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JohnEricsson
Newcomer I

What is a senate bill and (if passed) is that criminal law? (UK person asking)

In my complete ignorance I thought all laws that were passed at senate level covered all the states.

Then I read about California SB 1386. It sounds criminal law, but I thought it must be civil because it only applied to California , but when I read SB means Senate Bill, I gave up thinking. 

 

Obviously my understating of criminal/civil/administrative laws need checking.

9 Replies
Early_Adopter
Community Champion

This says it better than a layman like me ever could:

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/federal-law-vs-state-law-explained

A key term to understand is “Preemption”. Essentially if state law covers something that federal law is then created for the Federal law applies. State legislators don’t create state law that covers federal law because it would not do anything.

ericgeater
Community Champion

Good morning.  Each state has its own legislature, usually consisting of a House and Senate.  States make their own laws, and they can vary widely.

 

And it's not necessarily criminal law.  Legislation is administrative law, so that's what California's government creates.  Those laws apply only to California, but they could be modeled by other states if desired.

 

In the United States House and Senate, the administrative laws they create apply to all states.  That causes a bit of hostility sometimes, because of the whole "states' rights" arguments you occasionally hear about.

 

No matter what, all legislation at all levels must adhere to the United States Constitution.

--
"A claim is as good as its veracity."
denbesten
Community Champion

Each state has its own government that includes a Senate, House, governor, and a set of laws).  The country as a whole also has a government that also includes a Senate, House, president and a set of laws.  Both groups can pass laws, which are then known as "state laws" or "federal laws".

 

"Criminal", "Civil", and "Administrative" laws are different types of law, generally based on who the injured party is (society or a person) and what penalties can be applied (jail or money).  They all exist both at the state level and the federal level.

 

California Senate Bill 1386 was passed (see this for the process) , updating California civil code.  Since it is a state law, it only applies in California -- Somebody next door in Nevada could not charged under that law.  And since it is a civil law, it is about person/property harm, where the person harmed initiates the legal case, and typically results in financial penalties.  

 

The opposite would be a federal law which applies in all states.  And a criminal law, which is a "crime against society" (murder, fraud, embezzlement, etc.), which is generally prosecuted by the state and can result in financial penalties and/or jail time.

 

 

JoePete
Advocate I

Just to delineate a few things, in the US, Nebraska has a unicameral (one house) legislature. The US Constitution grants certain powers to the federal government. That is to say, Congress is given the authority to make laws under that umbrella, the president the authority to execute those laws. Anything not Constitutionally granted to the federal government is reserved for the states.

 

This can get messy. For example, Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce, but generally it falls on the state to regulate business within its own borders. You can have an international corporation that is subject to both federal law (interstate commerce) and state law (as to incorporation and regulation).

 

Compounding problems is that over time the office of the president has become the most significant lawmaker in the country even though that really isn't the president's job.The president, toward the goal of fulfilling some law, will create large federal funding programs that essentially require the states to follow some executive order to get the money. This grants federal agencies tremendous power even though they don't have much direct authority.

KurtThomas
Newcomer I

Legislation = the body that makes non-administrative law, both civil and criminal, or the act of making that law

Executive = the body that puts non-administrative law into action and that also makes administrative law

Senates are legislation (bodies that make non-administrative law)

Jurisdiction = the body that interprets law when there is a dispute or a crime

US Federal Government = Legislation + Executive + Jurisdiction, each at the Federal level = the three branches of the Federal Government

denbesten
Community Champion


@KurtThomas wrote:

Jurisdiction = the body that interprets law when there is a dispute or a crime


Judicial.

Early_Adopter
Community Champion

Judiciary - think there is some autocorrect shenanigans going on heraabouts…
denbesten
Community Champion


@Early_Adopter wrote:
autocorrect shenanigans

So, auto-uncorrect :-).

Early_Adopter
Community Champion

Dyslexia already did it for me in my head.

It’s a legitimate superpower, even if it comes with significant penslties adn lmitiainos…