In addition to laws designed to prevent people from hurting each other, some laws are written to prohibit self-harm. Basic parental laws include laws on compulsory schooling for children, laws against neglect of children and vulnerable adults, and laws prohibiting the possession of certain drugs. Some parenting laws are essential to protect children and vulnerable adults, but even in these cases they can be punitive if not drafted restrictively and reasonably enforced. In the United States, it seems that we have laws, rules and regulations to monitor almost everything. We don`t always like these rules, as they often mean someone telling us what to do or preventing us from doing what we want. But to live in a civil society, we need certain rules that we must follow. “This conclusion in no way implies a superiority of the judiciary over the legislative power. It only assumed that the power of the people was superior to both; and that if the will of the legislature, declared in its statutes, is contrary to the will of the people proclaimed in the Constitution, judges should be governed by the Constitution and not by the former. They should regulate their decisions by basic laws and not by non-fundamental ones. The laws of our nation generally flow from our shared values and morals.
In our country, we have laws at the national and state levels. As citizens, we tend to be more familiar with national and local laws, as these are the laws we encounter the most in our daily lives. These laws protect us from crimes such as murder, robbery, rape and assault. They also make sure we don`t drive too fast, mow our lawn, and keep our dogs on a leash. In the United States, we also have a national government that makes laws. At the national level, we have laws on cybercrime, narcotics, treason and things like copyright and patents. Laws are laws created by the legislature as part of the legislative process. Laws are written, discussed, argued, and voted on in Congress or the state legislature. The courts then apply and interpret these laws on a case-by-case basis.
Many laws are specifically designed to protect certain groups of people. Laws such as the Civil Rights Act (United States) and the Sex Discrimination Act (Australia) make discrimination illegal. These types of laws protect what are called “negative rights,” that is, the right to be free from something like discrimination. Anyone can be discriminated against, but as history shows, some people are more at risk. Laws designed to prevent discrimination based on race, sex, gender, religion and more protect these groups and give them better access to justice. The most dangerous laws are those designed to protect the government from harm or increase its power for itself. Certain laws of statist principle are necessary: laws against treason and espionage, for example, are essential to the stability of the government. But statist laws of principle can also be dangerous.
Such laws that limit criticism of the government, such as flag-burning laws that prohibit the desecration of symbols reminiscent of the government, can easily lead to a politically oppressive society full of imprisoned dissidents and frightened citizens who are afraid to speak out. In the United States, we have written laws that help us peacefully resolve disagreements through a fair justice system. It is up to the courts to interpret the laws. It is up to judges and juries to decide whether we have actually broken the law. The Constitution of the United States is the fundamental law of the nation. It codifies people`s core values. The courts are responsible for interpreting the meaning of the Constitution as well as the meaning of all laws passed by Congress. The Federalist #78 further states that when a law passed by Congress conflicts with the Constitution, “the Constitution is preferable to the Statute, the intention of the people for the purpose of their agents.” We also have laws that protect our rights as citizens and include things like: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor once said, “I firmly believe that the rule of law is the foundation of all our fundamental rights.” Fundamental rights are the human rights to which everyone is entitled. These include the right to life, the right to marry, the right not to be discriminated against and much more. These are listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but this document is not legally binding. To make human rights a reality, they must be protected by law. Without law, human rights would be an abstract concept.
If you want to learn more about human rights, you should study a master`s degree. Recently, we have seen state and local governments pass laws that could cause us to question the limits of government power. For example: the fact that the law can be used to cause harm is the ultimate reason why it is so important. Laws are not always beneficial to society or they are only beneficial to a selected group. Governments often use laws to increase their power and punish critics. Laws can also be problematic if they do not address the root causes of a problem and even make it worse. Fines designed to encourage people to obey laws can add up to the point of putting them in debt and criminalizing poverty. The war on drugs is another key example of how laws can harm people. Instead of treating addiction as a public health problem, laws have turned it into a criminal problem.
In these cases, laws violate human rights instead of protecting them. The problem with living in a democracy is that laws change over time. The laws needed in 1789, when the Constitution was born, and in 1890, 1950 or 1990, are different from the laws needed today. Parliament must try to update laws as necessary, and the judiciary must interpret laws so that they apply fairly to society at that time. Laws are not just about responding to injustices and prejudices. They work to prevent them. Food safety laws are a prime example. In the past, the food industry was woefully unregulated. In the 18th and 19th centuries, American food producers resorted to extreme measures in their quest for profit.
They diluted the milk and mixed materials like chalk for paint. They mixed dirt into coffee, tea and spices, and added lead to beer and wine. In 1906, President Roosevelt and Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. This was the beginning of modern food safety and surveillance. Today, food safety laws protect the public from life-threatening food poisoning.