Cases are legal decisions based on a specific set of facts involving parties who have a real interest in the controversy. All these people can own property and hold it for their own property (house, clothing, etc.) or as a business or investment (office buildings, factories, stocks, savings accounts). Only socialist systems have attempted to prevent this second function of property by forbidding individuals to own «the means of production.» The property in question may be tangible and is often referred to as immovable and movable (or, at common law, immovable and personal). Ownership can also be intangible, such as debts, copyrights and patents. If owners have full legal capacity, they can generally manage their property as they wish, subject to public policy rules (e.g. zoning by-laws). They can manage their assets during their lifetime or their will, although many systems ensure that a portion of the deceased`s assets go to close relatives. In most jurisdictions, such as the United States, there is a fairly strict distinction between criminal law (for acts that constitute crimes against society as a whole) and civil law (usually for disputes between individuals or companies). The basic ethical standards for keeping promises and not harming others are reflected in the civil law of contracts and torts. In the United States, both states and the federal government have roles to play, and sometimes those roles overlap, as in environmental standards set by the states and the federal government.
In the United States, there are two essentially independent judicial systems: the national judicial system, generally referred to as federal courts; and the courts of each state. Thus, at any given time, there are 51 separate judicial systems in the United States. Each of these judicial systems has its own power base or constitution that describes its structure and authority. ConstitutionsThe founding documents of the legal system of each nation-state. are the basis for other laws of a state or nation and form the legislative, executive and legal framework of the country. Among the nations of the world, the United States has the oldest constitution still in use. It is difficult to change, which is why there were only seventeen changes after the first ten in 1789; Two-thirds of the House of Representatives and Senate must pass amendments, and three-quarters of states must approve them. Under most treaties, the United States may withdraw or withdraw any voluntary limitation on its sovereignty; Participation in contracts is exclusively subject to compulsory voting. That is, the United States can «detach» itself whenever it wants.
But for practical reasons, some restrictions on sovereignty may be good for the nation. The argument is that if free trade in general helps the United States, it makes sense to be part of a system that promotes free trade; and, despite some temporary setbacks, the WTO decision-making process will (hopefully) bring far more benefits than losses in the long run. This argument is based on the utilitarian theory (according to which the best overall policy brings the greatest benefit to society) and David Ricardo`s theory of comparative advantage. Some systems are a mixed parliamentary/presidential structure. In France, for example, the president is far from being a mere titular head of state. Since 1962, he has been directly elected by the people, appoints the Prime Minister, has emergency powers and signs decrees resulting from the extensive legislative functions of the executive. In cooperation with the government, he or she may submit bills to the people, which are adopted by referendum, bypassing parliament, dissolving the National Assembly and calling new elections. U.S. law derives primarily from the English common law tradition.
When the American colonies of England revolted in 1776, English common law traditions were well established in the colonial courts. English common law was a system that gave the force of law to written judicial decisions throughout the country. So if an English court gives an opinion on what constitutes the common law crime of burglary, other courts would uphold that decision, so that a common law develops throughout the country. The common law is essentially an abbreviation for the idea that a common body of law based on previous written decisions is desirable and necessary. This is a matter in our federal court system that provides for a hearing or hearing in the U.S. District Court, an appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and a final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Teresa Harris, who lost in both the District Court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, here requested a certificate (asking the court to make an order to take the case to the Supreme Court), a motion that is granted less than one in fifty times. In other words, the Supreme Court chooses its cases carefully.
In this case, the Court sought to resolve a disagreement between the various appellate courts as to whether a plaintiff can recover damages in a hostile work environment suit without proving «serious psychological harm.» As the legal philosopher John Austin succinctly put it: «Law is the command of a sovereign.» Law is law, in other words, only if it derives from a recognized authority and can be applied by that authority, or sovereign authority within a nation-state.