US — prisoner rights — partial reversal — Krause In a significant prisoner case, a divided Third Circuit panel today ruled in favor of a prisoner whose suit alleged that USP Lewisburg administators retaliated against him for filing inmate grievances by moving him into a cell with another prisoner known for assaulting his cellmates. The prisoner did not to administratively exhaust that claim with prison officials before filing suit—understandably! The panel split over a second exhaustion issue. The panel majority held that, with the PLRA as with habeas, a claim is exhausted even if it was not properly presented if it was considered anyway and denied at the highest level of review.
The Code of Federal Regulationsthe codification of federal administrative law Congress often enacts statutes that grant broad rulemaking authority to federal agencies. Often, Congress is simply too gridlocked to draft detailed statutes that explain how the agency should react to every possible situation, or Congress believes the agency's technical specialists are best equipped to deal with particular fact situations as they arise.
Therefore, federal agencies are authorized to promulgate regulations. Under the principle of Chevron deference, regulations normally carry the force of law as long as they are based on a reasonable interpretation of the relevant statutes.
Eventually, after a period for public comment and revisions based on comments received, a final version is published in the Federal Register. The regulations are codified and incorporated into the Code of Federal Regulations CFR which is published once a year on a rolling schedule.
Besides regulations formally promulgated under the APA, federal agencies also frequently promulgate an enormous amount of forms, manuals, policy statements, letters, and rulings. These documents may be considered by a court as persuasive authority as to how a particular statute or regulation may be interpreted known as Skidmore deferencebut are not entitled to Chevron deference.
Common law, case law, and precedent[ edit ] Further information: United States Reports and National Reporter System Unlike the situation with the states, there is no plenary reception statute at the federal level that continued the common law and thereby granted federal courts the power to formulate legal precedent like their English predecessors.
Federal courts are solely creatures of the federal Constitution and the federal Judiciary Acts. This is where the act of deciding a case becomes a limited form of lawmaking in itself, in that an appellate court's rulings will thereby bind itself and lower courts in future cases and therefore also impliedly binds all persons within the court's jurisdiction.
Prior to a major change to federal court rules inabout one-fifth of federal appellate cases were published and thereby became binding precedents, while the rest were unpublished and bound only the parties to each case. Judges saw themselves as merely declaring the law which had always theoretically existed, and not as making the law.
Justice Brandeis once observed that "in most matters it is more important that the applicable rule of law be settled than that it be settled right. And that willingness could itself threaten to substitute disruption, confusion, and uncertainty for necessary legal stability.
We have not found here any factors that might overcome these considerations. This trend has been strongly evident in federal substantive due process  and Commerce Clause decisions. Tompkinsthere is no general federal common law. Although federal courts can create federal common law in the form of case law, such law must be linked one way or another to the interpretation of a particular federal constitutional provision, statute, or regulation which in turn was enacted as part of the Constitution or after.
Federal courts lack the plenary power possessed by state courts to simply make up law, which the latter are able to do in the absence of constitutional or statutory provisions replacing the common law. Only in a few narrow limited areas, like maritime law,  has the Constitution expressly authorized the continuation of English common law at the federal level meaning that in those areas federal courts can continue to make law as they see fit, subject to the limitations of stare decisis.
The other major implication of the Erie doctrine is that federal courts cannot dictate the content of state law when there is no federal issue and thus no federal supremacy issue in a case.
State law United States The fifty American states are separate sovereigns with their own state constitutionsstate governmentsand state courts.
All states have a legislative branch which enacts state statutes, an executive branch that promulgates state regulations pursuant to statutory authorization, and a judicial branch that applies, interprets, and occasionally overturns both state statutes and regulations, as well as local ordinances.
They retain plenary power to make laws covering anything not preempted by the federal Constitution, federal statutes, or international treaties ratified by the federal Senate.
Normally, state supreme courts are the final interpreters of state constitutions and state law, unless their interpretation itself presents a federal issue, in which case a decision may be appealed to the U.
Supreme Court by way of a petition for writ of certiorari.The United States district courts (one in each of the 94 federal judicial districts, as well three territorial courts) are general federal trial courts, although in many cases Congress has diverted original jurisdiction to specialized courts, such as the Court of International Trade, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Alien Terrorist Removal Court, .
The United States court system is actually many court systems: a federal system and 50 state systems. Each has its own structures and procedures. All are multi-tiered.
Legal cases begin in a lower court and sometimes work their way up to a higher court. Some cases initiated in a state court system. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the land and the only part of the federal judiciary specifically required by the Constitution.
The Constitution does not stipulate the number of Supreme Court Justices; the number is set instead by Congress. Legal Vice Presidency The World Bank Ethiopia Legal and Judicial Sector Assessment An acronym is an abbreviation coined from the initial letter of each successive word in a term or phrase.
In general, an acronym made up solely from the first letter of the major words in the expanded form is rendered in all capital letters (NATO from North Atlantic Treaty Organization; an exception would be ASEAN for Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
The federal court system is divided into 13 judicial circuits. Eleven of the circuits are numbered. Each of the numbered circuits contains more than one state.
In the United States, many arbitration cases are handled by arbitrators approved by the American Arbitration Association, which has offices in a number of cities.