Government Law




What is Government Law? This topic covers a broad area in the legal field. U.S. Federal Government Law addresses government interactions on a national scale, and is largely composed of administrative law and constitutional law. While State and Local Government Law (state and municipal government law) deals largely with how government operates on the state and local level, with state and city governments and agencies, as well as interactions with businesses and private citizens.

The U.S. Federal Government is composed of three branches: the legislative branch creates law; the judicial branch interprets the law; and the executive branch administers, or “executes” the law. This government is established by the U.S. Constitution.

The Federal Government shares control of the United Sates with individual U.S. State governments. State governments are made up of their own legislative, judicial and executive branches and are given a fair share of autonomy to create laws for their individual states, although federal law holds precedence. State law also establishes and regulates local government for cities, towns, counties, and other communities.

Local Government Law addresses a variety of issues, topics and legal areas. These include, but are not limited to, the following: Sunshine laws for public access to government records and processes; municipal planning for land use and zoning law; licensing and regulatory law; labor rights, discrimination, wage laws and FLSA, FMLA, ADA and more with regards to employment and personnel law for government workers and employers; utilities and telecommunication law for government entities such as gas, water & electric companies, cell phone towers and easements; property taxes, assessments, user fees and other taxation law for city revenues; eminent domain law; environmental law as it applies to government regulations; HRA’s and other housing agencies for development, redevelopment and affordable housing issues; tax abatements and other forms of public finance; and government contracts.

Additionally, there is Tribal Government law. This involves Native American tribes and the powers and authority granted to them as members of various Indian nations, tribes, bands, etc. Tribal Government law deals with the individual tribal governments, rules and laws, as well as their interactions with the U.S. Federal government and state governments. Copyright HG.org

Know Your Rights!

  • Federal, State, or Local: Who has Jurisdiction?

    We often discuss jurisdiction, or hear it used in TV crime shows, but what does “jurisdiction” mean? For that matter, when is something a federal, state, or local matter and who can enforce which laws? How is this determined?

Articles on HG.org Related to Government Law

  • California's Loss of Tesla's $6 Billion Battery Factory
    A question of free market vs. government over-regulation to address the issue of environmental sustainability.
  • Collecting on a Supreme Court Judgment in California
    It is often said that obtaining a judgment in a California Supreme Court civil case is only half of the process. Once you obtain judgment, you have official proof you won the case and that the defendant owes you money or property. Now you have to collect.
  • Collecting from an Out of Business Company or Employer
    Collecting on a judgment even in ideal circumstances can often be a time-consuming and complex process, and that presumes the debtor is solvent, and doing business and/or making money. When the judgment enforcement against a debtor who is a company or legal entity, which appears to be (or is) out of business, the process can be considerably more troublesome and taxing.
  • If Your Spouse Files for Divorce While on Deployment
    Even under the best of circumstances a marriage can be difficult and often times will not work out. Being a service member whose duty at times requires overseas deployment for long periods of time can lend even more strain.
  • Georgia's Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity Does Not Prevent Surety from Suing State
    In a very recent case, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the lower courts' decisions to allow a performance bond company (who had to complete a public works project) to sue the State of Georgia for its default.
  • Dust Up Between Surfers and Kholsa Could Spell the End of Private Beach Access in California
    Should a property owner have to get a coastal development permit before he can close the gate to his private property? The Surfrider Foundation thinks so, and if it wins its current lawsuit against Vinod Khosla that could soon be the law of the land in California.
  • Reverse Mortgages and HECMs—What You Need To Know
    Reverse mortgages can be a good option for homeowners at or near retirement age in need of additional income. But there are strings attached. Read on to learn what you need to know before starting the process.
  • 8 Simple Changes To Improve Your Construction Contracts
    In today's cut-and-paste world, even leading contract attorneys make mistakes. If you want to make your contracts easier to read and promote a problem-free project, then consider implementing some of the changes which we have suggested here.
  • Wisconsin Voter ID Law Struck Down-What Could That Mean For Virginia?
    A strict Voter ID law was struck down in Wisconsin, just as Virginia prepares to implement its own similar law.
  • Don't Make a Mistake--Read Your Contract
    Last week, the Georgia Court of Appeals rendered a decision which is detrimental to subcontractor who do not thoroughly read and understand their construction contracts. The contract included a provision which made the individual signing the contract on behalf of the subcontract company personally liable for the contract's performance. The court permitted this provision to be enforced against the signatory.
  • All Government Law Articles

    Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Government including: administrative law, case law, election and political law, federal law, government contracts, local, municipal and state law, military law, public law, regulatory law, US federal courts.

Government Law - US

  • ABA - State and Local Government Law Section

    The ABA Section of State and Local Government Law is the premier association for lawyers involved in urban, state, and local government law and policy. Lawyers representing countless government agencies from across the country turn to the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law to access the latest expert information on issues that relate to their practice and share ideas and best practices with colleagues.

  • The U.S. Constitution

    The U.S. Constitution establishes a federal government in which each branch operates independently of the others (separation of powers) but in which the powers of each are restricted by the others and power is not concentrated in any one branch (checks and balances).

  • U.S. Federal Executive Branch

    The executive branch of the government is responsible for enforcing the laws of the land. The president, vice president, department heads (cabinet members), and heads of independent agencies carry out this mission.

  • U.S. Federal Judicial Branch

    Courts decide arguments about the meaning of laws and how they are applied. They also decide if laws violate the Constitution—this is known as judicial review, and it is how federal courts provide checks and balances on the legislative and executive branches.

  • U.S. Federal Legislative Branch

    Article I of the Constitution establishes the legislative or law making branch of government. It has a two-branch Congress—the Senate and the House of Representatives—and agencies that support Congress.

  • Unites States House of Representative

    The chief function of Congress is the making of laws. The legislative process comprises a number of steps, and much information is available from this page concerning the legislation introduced and considered in the 111th Congress.

  • USA.gov

    As the U.S. government's official web portal, USA.gov makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. USA.gov also serves as the catalyst for a growing electronic government. In June 2000, President Clinton announced the gift from the Federal Search Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Brewer, and instructed that an official U.S. web portal be launched within 90 days.

Organizations Related to Government Law

  • Department of Justice - Enforcement of Government Law

    Mission: To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

  • G8 Information Center

    Since 1975, the heads of state or government of the major industrial democracies have been meeting annually to deal with the major economic and political issues facing their domestic societies and the international community as a whole. The six countries at the first summit, held at Rambouillet, France, in November 1975, were France, the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan and Italy (sometimes referred to as the G6). They were joined by Canada at the San Juan Summit of 1976 in Puerto Rico, and by the European Community at the London Summit of 1977.

  • The United Nations

    The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. Due to its unique international character, and the powers vested in its founding Charter, the Organization can take action on a wide range of issues, and provide a forum for its 192 Member States to express their views, through the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees.

Publications Related to Government Law

  • Blogs - America.gov

    Blogs at America.gov offers readers a place to discuss designated topics with experts from the United States and around the world, and to share their comments and reactions with the broader Internet public.

  • Government Law Online

    Welcome to Government Law Online, a clearinghouse service of the Government Law Center of Albany Law School. This site contains a collection of government law and public policy articles, studies, papers, and reports written by the faculty, staff, and students of Albany Law School. This site also contains reports, papers, transcripts and materials from Government Law Center programs.

  • How Our Laws Are Made

    First published in 1953 by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, this 24th edition of ''How Our Laws Are Made'' reflects changes in congressional procedures since the 23rd edition, which was revised and updated in 2003. This edition was prepared by the Office of the Parliamentarian of the U.S. House of Representatives in consultation with the Office of the Parliamentarian of the U.S. Senate.

  • Library of Congress - Law Library

    Congress established its Law Library in 1832, recognizing its need for ready access to reliable legal materials. The Law Library has grown over the years to


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