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Lawmaking Chapter 2 Street Law Text pp. 19-28. Statutes Local [county/city] laws passed by county boards and city councils Ordinances Federal and State.

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Presentation on theme: "Lawmaking Chapter 2 Street Law Text pp. 19-28. Statutes Local [county/city] laws passed by county boards and city councils Ordinances Federal and State."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lawmaking Chapter 2 Street Law Text pp

2 Statutes Local [county/city] laws passed by county boards and city councils Ordinances Federal and State laws passed by the Legislative Branch Supremacy Clause The Constitution and the Laws of the United States….shall be the supreme law of the land. Article 6

3 Lawmaking The Legislative Branch makes laws, but there are other groups that also make laws Legislatures – This one we understand… laws created by legislatures are called Statutes – Each state has a 2 house legislature like the federal government that passes statutes except for Nebraska – Broad powers to state legislatures because of the 10 th amendment Local Governments – Cities, Towns, and Counties create laws called Ordinances – Many of the laws we deal with daily are local ordinances Agencies Courts The People Laws are introduced in the form of Bills – Ideas for bills come from legislators, the executive branch, individuals, groups, businesses, and lobbyists After a Law is passed the people must obey it and the courts must interpret what the law means Legislative Intent or if it is by Letter of the Law

4 Problem 2.1 a.No parking on the east side of Main Street between 4:00pm and 6:00am b.All persons between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school c.Whoever enters a bank for purposes of taking by force or violence the property or money in custody of such bank shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned not more than 20 years or both d.In order to sell any product on public streets, the seller must first apply for and receive a vendors permit e.No employer of more than 15 persons may discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin f.All persons traveling on interstate airline carriers are subject to search before entering the airplane departure area. Decide whether each of the following is a federal, a state, and/or a local law. Then give an example, not listed here, of a federal, a state, and a local law.

5 Bills Black and White… what is written in a law with no interpretation. Letter of the Law Proposed laws at the Federal and State levels. Legislative Intent The court interprets a law to determine what the legislature meant when creating the law.

6 Problem 2.2 The Unclear Law a.Tony lives on one side of the city and works on the other. He will save ten minutes if he drives through the park. b.To keep the park clean, trash barrels are located throughout the area. The sanitation department wants to drive a truck into the park to collect the trash from the barrels. c.Two police cars are chasing a suspected bank robber. If one police car cuts through the park, it can get in front of the suspects car and trap it between the patrol cars. d.An ambulance is racing to the hospital with a dying patient. The shortest route is through the park. e.Elena wants to take her baby to the park in a stroller. f.A monument is being erected to the citys citizens who died in the Vietnam War. A tank, donated by the government, is to be placed beside the monument. g.Amul uses an electric wheelchair and wants to visit the park. The law seems clear, but some disputes have arisen over its interpretation. Interpret the law in the following cases, keeping in mind what the law says (letter of the law) as well as the legislative intent. Examine each situation and decide whether or not the vehicle described should be allowed in the park. Write the reasons for your choices. When you finish analyzing all of the situations, rewrite the law to make it clearer.

7 Drafting a Bill An unclear law is almost impossible to enforce These questions should be asked an answered when creating a statute or ordinance: Is the law written in clear language? Is the law understandable? When does the law go into effect? Does the law contradict any other laws? Is the law enforceable? If so, by whom? Are the penalties for breaking the law clear and understandable? Courts will not enforce laws that are so vague it is unclear exactly what is prohibited good reason If there is doubt about what a word means the courts will interpret it in its ordinary meaning. This makes legislatures write in plain English [vernacular] without using difficult legal terminology.

8 Public Hearings Public meetings to discuss proposed regulations by an agency of government

9 Agencies and Lawmaking Federal, State, and Local agencies can also make laws through their regulations. – OSHA= Occupational Safety and Health Administration – EPA= Environmental Protection Agency – Department of Homeland Security – DOT= Department of Transportation TSA= Transportation Security Administration Local Agencies – Zoning, Health Boards, School Board Regulations are usually not passed until there have been Public Hearings

10 Problem 2.4 a.Find an article in your local paper about an administrative agency. What is the agencys name? What does it do? Is it part of the federal, state, or local government? What does the article say about the agency? b.Find evidence of an agency at work in your community. What agency is acting? What action is the agency taking? Is there any way for the public to have an impact on the agency? If so, how? Is the agency part of the federal, state, or local government? c.Choose an occupation or profession (such as an electrician, physician, lawyer, schoolteacher, or hair stylist). Interview someone in that occupation to get answers to the following questions: What agency or organization regulates the profession? What are the qualifications for the profession? Are any licenses or tests required? How does the agency decide who gets a license? Is the agency part of the federal, state, or local government? Choose one of the following:

11 Trials A court proceeding. Appeals To take a case to a higher court for a rehearing Appeals Courts Courts that hear appeals or retry a case from a lower court Court decision on a legal question that guides future cases with similar questions Precedent

12 Treaty An agreement or contract between countries. Extradition Process in which one country asks another to surrender a suspected or convicted criminal.

13 Advocacy Chapter 3 Street Law Text pp

14 In our democracy, citizens are responsible for making the law, usually through elected representatives. Voting may be an important obligation but an individuals lawmaking role is far reaching. Citizens are responsible for working to change laws that are not helping to solve problems and working for new laws and policies that help communities, cities, states, and the country.

15 The Art of Advocacy Advocacy is the active support of a cause. Persuading others to support the same cause is also an important part of advocacy. Students are good advocates for not only themselves but also for the community, state, and nation. Advocacy takes excellent communication skills, an effective plan, and quality research.

16 Lobbying Lobbying is a way to influence the lawmaking process by convincing lawmakers to vote as you want them to. Lobbying though sometimes looked down upon is one of our fundamental rights from freedom of speech. A lobbyist is usually employed by a group trying to influence public policy. There are lobbyists for any and all things today. Grassroots lobbyistsare people or groups that work to convince a lawmaker to vote for or against a particular issue by participating in rallies or letter writing campaigns. Grassroots lobbyists have neither the money or prestige of many other lobbyists but they do have the VOTE usually. Critics claim that lobbyists buy legislation.

17 Initiative and Referendum Voting is a basic Constitutional right Initiative is a law proposed directly by the people, usually through petition, that will be voted on by the people Referendum is a proposed law referred to the people for a vote. Usually it is due to the fact that the proposed law is controversial and the legislative body does not want to take the blame for passing the law. Recall is an election to remove an elected official from office. In the United States anyone 18 years and older that is a citizen may vote. You must register and be registered in only one location.

18 Participating in Elections In 2004 in the United States 72% of eligible voters were registered to vote. In % of those registered voted in the Presidential election. Think about that… only 55% of eligible voters voted which means 28% elected George W. Bush to a second term. In % of registered voters voted in the Presidential election which is 57% of eligible voters so only 29% of the voting age population elected BarackObama. Voter turnout in the United States has been declining over the years. Middle and upper class whites make up the majority of voters. Canada and Mexico have similar turnout for elections… but some of the newest democracies in the world have much greater voter participation.

19 Voter Turnout * 231,229,580 NA 132,618,580* 56.8%ObamaD ,600, ,889,600 80,588, ,256, ,800, ,294, GW BushR ,473, ,990,598 79,830, ,815, ,421, ,586, GW BushR ,929, ,850,558 73,117, ,511, ,211,960 96,456, ClintonD ,650, ,292,822 75,105, ,529, ,821, ,405, ClintonD ,812, ,105,630 67,859, ,778, ,379,628 91,594, GHW BushR ,566, ,399,984 64,991, ,466, ,150,614 92,652, ReaganR ,938, ,671,225 67,615, ,597, ,043,734 86,515, ReaganR ,373, ,291,265 58,917, ,309, ,037,986 81,555, CarterD ,336,000 96,199, ,943, ,776,000 97,328,541 77,718, NixonR ,498,000 82,496, ,014, ,328,186 81,658,18073,211, NixonR ,132,000 76,288, ,188, ,090,000 73,715,818 70,644, JohnsonD ,423,000 65,393, ,141, ,159,000 64,833, ,838, KennedyD

20 Problem 3.3 a.Make two lists: one of all the reasons for voting and another of all the reasons for not voting. b.The following proposals have been made to encourage more people to vote. Do you favor or oppose each proposal? Explain your answers. a.Allow people to register and vote on the same day. b.Lower the voting age to 16 so some high school students could vote c.Keep the polls open for a week instead of a day. d.Automatically register everyone who has a drivers license.

21 Problem 3.4 a.Each of the following persons served in the previous government (the dictatorship) and now seeks a senior position in the new government. Apply the proposed law to determine which, if any, of these people should be allowed to serve. Explain the reasons for your answers. a.A well-trained scientist provided chemicals that the dictator used to kill thousands of people of a particular ethnic group. b.A university professor was required to join the dictators party in order to continue her teaching. c.The head of the housing department had given better housing to ruling party officials. d.A senior police official was generally known to be fair to citizens but had enforced the dictators laws banning demonstrations. This person was also active in the revolution that overthrew the dictatorship. e.A theater director, jailed for antigovernment actions and regularly tortured in prison, agreed to spy on others as a condition of his release from prison. b.What are the reasons for and against having such a screening law? If you were in the legislature of the new government, would you support or oppose the law? Would you propose a change in the law? Explain your reasons.

22 Campaign Finance Reform Campaigns for office are expensive at almost every level. [unless you happen to run unopposed] Critics of the current system argue that: – People of low or middle income cannot run for office successfully because they cannot raise huge sums of money – Special interest receive favors in exchange for substantial campaign contributions – Elected officials spend too much time raising money and not enough time doing their jobs Campaign law is enforced by the Federal Election Commission and the state Election Commissions Today each individual can donate $ to any candidate for office.

23 Problem 3.5 a.Which of the following proposals is closest to your view of campaign finance reform? Explain your answer. The only way to take money out of politics is to have full federal funding of presidential and congressional elections. In a free country with democratic elections, it makes no sense to try to limit how much money voters and candidates can contribute to campaigns. If people have the money and want to spend it on campaigns, then they should be able to. We have to balance the rights of those who want to contribute money to campaigns against the need to fight corruption and undue influence in politics. The best way to do this is through disclosure laws: let everyone see who is giving money to candidates. If elected officials favor the special interests that funded their campaigns. The voters can vote them out of office in the next election. b.Which of the following is closest to your view of judicial election? Explain your answer. Money and judicial elections do don't mix. Independent commissions should appoint judges. Politics should be taken out of choosing judges. The chief executive-the governor- should nominate judges, and the state legislatures should confirm them. In a democracy we have to trust the people. Judges should be elected just like other officials


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