According to U.S. Code 2018, the United States Federal code is a consolidation of previous iterations and precedents. Whereas other nations might create a brand new set of laws from nothing, the United States simply consolidated a set of laws from various places.
At both the federal and state levels within the American government exist a series of codes that function as rules for a polite society. These written codes or laws were derived from the common law system in England but have since incorporated several civil law concepts.
Originally when the United States was under the rule of England it was subject to the common law tradition. English common law allowed certain things that were not allowed later by the US Constitution. Common law judges are not only there to reinforce the laws but they have the option of creating laws. At the state level, state courts were given the option of modifying common law and that has resulted in the laws from one state being vastly different from another.
Today all of these laws that exist at the federal and state level, constitutional laws all the way down through local laws undergo regular changes and are regularly written down when those changes take place.
Why is it important to have a code of written laws?
Legal experts claim it is important to have a code of written laws because a written code of laws is integral to a well-functioning society. It represents an effort to unify all citizens, provide information about what rights citizens have at what point their rights infringe upon others. It also serves as a way for the government to process crimes and ensure justice.
Having a written code reinforces the principle that the government is responsible for what takes place within society, that the government to some extent has to work to prevent crime against other people and protect the rights of every human.
Written laws also provide a democratic form of power. Where laws are written down an entire Society can debate the fairness of existing laws in their current form, decide as a group when it is time to change those laws based on the changing structure of society. In fact, it is because of these particular Democratic functions that the United States allows for regular changes to the existing code. Not only can the Supreme Court make changes to the Constitution but changes can be made to federal law as well as state law and local law which can all be collected and integrated into the upcoming version of the US legal code.
Why did leaders begin to write down laws?
Every ancient society began with verbal laws, things that were simply told from one person to another. This oral tradition took place prior to the advent of writing. Any civilization prior to the creation of a writing system is considered prehistoric.
Oral traditions brought with them the same issues one experiences in a game of telephone. As the law is passed down orally it can be mutated or lost entirely.
Once a writing system came to be, people no longer had to turn to the wise elders of their society to ask what the law was. If they had questions about the laws dictating their society they could simply read about them.
With laws written down people have a shared reference, an objective record that states specifically what the law is, how to obey it, and how to avoid breaking it. Written law also allows a given nation to extend beyond a particular size.
In order to use the concept of having an oral legal tradition, people have to be in the presence of someone who knows the law or have a law passed to them by multiple other people. This puts a physical limit on the size a given colony or society can grow.
However, with a written law, places like the United States were able to grow continually across the entire nation while still abiding by the same laws.
What is the purpose of a written code of law?
The purpose of a written code of law is to provide answers to questions about how citizens can behave. According to U.S. House Code, state and federal governments are able to judge someone if they violate these codes and render appropriate punishment.
The United States code classifies American laws at the federal and state level and it contains not only laws but court rulings in the past pertaining to these laws, legal precedents, and common practices as defined by Congress. The US code is updated on an annual basis in order to provide the most current version of the law to which we are all bound.
The United States Code of law covers some of the most important tenets of our society.
- It explains the purpose and function of Congress, dictating how Congressional members are required to act in the interest of America and its citizens.
- It explains the purpose of the president and how the president is to function, what laws the president has to abide by oh, and what measures can be taken in the event that these laws are broken.
- Beyond that, the written code of law for the United States provides information on the American flag and the official seal of the government, how the different seats of government function at a federal level and the state level.
- Laws are provided to oversee government organization, how the government is structured at various levels and what employees work within the government, and how they are to operate.
- Additional codes cover the laws pertaining to domestic security, agriculture, citizenship and nationality, arbitration, bankruptcy and banking as well as the US Census, the function of the coast card as it relates to domestic security, and commerce and trade.
Having all of these sections in the United States legal code provides access to everything that governs modern society. No matter how large the United States becomes, people can access the same laws. And when the United States changes its structure and form, evolving, the Democratic process of writing down laws allows for the legal system to evolve with it.