The law of the United States is divided into three levels; local, state, and federal. At each of these levels the law takes on a different role and different meaning to those living under its conditions. Let’s take a look at each level of law you can find as a person living in the United States.
Federal law has its foundations in the constitution of America. It was originally formulated to focus on areas such as
- foreign affairs
However these days, federal law has expanded to include many other areas such as
Each state in the United States operates separately and has its own constitution, government and courts. The laws devised by each state have mostly been based upon English common law. The only exception is Louisiana, whose state law is based on French and Spanish civil laws. Despite the common roots of state law, they can differ greatly in interpretations.
A state will refer to its constitution as either
- revised statutes
- compiled statutes
At a further level down, each state government imparts the power of law upon localities such as
- other special districts
This then makes state laws open to interpretation by such areas. However, many times districts are overlapping, and a resident may find themselves under the laws of several distinct areas, making it confusing as to which set of laws to follow.
No matter what level of law, they are all in place to protect the United States and its citizens.