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Historical, Cultural and Ethical Influences of the Law:

In the U.S. there is a serious problem in the civil courts of the mentality of the
strong being greater than the weak. In this instance the dynamic is, the richer
you are the more likely you will find the outcome of a civil case fair. There is a
31% gap between how many rich vs how many poor find civil disputes fair, this is
one of the highest gaps between rich and poor of any modern nation.
Historical Context: U.S. Law heirs from the common law legal tradition of English
law. However some practices of English common law was outlawed soon after
the U.S.s independence. Modern English laws are never cited in the court of law
anymore and only rarely are very old example of British Common Law ever
Ethical History: The framers of the U.S. Constitution were not a part of and did
not desire the existence of political parties or factions as they were called. Their
views were solely based of the republican ideologys that called for subordination
of narrow interests to the general welfare of the community. The founding fathers
created the U.S. constitution including the separation of powers and the bill of
rights, but never predicted that political powers would come to rise in popularity
as they believed that it would destroy representative government. The views of
the philosophical republicans were that to create political process they must find
a common good, it was not about arguments or competition it was about the
welfare of the people. They believed that if the political community broke into
small groups i.e. political parties, this would only cause a more narrowed
approach to finding common good, which would not be to the greater welfare of
the entire population. As time went by, things changed, it was realised that
people can agree with each other on every issue and there must be a separation
of views to understand all opinions, thus leading to political parties. Until the
thirteenth amendment was introduced into the constitution, the U.S.A was a
slave trading nation.
The U.S. Constitution establishes the U.S. Supreme Court and gives Congress the
authority to establish the lower federal courts. Congress has established two
levels of federal courts below the Supreme Court: the U.S. district courts and the
U.S. circuit courts of appeals. U.S. district courts are the courts of first instance in
the federal system. There are 94 such district courts throughout the nation. At
least one district court is located in each state. District judges sit individually to
hear cases. In addition to district judges, bankruptcy judges (who hear only
bankruptcy cases) and magistrate judges (who perform many judicial duties
under the general supervision of district judges) are located within the district
courts. U.S. circuit courts of appeals are on the next level. There are 12 of these
regional intermediate appellate courts located in different parts of the country.
Panels of three judges hear appeals from the district courts. A party to a case
may appeal as a matter of right to the circuit court of appeals (except that the
government has no right of appeal in a criminal case if the verdict is not guilty.)
These regional circuit courts also hear appeals from decisions of federal
administrative agencies. One non-regional circuit court (the Federal Circuit) hears
appeals in specialized cases such as cases involving patent laws and claims
against the federal government. At the top of the federal court system is the U.S.
Supreme Court, made up of nine justices who sit together to hear cases. At its
discretion, the U.S. Supreme Court may hear appeals from the federal circuit
courts of appeals as well as the highest state courts if the appeal involves the
U.S. Constitution or federal law.
If a bill has passed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate
and has been approved by the President, or if a presidential veto has been
overridden, the bill becomes a law and is enforced by the government.
In 2008, state and local law enforcement agencies employed more than 1.1
million persons on a full-time basis, including about 765,000 sworn personnel
(defined as those with general arrest powers). Agencies also employed
approximately 100,000 part-time employees, including 44,000 sworn officers.