The answer to who makes the federal laws in the United States is actually quite complex. There are three branches of government, each with their own unique laws and responsibilities.
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The Legislative Branch: Who Makes the Federal Laws?
The Legislative Branch: Who Makes the Federal Laws?
The Constitution gives Congress the sole power to enact legislation and declare war, the power to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments, and substantial investigative powers.
The Executive Branch: Who Carries Out the Federal Laws?
The President of the United States is the head of the executive branch. The President is responsible for carrying out the laws of the United States. The President can veto laws that Congress passes, but Congress can override the veto with a two-thirds vote.
The executive branch also includes the Vice President, the departments of State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security, as well as tens of thousands of other federal agencies and commissions.
The Judicial Branch: Who Interprets the Federal Laws?
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land. This means that all other laws must agree with it. When people disagree about what a particular law means, they take their arguments to court. Courts are a part of the government, and the people who work in courts are called judges.
The judicial branch is the part of government that interprets the laws. The judicial branch is made up of different kinds of courts. The Supreme Court is at the top of this system. The Supreme Court is made up of nine justices who serve for life. They hear cases that have been appealed from lower courts and decide whether or not the lower court’s interpretation of the law was correct.
The job of a justice on the Supreme Court is to interpret the Constitution and federal laws and to apply them to real-life situations. Sometimes this requires that they make new law. For example, in 1857, the Supreme Court issued a decision in the case Dred Scott v. Sandford . This case helped to start the Civil War because it said that African Americans could not be citizens and that slavery was legal in all parts of the country. In 1954, in the case Brown v. Board of Education , the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for public schools to be segregated by race
The Federal Bureaucracy: Who Administers the Federal Laws?
The federal bureaucracy is the administrative arm of the Federal government charged with carrying out the laws of the nation. The bureaucracy is made up of over 2 million civil servants who work in more than 100 different agencies. The largest agencies are the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Social Security.
The bureaucracy is headed by the President, who appoints the heads of each agency. These agency heads are known as cabinet secretaries. The President also appoints other high-ranking officials, such as ambassadors and Supreme Court justices.
The States: Who Makes the State Laws?
The United States is a federal republic, and our laws reflect that. Federal laws are made by the United States Congress, which is divided into two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Senators are elected by the people of their state, and representatives are elected by the people of their district. The number of representatives each state has is based on its population.
State laws are made by the state legislatures, which are also divided into two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The number of representatives each state has in its legislature is based on its population.
Some laws enacted by state legislatures may be preempted by federal law. This means that if there is a conflict between a state law and a federal law, the federal law will take precedence.
Local Governments: Who Makes the Local Laws?
In the United States, local laws are made by city and county governments. The laws that these governments make are usually about things like building codes, traffic laws, and noise ordinances.
The city or county government gets its power to make these laws from the state government. In most states, the state constitution gives the state legislature the power to pass laws that apply to all cities and counties in the state. The state legislature can also delegate this power to city and county governments.
For example, the New York State Legislature has passed a law that says city and county governments can make their own laws about noise levels. So, if you live in New York City, you have to follow the local noise ordinance. But if you live in a small town in upstate New York, there might not be a local noise ordinance.
Local laws are different from federal laws. Federal laws apply to everyone in the United States, no matter what state they live in.
The People: Who Makes the People’s Laws?
The United States Congress is the people’s lawmaking body. The House of Representatives is made up of 435 voting members, each representing a congressional district. The number of districts in a state depends on the state’s population. The Senate has 100 members--two from each state.
In addition to making laws, Congress has other important duties. These include declaring war, approving presidential appointments, and ratifying treaties. Another power given to Congress is the power of the purse--the ability to raise and spend money.
The Constitution gives Congress certain powers, but it also limits what Congress can do. For example, Congress cannot violate the right to freedom of speech or religion protected by the First Amendment.
The Media: Who Informs the People about the Laws?
It is the job of the media to inform the people about the laws. The media does this by reporting on the news, by interviewing people who are knowledgeable about the law, and by writing articles that explain the law.
Interest Groups: Who lobbies for Changes in the Laws?
Lobbyists work for various types of organizations, including businesses, trade associations, non-profit groups, and labor unions.
In addition to representing the interests of their clients, some lobbyists also represent themselves as citizen lobbyists on behalf of the common good or for a particular cause. For example, a citizen lobbyist might lobby for stronger environmental protections or for stricter penalties for hate crimes.
Interest groups also lobby federal government officials on behalf of their members or causes. For example, the National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbies officials to support gun rights, while the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lobbies officials to protect civil liberties.
The Constitution: Who Makes the Supreme Law of the Land?
In the United States, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. This means that it is the highest law in the country and no other law can supersede it. The Constitution is made up of a set of principles called the Articles of Confederation. These principles establish how the government works and what powers it has. The Constitution also establishes certain rights for citizens, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion.