How Legislative Intent Keeps the System Running Correctly

Legislative intent

The legal system of the United States government keeps the country running smoothly by making sure laws are followed and those who break them are punished. When the court or lawyers have questions about certain laws and regulations and need some clarity on the specifics, they reach out to the Legislative Intent Service.

About the United States Legal and Political System

There were 1,268,011 licensed lawyers registered in the U.S. in 2012. Typically, most lawyers are male, with a ratio of 70% male lawyers and 30% female lawyers as the American Bar Association reported in 2005. The same study also reported that 28% of U.S. lawyers are between the ages of 45 and 54 years old.

The United States Senate includes 100 members, two elected Senators from each of the states, regardless of population or area?elected by the people in accordance with the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. There are certain requirements a person must have before they can be elected as a Senator. They must be at least 30 years of age, they must be a citizen of the United States for a minimum of nine years and they must live in the state for which they are being elected. Once chosen as a Senator, they serve a six year term of office. Every other year one-third of the total membership of the Senate is elected. The House of Representatives works a little differently, as each state has a percentage of members based on their total populations. There is a total of 435 Members in the HoR, and they are elected every two years from all 50 states.

About Bills and Amendments

The Constitution was created 200 years ago. Since then, 27 constitutional amendments have been added to the original document. When an amendment is proposed, it is sent to Congress who must vote on it. In order to pass, three-fourths of the Congress must agree on the amendment.

When a new law is proposed, a bill is made to be voted on. At any time, there are over 300 billion bills waiting for action from the Senate. In the first year of a session, 33% of the cumulative percent of bills are enacted by Congress for December. As a bill progresses through Congress, new procedures are used. Once a bill passes it is sent to the President of the United States, who then has 10 days to either sign the enrolled bill, or issue a veto, cancelling the bill.

California works differently than other states in some aspects. The sunshine state feels that the public has a right to access government records via print, electronic records or any format they choose, so 15 years ago they made it possible. The initiative process in California began to see some changes in 2015, as the process was criticized and deemed as flawed by the rest of the states. Now, if a proposal gets 25% of signatures needed to reach the ballot, legislators will hold a hearing on the issue?s merits.

What is Legislative Intent?

For more than one hundred years, state courts have looked to evidence of legislative intent in construing state law. Even the best lawyers are not able to memorize each law and regulation. In many circumstances there is a complicated or unknown history that legislative research can help to clarify. The largest private collection of legislative history materials in the United States is kept by the Legislative Intent Service. By utilizing legal research tools, such as the Legislative Intent Service, the court can answer questions about federal and state statutes and regulations dating back to the 1700s. The Legislative Intent Service locates legislative history documentation that enables you to understand existing law and the cause or circumstances leading to its enactment or amendment. The legal system often runs into situations where rules and regulations do not seem as black and white as they would hope. Sometimes they need to know the administrative code sections, state rules or statutory history behind the law. Clarity can make a big difference in how a case will turn out. Therefore, when help is needed, the legislative counsel is the best resource for lawyers or members of the court who need the added information and assistance from the LIS.

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