Federal Law (United States)

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Schematic representation of the US legislative process

A federal law (English: Act of Congress ) is in the United States a law by both chambers of Congress was passed and then

  1. signed by the president ,
  2. ignored by the President for ten days (not counting Sundays) after adoption while Congress was in session, or
  3. was passed by Congress again after a presidential veto .

The president promulgates federal statutes created by the first two methods. If the law was created by the third method, it will be promulgated by the chairman of the chamber that was the last to pass the bill.

According to the Constitution , a passed bill becomes law if the President does not submit his objection to Congress within the prescribed time. If the congress does not meet at the end of this period, the veto is final and the draft law is void (so-called "pocket veto"). But if Congress meets at the end of the period, the law can be finally passed against the objection of the President with a two-thirds majority in both houses.

While Congress has fairly extensive legislative powers , federal laws cannot violate the Constitution. Any federal court can classify federal laws as unconstitutional and refuse to apply them. However, an appeal to the Supreme Court is possible.

Individual evidence

  1. “How Our Laws Are Made” infographic by Mike Wirth and Dr. Suzanne Cooper-Guasco for Sunlight Foundation “Design for America Competition” 2010, sources: “How Our Laws Are Made” by John V. Sullivan (Rev. 6.24.07 thomas.loc.gov) and What is a Lobbyist? - wiseGEEK and Reconciliation in the Senate - Brookings Institution ( Memento of January 18, 2012 in the Internet Archive ).
  2. 1 United States Code 106 - Sec. 106a. Promulgation of laws, archive link ( Memento from October 31, 2012 in the Internet Archive )