In a time when the nation’s Attorney General is trying to roll back to recent laws that have been put in place legalizing marijuana, more and more Americans can understand the implications of when the nation’s laws come in conflict with the state’s. And while some of the latest controversy has been on the marijuana issue, the reality is that courts have long been in the business of trying to make decisions and rulings about state statutes and legislative intent.
From California legislative information to code sections in other states, the process of understanding the implications of current laws can be complicated. When federal statutes and regulations come in direct conflict with state statutes and regulations, the process of understanding the legal answers requires extensive research and understanding of legislative history.
Every time that a new judge is appointed or a new politician is elected, the chance that a law or city ordinance may change becomes possible. Lawyers and legal assistants across the country, however, work to make sure that the intent of laws are followed. The process of understanding the difference between federal and state statutes is an ongoing process, subject to change and interpretation with every new court order and new law put into place.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the process of passing constitutional changes:
- A proposed amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the states once it makes it through Congress.
- The President has 10 days to sign or veto an enrolled bill after a bill passes.
- State courts have looked to evidence of legislative intent in construing state law for more than one hundred years.
- There have been a total of 27 constitutional amendments to date.
- 1,268,011 U.S. men and women practiced as licensed lawyers in the year 2012.
- The majority of U.S. lawyers are between the ages of 45 and 54 years old, according to a 2005 American Bar Association (ABA) study.
The Constitution was created more than 200 years ago, but it is a living document that continues to be changed and interpreted. In a time when the political system seems more confusing than ever, it should come as no surprise that more and more decisions will require extensive legal research.
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