The United States federal government consists of three branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. The executive branch draws its power from Article Two of the United States Constitution. This article created and vested power in the President to carry out and enforce federal laws, and to serve as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
Article One of the Constitution created the legislative branch of the federal government consisting of Congress, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The legislative branch makes all laws, has the ability to declare war, regulates interstate and foreign commerce, and also controls all taxing and spending policies. Finally, the judicial branch was created by Article Three, and holds the power to hear cases and interpret the laws passed by Congress and signed by the President.
The legislative and executive branch also create governmental agencies. Governmental agencies and organizations are often charged with enforcing rights and determining which rights are enforceable.
The federal government has established a number of agencies and programs that implement and enforce laws, such as the Social Security Administration and the Department of Labor. Further, the United States Constitution and its amendments preserve an individual’s rights when confronted with a governmental issue. Thus, U.S. citizens are afforded the right to vote, live free from discrimination, and exchange ideas.
However, there are certain limitations on an individual’s rights. Other common issues with the government range from income taxes to public education and schools. As noted above, Congress and state legislatures have given power to many governmental agencies to oversee issues of environmental law, social security, taxes, zoning and taxes. It is important for you to be aware of which governmental agency regulates the issue at hand.
Below are examples of different articles involving government law that appear on the LegalMatch Law Library:
What are Some Well-Known Government Agencies and Administrations?
As noted above, the federal government has established a number of agencies and programs that implement and enforce laws such as Social Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). Articles on the subject include:
What does Constitutional Law Cover?
In the United States, constitutional law is the body of law that regulates the federal, state, and local governments of the United States. Constitutional law provides a wide variety of laws that protects and guarantees an individual's fundamental rights. Articles on the subject include:
- Free Speech and Press;
- The First Amendment;
- Libel and Slander;
- Right to Bear Arms; and
- Voting Rights.
What is Environmental Law?
Through legislative action and governmental agency actions, there are now many different state and federal environmental laws. Congress has authorized many federal agencies, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, to inspect environmental matters and enforce federal environmental regulations and laws. Articles on the subject of environmental law include:
What are Zoning, Planning, and Land Use Laws?
The government has the right to create uniform neighborhoods and land uses in certain areas, as well as control how a person can use their property and what they can build on their property. These applications can include creating zoning ordinances, separate districts, and municipalities. Further articles on the subject include:
- Zoning, Planning, and Land Use;
- How to Find Zoning Laws and Ordinances;
- What if I Violate A Zoning Ordinance; and
- What is Land Use Regulations?
What are Criminal Procedures and Protections?
Criminal procedure laws provide a variety of constitutional protections for defendants that have been accused of a criminal conduct and have to go through the criminal justice system.
For example, one very prominent criminal procedure protection is the Fifth Amendment, which in short provides:
- A right to indictment by the grand jury before any criminal charges for felonious crimes;
- A prohibition on double jeopardy;
- A right against forced self-incrimination;
- A guarantee that all criminal defendants receive a fair trial; and
- A guarantee that government cannot seize private property without making a due compensation at the market value of the property.
Importantly, these laws only prevent acts done by a government or law enforcement agency, not by a private party.
Articles on the subject include:
Should I Hire an Attorney for My Problem with the Government?
As can be seen, there are numerous different areas of law in which the government is involved in, and the law in many areas can be increasingly complex. Thus, if you find yourself in a situation where you have a legal issue involving any of the above issues, then it may be in your best interest to immediately consult with a well qualified and knowledgeable government lawyer.
Further, if you find yourself in a situation involving criminal procedure laws you should immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, as the penalties for criminal acts may be severe.