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The US Constitution was formed and signed in 1787 by the Founding Fathers. Constitutional law exemplifies the standards and guidelines that administer the nation and outlines the rights and privileges of its citizens. The Constitution sets the lawful boundaries for what the government can and can’t do and it plots the essential privileges of its residents.
The Supreme Court of the U.S. is an official decision maker with respect to whether an issue is constitutional or not. Not all cases make it to the Supreme Court and yearly, the Supreme Court gets more than 7,000 cases to audit. The Court hears a little more than 100 of those cases. Otherwise all constitutional matters are upheld in city and district courts.
If a fundamental human right is being referred to in the courtroom, the court will audit it under severe examination. This implies if major rights are confined, there must be a convincing governmental purpose behind this restriction and it must be cultivated in a smooth manner. It is hard to fulfill this high guideline and administrative organizations commonly don’t win in during such constitutional issues.
Constitutional Law Examples
There are three major branches of the US Constitution: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The legislature is Congress which is further divided to the House of Representatives and the Senate, the executive is the President and then the Vice President, and the judicial branch consists of the supreme court. Other city and district courts come under the supreme court.
There are examples of constitutional law that reflect on these three branches of the Constitution.
State appointed attorney: If a defendant is accused of a crime, they have the right to an attorney if they can’t afford to hire one, the State is required to provide him a lawyer as per his constitutional right.
Checks and balances: Every branch of the government should carry out their duties justly and must never misuse their authority and power over the weak.
Equivalent Protection: As per the constitutional right of equality, each citizen shall be treated in the same equal way regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity or religion. It is a constitutional right for every citizen to be treated equally.
Due process: This implies that those that are dependent upon the judicial system will be dealt with decency and manage their privileges under the law.
Freedom of speech: This is one of the common freedoms that ensures a resident’s entitlement to express their opinions as long as they don’t harm a second person.
Freedom of religion: This is another common freedom specifying the right of a citizen to freely practice their religion and without any interruption.
Separation of power: This means that the judicial, executive and legislative branches shall keep their powers separate and must never intervene in others matters, they shall only be accountable for their actions.
Types of Constitutional Law
There are many types of constitutional laws:
Codified/uncodified: What is written in the Constitution is a supreme law and can only be judged by a Constitutional court.
Flexible/inflexible: The UK constitution is flexible- can be amended with ease, whereas the US constitution is inflexible and has requirements to be amended.
Monarchical: This is where one monarch is the head of the state, like the Queen is of the UK.
Republican: Like the US constitution, the President is elected by the people who are the head of state and the head of government.
Presidential: The president is the head of the state.
Parliamentary: The vice president is the head of the state.
What are the Two Sources of Constitutional Law?
In the United States, there are two sources of constitutional law: The United States Constitution and State Governments. The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established the three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial). It also granted each branch specific powers in order to establish checks and balances so that no one branch of government becomes too powerful, or worse, misuses their power.
The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights protects citizens (and sometimes business organizations) from certain government actions. For example, both citizens and business organizations have the right to be free of unreasonable search and seizures by the government.
What are the five Sources of Law?
The five primary sources of law in the United States are:
The Constitution: Constitution is a document that gives out a set of rules for governments and their bodies as to how a country shall be ruled- it becomes a blueprint for governmental bodies and citizens.
Statutes: Statutes are created by the federal, state and local legislatures, which are composed of elected officials who have the power to create laws.
Administrative law: It is a source of law established by different state agencies with the capacity to do so, for instance, regulatory bodies/agencies.
Court rules: These are a source of law established by the highest court of the land and the legislature, to provide rules for criminal and civil procedures to manage court processes.
Regional and International treaties: These are federal sources of law developed to manage international relations.
A constitutional law is a broader term for the constitution, which is a document that outlines the legal, judicial and administrative functions of the government, and gives certain rights to all its citizens. This is the difference between constitution and constitutional law. The country is governed keeping the constitution in mind, and constitutional laws reflect on the rules and how the country should be run.
All three branches of the government have their own set of rules which obviously align with the constitutional laws, it is important that all branches make sure to properly follow the constitution so that justice is rightfully served.