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Where Do Laws Come From?

Image of the US Capital Building, where laws come from on the federal level

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Where Do Laws Come From

Brien Roche

Laws in the United States originate from varying places, depending on whether it is a state or federal law. They can come from the US and state Constitutions, US Congress, state general assemblies, court decisions, or administrative agencies, just to name a few. 

Where do federal laws come from?

Federal laws include immigration law, bankruptcy law, and federal criminal laws such as counterfeiting money. 

Here’s the process for making a federal law

Propose a bill: Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government.  Members of the US Senate and/or US House of representatives can propose a new law known as a bill. 

The bill is assigned to a committee: Once the bill is introduced, it is assigned to a committee. The committee’s responsibility is to research it, discuss it, and make changes as necessary. 

The chamber votes:  Once the bill has been researched and edited by the committee, it goes before the chamber to be voted on. If the chamber votes against it, the bill doesn’t become law.  However if it votes for it, the bill moves to the other body of Congress for a similar process with another committee.

Negotiations occur: After both bodies vote for the bill, they may negotiate terms further and vote once again. 

Presidential review: Now the president can approve the bill, and it becomes a law. If the president vetoes it, Congress can override the veto, and the bill becomes a law. However, if the president chooses to pocket veto a bill after Congress adjourns, they won’t be able to override it. 

Where do state laws come from?

There are different state laws for all 50 states and territories in the United States. These are laws related to divorce and family matters, real estate and property, worker’s compensation, and the like.

Federal laws must be followed in each state along with any specific state laws. 

The process for making state law is much the same as with the federal system.

What happens federal and state laws conflict?

Since there are separate laws for the federal and state levels, there are sometimes conflicts between the two. 

The federal law will supersede the state law if the federal government has asserted control over an issue. Therefore, when the United States government acts, it is supreme. 

Learn more about where laws come from

The process of making a proposed bill into a law is complex and multi-faceted. To learn more about where laws come from on the federal and state level, see Brien Roche’s highly-rated book Law 101 published by Sphinx Publishing. 

Legal answers are provided by Brien Roche, an experienced injury and malpractice lawyer with over 40 years of trial experience. Contact Us today to discuss your claim.

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Where Do Laws Come From?

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation