The United States of America is a Federal nation made up of many states. The respective states have their autonomous governments that rule over their jurisdictions, and they operate under the laws of the federal government. Matters of developing justice policies in the respective states are similar to the development of justice laws in the federal level. There are also various differences between the federal and state governments with reference to the development and implementation of justice policies. This paper will look into the differences and similarities between the federal and state governments with close focus on justice policies.
One of the similarities between the federal government and the state government is their structure. Both governments are headed by a chief executive who presides over the development of justice policies. The federal government is headed by the President, whereas the state government is headed by a governor. Both personalities have the power to influence the development and implementation of justice policies in their jurisdictions with the support of the congress, and the state legislature respectively (Nelson & Donovan, 2012).
Federal courts and State courts have a similar justice policy implementation process, which offer suspected criminals the chance to prove their innocence. Both court systems are presided over by judges, who oversee trial processes, and sentence criminals. The President is in charge of nominating the chief justice on the Supreme Court, whereas governors have the power to nominate judges in their state courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court of justice in the nation, and it has appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has the power to review decisions from other lower federal courts as well as state courts where the outcomes of specific cases are questionable.
Both the federal and state courts operate under the provisions of the Federal constitution. The Supreme Court is responsible for interpreting the United States’ Constitution, and both federal and state courts, must comply with the laws provided by the Constitution. In both federal and state governments, the chief executives receive proposed bills from the congress and the state legislatures respectively, and they sign them into law. The federal courts and the state courts have the power to review justice policies passed by the executive and decide whether the policies are parallel with the provisions of the Constitution. This means that on both the federal and state governments, the development and implementation of justice policies are dependent on the interpretation of the Constitution by the courts (Hart & Hart, 2012).
Court action in both the federal and state governments is attained through the due process, which entails the arrest of suspected criminals, the collection of evidence, and filing the case for hearing. Both courts allow convicted criminals to appeal if they disagree with the judgment of the court. Justice policies in the federal and state governments provide defendants with a process to appeal to question the due process, judgment, and testimonies provided by witnesses among many other issues. The appeal courts have power over the federal and state courts, and their decision must be respected by both courts.
The federal and state governments may also charge similar cases, if the crimes committed violate both the state and federal laws. The federal government is directly involved in the justice system of different states because it is responsible for allocating funds from the federal budget to finance the implementation of justice policies. For instance, the federal government is a major stakeholder in the development of prisons in different states within the nation. The federal and state governments engage the public in the development of justice policy by consulting them before making the laws. Public opinion plays a big role in the passing of bills into laws in the federal government as well as the state governments. Once a bill is signed into law by the president or the governor, the courts are in charge of evaluating its validity with relation to the Constitution (Cole, Smith & DeJong, 2014).
The Federal government deals with justice issues concerning the entire nation. The federal justice system overlooks the justice policies in states to protect the provisions of the Federal Constitution. The state government, on the other hand, deals with issues concerning specific justice issues in the respective states. Every state has a unique Constitution that governs the policy making process. While the Legislature in the states has the mandate to develop policies, the congress develops policies for the federal government.
While the federal courts only implement laws based on the Federal constitution, the state courts have to review the federal constitution and their respective state constitution before implementing the policies developed by the legislature (Cole et al., 2014). The federal government has the power to dictate the course of policy development in states to ensure the policies do not violate the federal laws. The federal government dictates the course of action in the development of justice laws by referring to the United States Constitutions.
The Federal courts refrain from interfering with the legal proceedings at the state level by handling cases that pertain to the federal government exclusively. The state courts on the other hand follow the policies developed by the legislature in their states, and they refer to their respective constitutions for the legality of the policies. The state government has limitations on jurisdiction as compared to the federal government.
The federal government has the power to enforce policies in any part of the nation, but the state government is only recognized within its jurisdiction. Justice policies developed in different states can only be implemented in the respective state, whereas federal justice policies are implemented across the nation (Cole et al., 2014). The federal government has the obligation to ensure that the justice policies made at the state level attain parallelism with the provisions of the Constitution. All the rights entitled to individuals must apply in the justice policies developed, and implemented at the state level.
The state government controls the justice policies in respective states. The federal government, on the other hand, is responsible for making laws that pertain to the entire nation. The development of justice policies in the states is the responsibility of the legislature, and the policies are developed with consideration to the state constitution and the federal Constitution. The federal government develops justice policies through the congress, and the president has to sign the bills into law. In both the federal and state governments, the head of the executive is in charge of passing bills into laws.
Cole, G., Smith, C., & DeJong, C. (2014). The American system of criminal justice. Massachusetts: Cengage Learning. Web.
Hart, H. L. A., & Hart, H. L. A. (2012). The concept of law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Web.
Nelson, R., & Donovan, S. (2012). The Congress: A Look at the Legislative Branch. Minnesota: LernerClassroom. Web.