Intelligence Law School - Course 1: Lesson 2.5 Concluding Remarks on Primary Legal Authority [HTML-Only]


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LESSON 2: PRIMARY LEGAL AUTHORITY IN THE FEDERAL SYSTEM


2.5 Concluding Remarks on Primary Legal Authority


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2.5 Concluding Remarks on Primary Legal Authority

And that does it for Lesson 2 on primary legal authority in the federal system.

Remember that in all legal jurisdictions, whether it’s the federal system, a state system, or even the international system, all source material can be divided into two basic categories:

Ø  Primary authority, and

Ø  Secondary authority. 

 

Remember that secondary authority isn’t law.

It’s anything other than law that helps a court interpret the law.

 

Primary authority is the real deal—the binding legal rules that have the force and effect of law.

 

There are only 4 sources of primary legal authority in the federal system of the United States. Four.

They are

Ø  The blackletter provisions of

1)      The Constitution;

2)     Statutes; and

3)     Administrative regulations.

Ø  As well as

4) The holdings in federal judicial decisions interpreting those blackletter provisions. 

That’s it.

Those are the 4.  

 

At its most basic level, the entire framework of American federal law is contained in those 4 simple sources.

1)      The Constitution;

2)     Statutes;

3)     Administrative regulations; and

4)     Judicial holdings.

Just like how billions of unique creatures in the world sprout from just 4 basic nucleotides that make up all the DNA on the planet.

Every law in the federal system—including all the laws governing U.S. intelligence agencies—comes from one of these 4 sources:

1)      The Constitution;

2)     Statutes;

3)     Administrative regulations; and

4)     Judicial holdings.

 

Remember that since judicial decisions interpret all 3 of the basic blackletter legal sources, these 4 sources of primary legal authority can be condensed into just 3 general categories of law:

1)      Constitutional Law;

2)     Statutory Law; and

3)     Administrative Law. 

 

That’s in order of priority.

1)      Constitutional law is the strongest;

2)     Followed by statutory law;

3)     Then administrative law at the bottom.

 

The rest of the courses in this series, and all of the free legal research materials on IntelligenceLaw.com, are each structured according to these 3 basic categories.

 

That’s it for Lesson 2.

Next up is Lesson 3 on Constitutional Law.

It will begin our discussion of the 3 major categories of law.

We’re going to start at the top with constitutional law and move down the list from there.

Ø  Lesson 3 explains constitutional law.

Ø  Lesson 4 explains statutory law.

Ø  And Lesson 5 explains administrative law.

 

After that, the course will be almost over.

Lesson 6 will explain the structure of federal courts and the hierarchy of legal sources.

I’ll explain how conflicts are resolved when one source of law conflicts with another.

And the last lesson, Lesson 7, is just a quick conclusion wrapping up Course I: Introduction to Legal Sources in U.S. Intelligence Law.

 

Rest up for next time, because in the next lesson we’re going to be tackling the supreme law of the land—constitutional law.

 

Footnotes

There are no footnotes for this lesson.

 


© 2012 David Alan Jordan. All rights reserved.