have such a diverse menu to
select from, we are able to pick and choose our areas of emphasis. For example, if
your particular teaching and research interests lie in the area of ethics and the
schools of jurisprudential thought from which they are derived, then by all means,
run with it! Rather than trying to be all things to all people, it is better to focus
your efforts on your strengths. This does not mean that you can shortchange the
other material. All key objectives of the chapter should be fully outlined and
incorporated in both your lecture and materials outline. But if you have a particular
interest and expertise in, for example, the Law and Economics School of
jurisprudential thought, then use them as focal points of comparison in the
evolutionary process that seeks to distinguish the older schools of jurisprudence
from newer approaches to these issues. In any event, remember that philosophical
studies of what law is and what its role is in the larger scheme of things have always
posed questions virtually impossible to answer. As mentioned in the student study
guide, this chapter represents attempts by great thinkers to answer the
unanswerable. It would be far too presumptuous for us to think that we can teach,
in a few hours, what the great philosophers of the world have tried to do over
hundreds of years. Perhaps this is an early lesson in what wisdom is really all about:
the more we know of history, the more we know of our own limitations. If we can get
that point across, the course is off to a good start.
II. Chapter Objectives

Define law.
Describe the functions of law.
Explain the development of the US legal system.
List and describe the sources of law in the United States.
Discuss the importance of the U.S. Supreme Courts decision in Brown v.
Board of Education.

III.

Key Question Checklist

What is law?
Once you have identified the kind of societal expectation of behavior, what
standard of behavior is most appropriate? Does law codify the standard? Do
one or more of the schools of jurisprudence support the standard?
What are the sources of law in the United States?
What body of law and/or ethical standards apply?
How would you apply these standards to the facts?

IV. Text Materials

The first chapters objective is an introduction to the historical underpinnings of jurisprudential thought.
This would include not only the functions of law listed in the summary, but also an early opportunity to
introduce the role of ethics based on the various schools of jurisprudence discussed.

What is Law?
Laws consist of rules that regulate the conduct of individuals, businesses, and organizations, forbidding
undesirable activities.
Definition of Law Law is a group of rules promulgated by a controlling authority, with legal
consequences for lack of compliance.
Functions of the Law Laws are created to keep the peace, shape morals,
promote social policies, maintain the status quo, facilitate change or planning,
promote compromise, and/or to maximize individual freedoms.

Fairness of the Law The American legal system is, overall, a comprehensive and
fair system. Yet it is occasionally misused and abused.

Flexibility of the Law U.S. law has evolved and grown as a reflection of changes
in society, technology, and commerce. The same general principles that we were
established on still exist. The modifications exhibit the flexibility and maturity of our
system to be able to adapt to the changing commercial, social, and ethical
environments.

Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case: Brown v. Board of Education


This box discusses the application of law where the Supreme Court overturned the
separate buy equal doctrine that condoned separate schools for black children
and white children.
Case Questions
Critical Legal Thinking: The states must treat all individuals in the same manner
as others that are in similar positions or situations, without favoring residents or any
other group. Equal application is the important idea here.
Ethics: Separate but equal cannot be applied when it comes to education, so the
decision in Plessy v. Ferguson was wrong. The Plessy decision was based on the
idea of granting political and civil equality to African Americans, but left out social
equality.
Contemporary Business: The US Constitution was drafted to reflect changing
social, economic, technical, and intellectual ideas. This is what makes the
Constitution unique, as it slowly adapts to the changing world around us.

Schools of Jurisprudential Thought


There are several different philosophies about how the law developed, ranging from
the classical natural theory to modern theories of law and economics and critical
legal studies.

The different schools jurisprudential thought include the Natural Law School, based
on the moral theory of law; the Historical School, with its recognition of the social
traditions and customs that have developed over time; the Analytical School where
law is shaped by logic; the Sociological School where law is applied to advance
sociological goals; the Command School whose laws are established by the ruling
party rather than the society as a whole; the Critical Legal Studies School who claim
that laws are there only to maintain the status quo; and the Chicago School, or Law
and Economics School, which promotes market efficiency.

International Law: Command School of Jurisprudence of North Korea


North Koreathe Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (or DPRK)is a one party
communist dictatorship that has been ruled by one family since 1948. North Koreas
legal system is based on communist theory and the Command School of
jurisprudence. There is no judicial review of government-enacted laws or activities.

History of American Law

English Common Law English common law, the primary basis for U.S. law, was
based on judges issuing opinion when deciding a case. These opinions became the
basis for precedent used by later judges.
The historical underpinning of U.S. law can be further reinforced with some discussion of the tie-ins
between the countrys political history with that of the legal traditions of England and other countries.
This portion of the chapter material can be used to introduce students to a broad overview of the roles that
the worlds major legal systems play in the world economy. For example, the role of the Law Merchant
and its influence on international trade is critical to understanding most international rules on
import/export laws today. The origins of the Law Merchant, in turn, are traceable in large part to the
Roman civil law. In the end, the U.S. legal system represents the Cuisinart effect. There are ingredients
from English common law, Roman civil law, and Judeo-Christian canon law all thoroughly processed into
a bread of law. The individual ingredients are all present, but each is no longer independently identifiable.
Law Courts These were established following the Norman Conquest of
England in 1066 to administer laws in a uniform method. Law Courts
emphasized form over substance.

Chancery Courts These courts were established to serve when Law Courts
provided inadequate remedies; they provided equitable solutions. These
courts reviewed the merits of the case, rather than the procedural aspects.

Merchant Courts- Law Merchant courts were developed as a separate entity


to solve commercial disputes in the Middle Ages. They were not merged into
the regular court system in England until the early 1900s.

International Law: Adoption of English Common Law in America


All the states of the United States of America except Louisiana base their legal
systems primarily on the English common law. Currently, the law of the United
States is a combination of law created by the judicial system and by congressional
legislation.

International Law: The Civil Law System of France and Germany


The Romano-Germanic civil law system dates back to 450 B.C., when Rome adopted
a set of laws based on civil codes that applied to all Romans. The sole source of civil
law in a country is the application of code or statutes. Court decisions do not have
the force of law.

Sources of Law in the United States

Constitutions One of the goals of this chapter is to introduce students to the role
of the U.S. Constitution and its pivotal role in the ultimate distribution of powers
between the federal government and the states vis--vis the control of business
conduct in the U.S. This section also explains the three branches of the federal
government: the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

Treaties The Constitution establishes that only the president, upon the advice
and consent of the Senate, can enter into treaties with foreign powers.
Federal Statutes Statutes are written laws that establish and enforce certain courses of conduct.
Congress enacts federal statutes, whilst state legislatures enact state statutes. Ordinances are adopted by
local governmental bodies.
Contemporary Environment: How a Bill Becomes Law
The U.S. Congress is composed of two chambers, the U.S. House of Representatives
and the U.S. Senate. Thousands of bills are introduced in the U.S. Congress each
year, but only a small percentage of them become law. First, a bill must be
sponsored by a member of the U.S. House of Representative or the U.S. Senate.
Then, it is referred to the appropriate committee for review and study. Bills that
receive the vote of a committee are reported to the full chamber, where they are
debated and voted on. If the bill receives majority vote from the full chamber, and a
subsequent second chamber, then it is forwarded to the presidents desk. The bill
becomes law when it is signed by the president.

State Statutes State legislatures enact state statutes. Such statutes are placed
in code books. State statutes can be assessed in these hardcopy code books or
online.
Ordinances State legislatures often delegate lawmaking authority to local
government bodies, including cities and municipalities, counties, school districts,
water districts, and such. These governmental units are empowered to adopt
ordinances. Ordinances are also codified.

Executive Orders The executive branch of the government is empowered to


issue executive orders.

Regulations and Order of Administrative Agencies Agencies are created to


interpret and enforce statutes enacted by both federal and state Congresses.

Judicial Decisions Judges issue written decisions explaining their legal reasoning.
Doctrine of stare decisis establishes past court decisions as a precedent for future
decisions.

Priority of Law in the United States The U.S. Constitution and treaties take
precedence over all other laws, followed by federal statutes and federal regulations.
Federal law takes precedence over conflicting state law, which has precedence over
local laws. Similarly, state constitutions take precedence over state statutes and
regulations.

International Law: Immigrants Who Came Through Ellis Island


One of the major strengths of the United States is its cultural diversity. Ellis Island
was the primary entry point for immigrants entering the United States from the late
1800s until 1954.

Digital Law
The electronic age arrived before new laws were written that were unique and
specific for this environment. Courts have applied existing laws to the new digital
environment by requiring interpretations and applications. In addition, new laws
have been written that apply specifically to this new environment. The U.S.
Congress has led the way, enacting many new federal statutes to regulate the
digital environment

V. Case Problem

1.1 Fairness of the Law: Many students will react that the statute is unfair as it
does not afford women equal status in the workplace. In light of todays standards,
that position is well founded. However, it is a useful exercise to consider arguments
for the opposite position in the context of the time period. In enacting such a
statute, the legislature presumably entertained the view that women had special
needs, were subject to certain weaknesses, and therefore the demands made on
them had to be accommodated in the workplace. That these premises, i.e., special
needs and presumed weaknesses, might be false does not necessarily preclude one
from acting morally. Moralists might label this ignorance as excusable in that it is
invincible, i.e., an ignorance that cannot be destroyed or offers no moral reason
for doing so. Of course, modern experience and knowledge require that we question
these premises. It almost certainly would not be lawful today. Not only have the
items relevant to the test of equal protection broadened under present
constitutional interpretations, but also Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

prohibits any discrimination on the basis of sex in the terms, conditions and
benefits of employment. W. C. Ritchie & Co. v. Wayman, Attorney for Cook Country,
Illinois, 244 Ill. 509, 91 N.E. 695, Web 1910 Ill. Lexis 1958 (Supreme Court of Illinois).

VI. Ethics Case


1.2 Ethics: The better case is made by the dissent. The law has not been
progressive in this instance. It is likely that legislators entertained an unconscious
premise that women should not be required to fight a war. This speculation might be
supported by the fact that the majority of the Supreme Court summoned a technical
legal point to justify their ruling. The Court held that Congress was the proper party
to articulate the public policy that women should not fight at the front, thereby
removing themselves from any further consideration of the substantive issue, i.e.,
whether equality was being served as a matter of fairness. Rostker, Director of
Selective Service v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57, 101 S. Ct. 2646, 69 L. Ed. 2d 478, Web
1981 U.S. Lexis 126 (Supreme Court of the United States)

VIII. Terms

Administrative agenciesAgencies (such as the Securities and Exchange


Commission and the Federal Trade Commission) that the legislative and
executive branches of federal and state governments are empowered to
establish.
Administrative rules and regulationsUsed by administrative agencies to
enforce statutes. These rules and regulations have the force of law.
Analytical SchoolSchool of jurisprudence maintains that the law is shaped
by logic.
BillMany bills are introduced each year at the U.S. Congress, out of which a
few are passed as law.
Brown v. Board of EducationA landmark Supreme Court case in which a
unanimous decision reversed prior precedent and held that the separate but
equal doctrine violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment to the Constitution. The decision led to the banning of school
segregation.
ChamberThe U.S. Congress is composed of two chambers, the U.S. House
of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Civil LawA code of laws applicable to Romans. Also known as the RomanoGermanic civil law system.
Code bookFederal statutes are organized by topic into code books.
Codified lawFederal statutes that have been organized into code books.
Command SchoolSchool of jurisprudence that believes that the law is a set
of rules developed, communicated, and enforced by the ruling party rather
than a reflection of the societys morality, history, logic, or sociology.
CommitteeBills from either of the two chambers of the U.S. Congress are
reviewed and studied by an appropriate committee. The committee may
reject the bill, report it to the full chamber for a vote, not act on it, or send it
to a subcommittee for further study.

Conference committeeCommittee made up of members of both the U.S.


House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Constitution of the United States of AmericaThe supreme law of the United
States.
Court of ChanceryCourt that granted relief based on fairness. Also called
equity court.
Critical Legal Studies SchoolSchool of Jurisprudence that proposes legal
rules are unnecessary and are used as an obstacle by the powerful to
maintain the status quo.
English common lawLaw developed by judges who issued their opinions
when deciding a case. The principles announced in these cases became
precedent for later judges deciding similar cases.
Executive branchA branch of the U.S. government that has the power to
enforce the law. The president of the United States constitutes the executive
branch of the government.
Executive orderAn order issued by a member of the executive branch of the
government.
Federal StatuteWritten laws, enacted by the U.S. Congress, that regulate
foreign and interstate commerce.
French Civil Code of 1804One of the models used by countries that adopted
civil codes. Also known as the Napoleonic Code.
German Civil Code of 1896One of the models for countries used by
countries that adopted civil code. Such codes act as the sole source of law in
most civil law countries.
Historical SchoolSchool of jurisprudence that believes the law is an
aggregate of social traditions and customs that have developed over the
centuries.
Judicial branchA branch of the U.S. government that has the power to
interpret and determine the validity of the law. Also known as the courts.
Judicial decisionA decision about an individual lawsuit issued by federal and
state courts.
JurisprudenceThe philosophy or science of law.
LawThat which must be obeyed and followed by citizens, subject to
sanctions or legal consequences; a body of rules of action or conduct
prescribed by controlling authority and having binding legal force.
Law courtA court that developed and administered a uniform set of laws
decreed by the kings and queens after William the Conqueror, legal
procedure was emphasized over merits at this time.
Law and Economics SchoolSchool of jurisprudence that believes that
promoting market efficiency should be the central goal of legal decision
making. Also called Chicago School.
Law MerchantRules based on based on common trade practices and usage
that were applied by merchants around England and Europe, in the Middle
ages, to solve commercial disputes. Also known as law of merchants.
Legislative branchA branch of the U.S. government that has the power to
enact the law. Also known as the U.S. Congress.
Merchant CourtThe separate set of courts established to administer the
law of merchants.
Moral theory of lawTheory that proposes that the law should be based on
morality and ethics.
Natural Law SchoolSchool of jurisprudence that postulates that the law is
based on what is correct.
OrderA decision of an administrative agency.

OrdinanceLaws enacted by local government bodies, such as cities and


municipalities, counties, school districts, and water districts.
PrecedentA rule of law established in a court decision. Lower courts must
follow the precedent established by higher courts.
Romano-Germanic civil law systemLegal system that dates back to 450 BCE
when Rome adopted the Twelve Tables, a code of laws applicable to the
Romans. Commonly known as civil law.
Sociological SchoolSchool of jurisprudence that asserts that the law is a
means of achieving and advancing certain sociological goals.
Stare decisisLatin for to stand by the decision. Adherence to precedent.
State ConstitutionConstitutions that establish the legislative, executive, and
judicial branches of state government and establish the powers of each
branch.
State StatuteStatute enacted by state legislatures and placed in code
books.
StatuteWritten law enacted by the legislative branch of the federal and
state governments that establishes certain courses of conduct that covered
parties must adhere to.
SubcommitteeStudies bills sent by the committee. After review the
subcommittee may either let the bill die or report it back to the full
committee.
TreatyA compact made between two or more nations.
U.S. CongressBranch of the government that creates federal law by
enacting statutes.
U.S. House of RepresentativesA chamber of the U.S. Congress.
U.S. SenateA chamber of the U.S. Congress.