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39 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What are the three levels of government?
1) Federal
2) State
3) Local
What are the three branches of government?
1) Legislative
2) Executive
3) Judicial
What are the functions of the three branches of government?
1) Legislative - Makes Laws
2) Executive - Carries Out Laws
3) Judicial - Interprets Law & Resolves Disputes
What are the two methods by which statues can be created in many states?
1) Referendum - direct vote of the people

2) The Legislature writes the statute.
Law
Any system of regulations to govern the conduct of the people of a community, society or nation, in response to the need for regularity, consistency and justice based upon collective human experience.
Common Law
The traditional unwritten law of England, based on custom and usage, which began to develop over a thousand years before the founding of the United States.
Jurisdiction
The authority given by law to a court to try cases and rule on legal matters within a particular geographic area and/or over certain types of legal cases.
Jurisprudence
The entire subject of law, the study of law and legal questions.
Federalism
A system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units.
Separation of Powers
The constitutional allocation of the legislative, executive, and judicial powers among the three branches of government, cannot infringe upon each other's constitutionally vested powers.
Checks and Balances
System whereby each branch of an organization can limit the powers of the other branches.
Constitution
The fundamental, underlying document which establishes the government of a nation or state.
Statute
A law enacted by the legislative branch of a government
Case
Short for a cause of action, lawsuit, or the right to sue
Stare Decisis
Latin for "to stand by a decision," the doctrine that a trial court is bound by appellate court decisions (precedents) on a legal question which is raised in the lower court.
Precedent
A prior reported opinion of an appeals court which establishes the legal rule (authority) in the future on the same legal question decided in the prior judgment.
Legislature
An officially elected or otherwise selected body of people vested with the responsibility and power to make laws for a political unit, such as a state or nation.
Judiciary
The system of law courts that administer justice and constitute the judicial branch of government
Executive Branch of Government
The branch of the United States government that is responsible for carrying out the laws
Appeal
To ask a higher court to reverse the decision of a trial court after final judgment or other legal ruling
Personal Jurisdiction
The jurisdiction granted a court over the parties before it that allows it to issue a binding judgment
In Personam
from Latin for "directed toward a particular person." In a lawsuit in which the case is against a specific individual, that person must be served with a summons and complaint to give the court jurisdiction to try the case, and the judgment applies to that person and is called an "in personam judgment."
In Rem
From Latin "against or about a thing," referring to a lawsuit or other legal action directed toward property, rather than toward a particular person. Thus
Civil
That part of the law that encompasses business, contracts, estates, domestic (family) relations, accidents, negligence and everything related to legal issues, statutes and lawsuits, that is not criminal law
Criminal
A popular term for anyone who has committed a crime, whether convicted of the offense or not. More properly it should apply only to those actually convicted of a crime. Repeat offenders are sometimes called habitual criminals.
Legislative
Of or relating to the enactment of laws.
Administrative Law
The procedures created by administrative agencies (governmental bodies of the city, county, state or federal government) involving rules, regulations, applications, licenses, permits, available information, hearings, appeals and decision-making.
Charter
The name for articles of incorporation in some states, as in a corporate charter.
Ordinance
A statute enacted by a city or town.
Rules of Court
A set of procedural regulations adopted by courts which are mandatory upon parties and their lawyers on matters within the jurisdiction of those courts. Most states have statewide rules of court.
Executive Order
A President's or Governor's declaration which has the force of law, usually based on existing statutory powers, and requiring no action by the Congress or state legislature.
Treaty
A pact between nations which, if entered into by the United States through its Executive Branch, must be approved by "two-thirds of the Senators present," under Article II, section 2 of the Constitution, to become effective. Presidents sometimes get around the Senate by entering into "Executive Agreements" with leaders of other countries which are a mode of cooperation and not enforceable treaties.
Opinion
The explanation of a court's judgment.
Advisory Opinon
An opinion stated by a judge or a court upon the request of a legislative body or government agency. An advisory opinion has no force of law but is given as a matter of courtesy
Judicial Economy
Refers to the overall efficiency in the operation of the judicial system or the efficiency of a given court.
Constitutional Rights
The rights given or reserved to the people by the U.S. Constitution, and in particular, the Bill of Rights (first ten amendments).
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the federal Constitution demanded by several states in return for ratifying the Constitution
Judicial
Referring to a judge, court or the court system.
Executive
The branch of government charged with putting into effect a country's laws and the administering of its functions.