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DECUSHISTORY

DECCIVICS

 

Unit VI – American Legal Systems

      EOC PREP

Competency Goal 6: The learner will explain why laws are needed and how they are enacted, implemented, and enforced at the
national, state, and local levels.

Generalizations

• Societies can keep order by developing laws over time.
• Laws may be enforced by many different agencies in order to ensure domestic tranquility.
• A government and citizens may have the responsibility of working together in making and following laws, and providing protection and
safety for our nation.

Objectives

6.01 Trace the development of law in American Society.

Essential Questions

• How have legal codes changed over time?
• What role have philosophers played in the development of law in the United States?
• Should moral codes play a role in society?

Macro Concepts

Power
Development

Micro Concepts

Philosophy of law
Legal codes
Moral codes

Factual Content

(Philosophy of Law)
Social contract
British common law
Magna Carta
English Bill of Rights
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Baron de Montesquieu
Declaration of
Independence
Law
House of Burgesses
Mayflower Compact
The Iroquois Nation’s
Constitution
The U. S. Constitution
(Legal Codes)
Codes of Hammurabi
Justinian Codes
Draconian Laws
(Moral Codes)
Ten Commandments

6.02 Cite examples of common, criminal, civil, constitutional, administrative, and statutory law.

Essential Questions

• What types of crimes fall under the various categories of law?
• Why do violations of some laws carry higher penalties than others?
• What are similarities and differences in procedure for deciding criminal and civil cases?

Macro Concepts

Systems

Micro Concepts

Law

Factual Content

(Types of Law)
Common law
Criminal law
Civil law
Tort
Constitutional law
Administrative law
Statutory law
International law

6.03 Identify the various procedures in the enactment, implementation, and enforcement of law.

Essential Questions

• How do laws impact people’s lives?
• Why are so many agencies needed in order to effectively enforce the laws?
• How do American methods of law enforcement compare to those of other countries?

Macro Concepts

Procedures

Micro Concepts

Law enactment
Law implementation
Enforcement of law

Factual Content

(Enforcement and
implementation of Law)
Consumer Protection
Transportation Regulation
Department of Justice
Regulatory Commissions
Independent Agencies
Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI)
State Bureau of
Investigation (SBI)
Secret Service
National Guard Reserves
Structured sentencing
Magistrate
State troopers
Sheriff
City police
Ordinance
Statute
Regulation
Fines
Arrest

6.04 Identify ways citizens can be informed about laws.

Essential Questions

• Whose responsibility is it to inform citizens about laws?
• Should citizens be held accountable for following the laws, even if they do not know they exist?
• How does an informed citizenry lead to a safer society?

Macro Concepts

Information

Micro Concepts

Informed Citizenry

Factual Content

(Informed Citizenry)
Town meetings
Public hearings
Public forums
Media
“Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

6.05 Investigate the role and responsibility of government to inform the citizenry.

Essential Questions

• To what extent should the government keep it citizenry informed?
• What role do political debates play in a democratic society?
• Is an informed citizenry always in a better position to make sound decisions about matters affecting the nation?

Macro Concepts

Communication

Micro Concepts

Informed citizens

Factual Content

(Informed citizens)
Political debates
Special task forces
Franking privilege
Press releases
Utilizing Government Publications & Websites
“Click it or ticket” campaigns
“Move over” laws

6.06 Analyze the role of lobby groups and special interest groups in the enactment of legislation.

Essential Questions

• Are lobby groups a benefit or a disadvantage to the process of democracy?
• What techniques do interest groups use to influence others?
• Why was legislation (the Federal Election Campaign Act) needed in order to protect public interests from private interests?

Macro Concepts

Influence

Micro Concepts

Lobby Groups
Special Interest
Groups
Public interests
Private interests

Factual Content

(Public/Private Interests)
Economic Interest
• Business
• Labor groups
• Agricultural groups
• Professional groups
Non-economic Interest
• Public Interest
• Single-Issue Interest
• Ideological
Interest Groups
Lobbying
Think Tanks
Chamber of Commerce
Propaganda techniques
• Endorsements
• Stacked cards
• Name calling
• Glittering generality
• Symbols
• Just Plain Folks
• Bandwagon
Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971

6.07 Compare responsibilities, jurisdictions, and methods of law enforcement agencies.

Essential Questions

• Why is it necessary to have different law enforcement agencies?
• What methods do the law enforcement agencies use to maintain peace and curtail criminal activity?
• How does jurisdiction play a major role in deciding which law enforcement agency is responsible for enforcing the law?

Macro Concepts

Power
Authority

Micro Concepts

Jurisdiction
Law Enforcement

Factual Content

(Jurisdiction/Authority)
Local Law Enforcement
Sheriff
Police
Delivering subpoenas
(Law Enforcement)
State Bureau of
Investigation
State Troopers
Traffic enforcement
Dept. of Motor Vehicles
Dept. of Corrections
Tickets/fines
Radar Guns
Pepper Spray
Taser guns
Federal Law Enforcement
Undercover agents
911 centers
Drug raids
Sobriety tests

6.08 Evaluate methods used by society to address criminal and anti-social behaviors.

Essential Questions

• How have methods used by society to address criminal behaviors changed over time?
• What does the rate of recidivism in America imply about our society’s effectiveness in dealing with criminals?
• What factors determine how criminal and anti-social behavior will be addressed?

Macro Concepts

Methods
Systems
Reforms

Micro Concepts

Recidivism
Rehabilitation
Criminal Behavior
Anti-Social Behaviors

Factual Content

(Criminal
Behavior/Rehabilitation)
Long-term suspension
Mental Institutions
Long-term Incarceration
Death Penalty
Detention
Probation
Parole
Juvenile detention
Community service
House arrest
Jail
Prison
Boot camp
Incarceration
(Recidivism/Anti-Social
Behavior)
Three-Strikes laws
Confiscation of Property
Monetary Compensation
Retribution
Restitution
Compensation
Deterrence

Supplemental Readings

The U.S. Legal System
Landmark Decisions of the Supreme Court
Ben's Guide: Branches of Government