Statute Details

A statute is an established rule that has gone through the legislative system's necessary process, and the government passes turning it into law. In most democratic governments, for example, in the U.S., the Legislative Branch creates the laws, the Judicial Branch interprets the laws, and the Executive Branch enforces the laws. These laws are what are known as statutes. They originate from two different places: the state legislature and signed into law by a governor, and from federal Congress and signed into law by the country's President.

The statutes are then formally published in chronological order and then divided by codes to make them easier to find within published volumes. For example, most people have heard of "penal codes" or "civil codes." The state statutes use this coding system, but federal statutes code their laws a little differently. There is one code called the United States Code, or the U.S.C., which divides into titles which are numbers. For example, title 1 of the U.S.C. is "general provisions."

Although it's essentially the same thing as a law, the definitions differ from each other. A law is more of a guideline or rule that communities follow and have been following for an extended time. A statute, on the other hand, is a proper bill that the legislative system has passed. And unlike laws, statutes aren't cumulative. They each have their separate volume and session. Statutes originate from municipalities, the state, or even from a national level. Statues have also been called acts, for example, the famous Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Real-World Example of a Statute

For this example, the subject will be arguably the most known statute in the history of the U.S. The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Skipping the social and ethical history, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the most relevant example of how statutes come to be and their process.

There was a constant social issue, and the President pressed Congress for a comprehensive and fair bill. After constant pressing from big political figures, Congress took action. Many events took place within different states, but eventually, a bill was voted in favor by Congress, and the President, Lyndon Johnson, signed off on it. After that, the bill that was signed and became law and has remained so. This statute prohibited discrimination of any kind due to a person's color, race, sex, religion, and national origin.

Although there hasn't been a statute of the same historical and social impact as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, statutes come to be in the same fashion. One of the most recent laws, which President Donald Trump signed off, was a bill to "provide a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty." Statutes aren't always about social reform and massive change, but similar things as these reinforce the system's roots.