Modern Day Law in the United States

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In the United States, there seem to be laws for everything, ranging from regulations on pet ownership to the regulations keeping massive financial institutions from running amok. While this can oftentimes seem a hassle for small things like speeding violations and pet licenses, sometimes a complex code of laws really is for the best to ensure that there is in fact one nation, with justice for all rather than a hazily defined set of rules that open the door to more corruption than exists even now. And, while the American legal system is far, far from perfect, the intent of the whole ball of wax is to ensure that all citizens, no matter what their race, religion, gender or any other personal orientation, gets a fair shake in the land’s courts, whether they’re defending themselves against accusations of crimes or lashing back at massive companies that have thoroughly exploited them. Further, these laws keep the very powerful from utterly dominating the very weak, whether their power is martial or fiscal.

Laws in the United States are drafted by the legislative branches of their respective jurisdictions. Thus, federal laws are drafted by the United States Congress, while state wide laws are drafted by state senates and small jurisdictions have their own legislative bodies that work out local laws and ordinances. Drafting a new law or regulation is something of a complex task; legislators can not simply draft any law they want. Judges of certain ranks can deem laws unconstitutional and have them stricken from the law books, while a jurisdiction’s executive officer, be it the president of the entire country or the mayor of a small town, can choose to veto a law and thus keep it from being enshrined into law. This forms a complex system of checks and balances on the modern day law in the United States, keeping the legislative branches of the government from dominating the other branches and with them the people of the nation through tyrannical laws. Legislative branches are further limited by the size of their jurisdictions; try as they might, unbalanced moralizers in isolated rural areas can not lay down the laws for the entire nation. Additionally, even federal level politicians can find themselves over ruled by local politicians, though these matters are almost always hotly and very publicly contested in American court rooms.

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Surviving United States courts takes a thorough knowledge of the law; it is for this reason that all American accused of crimes are entitled to lawyers, even if they can not afford them. Because the modern laws of the United States are so intricate and complex, and because court room procedures are so thoroughly specialized and almost ritualized, one must have a lot of legal training to stand a chance in an American court; thus representing oneself in court, while legal, is seen as the act of incredible egotism or outright mental illness. While the legal profession is often derided as the source of the more litigious aspects of United States society, there’s no denying that even the profession’s detractors are just as quick to hire a lawyer as anyone else.

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