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Law Library

Sources of Law and Types of Authority: Structure is Key


  • The United States is a Federal Republic Consisting Of
    • a Federal (national) government and 50 state governments.
    • Federalism means that there are two levels of government in this country: federal and state.
    • In a real sense the United States is a country of 51 different governments,
      • 50 states and one federal government.
  •     There is no single legal system, rather many legal systems

Form of Government

The Federal and State governments are tripartite

  • Divided into or composed of three parts of kinds
  • It is critical to know which branch of government generated a particular document in order to understand the role it should play in your legal analysis

Role of the Constitution

The United States Constitution forms the foundation of the law in the jurisdiction that is the United States.
It establishes the legal framework of the government. 
It delegates and apportions duties among the branches of government.
It defines the rights and liberties of the citizens of the United States.