Carved in marble over the entrance of the Supreme Court building in


Below Level Differentiating InstructionUsing Examples



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Below Level

Differentiating Instruction
Using Examples
To help students grasp vague concepts such as different types of law and the roles of the courts, give concrete examples. Then ask students to categorize each one. For example, tell students that the Supreme Court has ruled that segregation, or separating people by race, is illegal. Then ask them to identify which kind of law this represents.
constitutional
Sources of Law
There are several sources of criminal and civil law in the United States. The four principal sources include statutory law, common law, administrative law, and constitutional law. All these laws must follow the principles set forth in the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.
Statutory Law
Laws that are passed by lawmaking bodies are known as statutes, or statutory laws. Congress and state and local governments pass these laws. Most criminal laws are statutory laws. Many civil laws are also statutes. For example, a state law that requires all public buildings to contain fire exits is a statutory law.
Statutory laws usually represent majority rule, or what the majority of citizens believe to be right or wrong. If citizens later change their position on the issue, the law can adapt to the country’s needs. Every American citizen has the duty to know and obey these laws. One way to practice good citizenship is by obeying laws.
Common Law
No matter how hard the legislature tries, statutes cannot cover every type of wrongdoing. Judges and courts must often make decisions based on customs, traditions, and cases that have been decided before. This type of law is called common law. Common law is a type of law that comes from judges decisions that rely on commonsense and previous cases.
For example, before automobiles became a major form of transportation, there were no laws about driving them. So if an automobile ran into a horse and wagon, the driver of the automobile might argue that the case should be dismissed. No laws existed that regulated the speed of automobiles so, the driver might argue, he should not have to pay. Would the case be dismissed Probably not. The judge might reply that there is an established principle that people cannot use their property to injure others. The judge would apply tradition and commonsense in such a case.
In the previous example, the judge’s decision might be remembered by another judge hearing a similar case. Eventually, most judges
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CHAPTER 7
Someday after you turn 18, you will probably receive a letter calling you to jury service. Performing this civic duty might be your only involvement with the judicial system—but it is a duty that carries great responsibility. Ina criminal case, the jury decides if the defendant is guilty of the crime charged by the government. Ina civil case, the jury decides if the defendant is liable, or responsible, for the damages named in the case, and if so, how much money to award.
As stated by the Sixth Amendment, the parties in a case are entitled to a jury selected from a fair cross-section of the community. Lawyers cannot exclude potential jurors on the basis of their gender or identifiable racial or ethnic group. There have been many cases that were appealed because of alleged discrimination during jury selection.

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