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Unit 6. Kinds of Laws

Exercise 1. Read and translate the following text Use the dictionary whennecessary. While reading the text: a) pay attention to the subordinateclauses; b) write down three forms of the verbs underlined. Organize them in three columns.

Kinds of Laws

There are four different kinds of laws in the United States. All these laws must follow the principles set forth in the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.

Statutory Law. Laws that are passed by lawmaking bodies are known as statutory laws. They are passed by Congress and by state and local governments. For example, a state law that requires fire exits in all public buildings is a statutory law.

Common Law. What happens if there is no statutory law covering a specific situation? Then people follow certain rules that have been accepted by Americans as the proper ways in which to act. Some of these rules are based on both common sense and common practice.

For example, before automobiles became a major form of transportation, there were no laws about driving them. Suppose at that time someone was driving an automobile at its top speed and ran into a horse-drawn wagon, crushing the wagon. The driver might argue that his case should be dismissed because there was no law regulating the speed of automobiles.

The judge might reply that there is an established principle that people cannot use their property to injure others. Thus the judge would apply the rule of common sense and common practice in such a case.

The judge's decision might be remembered by another judge hearing a similar case. Eventually most judges might follow the same precedent, or earlier

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decision, in such cases. In time, those guilty of recklessly driving their automobiles would be punished according to this customary rule. This rule would become a part of American customary, or common, law. Common law, therefore, is law that comes from judges' decisions.

In time, most common law is passed as statutory law by the nation's lawmaking bodies. In this way, it is written down so that all of the nation's citizens may know it.

Administrative Law. Many of the laws that affect the daily lives are made by government agencies. These laws are known as administrative laws. For example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is making an administrative law when it rules that a toy is unsafe and must immediately be taken off the market.

Constitutional Law. The Constitution of the United States, as you know, is supreme above all other types of laws. If any law comes into conflict with the Constitution, the Constitution prevails. Constitutional law is law based on the Constitution and on Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Constitution.

Laws usually represent the feelings of the majority as to what is right and what is wrong. When most of the American people feel strongly that something should or should not be done, a law is passed on the subject. Or, if they change their mind about an issue, a law can be replaced. In this way, the laws grow and change with the times.



Every American citizen is responsible for knowing and obeying the laws. It is their responsibility to get to know the laws that concern any activity they expect to undertake. A person who rides a bicycle, for example, must know about road signs and traffic regulations. The law-abiding citizen realizes that laws are passed for the good of all. By learning and obeying the nation's laws, you are practicing good citizenship.

Exercise 2. Decide whether the following statements are true orfalse.

1. Common Laws are passed by lawmaking bodies.

2. Most judges might follow the precedent.


 

3. Law is the majority opinion.

4. The President of the United States is supreme above all laws.

5. Laws never change.

Exercise 3. Answer the following questions.

1. What are the main kinds of laws in the United States?

2. How are statutory laws passed by? Give your examples of statutory laws.

3. What laws are based on common sense?

4. What laws do government agencies make?

5. What happens if a law comes into conflict with the Constitution?

Exercise 4. Make your own questions to the text.

Exercise 5. Open the brackets. Use the verbs in Present, Past or Future Simple Passive.

1. The representative democracy in the USA ... (to set) up by Constitution. 2. The republic ... (to base) upon the consent of the people who are governed. 3. The problems of punishment ... (to study) at the next seminar. 4. The Bill of Rights specifies certain powers that... (to forbid) to both the federal government and the states. They ... (to discuss) in the next chapter. 5. The proposed law ... (to turn down) by the President last Monday. 6. All the states ... (to represent) equally in the Senate. 7. American Constitution ... (to write) in 1787. 8. Such important questions as how large the armed forces should be or how high federal taxes should be ... (to decide) by the members of the Congress. 9. American national government ... (to divide) among three separate branches - the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. 10. The date to end the session ... (to agree upon) during the next meeting. 11. Much advantage ... (to give) you by the time. 12. The appeal... (to hear) by the court last week.



Exercise 6. Open the brackets. Use the verbs in Present or Past Progressive Passive.

1. The powers of government ... (to divide) divided in three ways. 2. The Democratic Party believed that the federal government had fallen into the hands of the wealthy and... (to run) for their benefit. 3. For example, all those present should stand at attention facing the flag and saluting when it... (to raise) or ... (to low). 4. The problems of criminal law... (to discuss) at the seminar now. 5. At that time the country ... (to govern) by the Shadow Cabinet. 6. Everything what... (to say) in the Constitution is rather clear. 7. The plan of government that ... (to create) by the writers of the Constitution would have to meet the changing needs of a growing nation. 8. A lot of offices ... (to build) on Capitol Hill for all members of Congress. 9. Various secrets ... (to sell) to foreign countries by government officials. 10. The proposed amendment... (to include) in the agenda. 11. The witnesses ... (to cross-examine) right now. 12. Look out! The bank ... (to rob) by some people in black.

Exercise 7. Translate the following sentences from English into Russian. Findthe predicates in the sentences, determine their times and tenses.

1. The representative democracy, or republic, that was set up by our Constitution is based upon the consent of the people who are governed. 2. The Declaration of Independence states that governments should receive their powers from "the consent of the governed." 3. Only the federal government has always had the power to control trade among the states and with foreign nations. 4. Several years ago some people believed that the President had become more powerful than Congress. 5. If you become a senator or a representative you'll receive a yearly salary of $75,100. 6. Both houses of Congress have the right to decide who shall be seated as members. 7. The House and Senate have passed strict codes of conduct for their members. 8. A person accused of a crime does not ordinarily have to spend months in prison waiting for the case to come to trial. 9. The number of Justices, or judges, of the Supreme Court has been fixed at nine since 1869. 10. The bald eagle was chosen as the national bird of the United States in 1872.

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Date: 2016-04-22; view: 1254


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