LAW1 - Chapter One US v Miller New York Times reporter...

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Chapter One US v. Miller : New York Times reporter jailed for refusing to testify in the Supreme Court in order not to reveal her sources - The governments need to investigate crimes outweighs the need of a journalist to protect her sources The Law of the United States comes from 6 sources: constitutions, statutes, administrative rules and regulations, executive actions, the common law, and the law of equity. Common Law - The body of law developed from customs and tradition as recognized by judicial decisions. Common law is largely based on previous court decisions. Equity - a source of law that allows courts to fashion remedies appropriate to the case at hand. The law of equity enables courts to provide legal remedies other than money damages. Constitutions are the supreme source of law in the United States. Constitutions of both the federal and state governments supersede all other declarations of public policy. They establish the framework for governing – outline the structure of the government and define its authority and responsibilities. Bill of Rights – first 10 amendments to the constitution – protects the rights and liberties of U.S. Citizens against infringement by the government. -1 st amendment foundation for communication law – particularly its prohibition against laws abridging freedom of speech and the press Federal constitution – country's ultimate legal authority – any federal law, state law or state constitution that contradicts it cannot be implemented State constitution – prevails in conflicts with the statutory law or common law in the same state Federal law or state law that do not conflict with the federal constitution can provide more protection The Supreme court, the nation's supreme judicial body, has the last word on the meaning of the federal constitution - - each state's supreme court is the interpreter of that state's constitution 1980 – Supreme court stated that the public and press ordinarily be permitted to attend trials (Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia ) Constitutional law can only be understood by reading the opinions of the courts. Amendments The US Constitution is hard to amend and therefore is changed infrequently . Amendments to the US Constitution can be proposed only by 2/3 of the members of both houses in congress or by a convention called by 2/3 of the state legislatures . Amendments can be r atified by ¾ of the state legislatures or by state constitutional conventions in ¾ of the states . Statutory Law A major source of law in the US is the collection of statutes and ordinances written by legislative bodies – US Congress, 50 state legislatures, county commissions, city councils, etc. Statutes set forth enforceable rules to govern social behavior .
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- - areas of communication law governed by statutes include advertising, copyright, electronic media, obscenity and access to government-held information. Almost all of the country's criminal law is statutory.
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LAW1 - Chapter One US v Miller New York Times reporter...

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