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American LawAn Introduction$
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Lawrence M. Friedman and Grant M. Hayden

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190460587

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190460587.001.0001

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The Structure of American Law: Statutes and Statute Makers

The Structure of American Law: Statutes and Statute Makers

(p.85) 5 The Structure of American Law: Statutes and Statute Makers
American Law

Lawrence M. Friedman

Grant M. Hayden

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the roles of legislators and statutes in the American legal system. It begins by describing the structure of both federal and state legislative bodies, as well as the role of direct democracy. It examines the legislative output, and the history and impact of the uniform laws movement. It looks at the form and content of typical statutes, and how statutory language is interpreted by courts, including the use of textualism, canons of construction, and legislative history. Finally, the chapter examines the process of legislative decisionmaking.

Keywords:   legislatures, legislation, statutes, direct democracy, uniform laws, statutory interpretation, legislative history, legislative decisionmaking

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