It seems like everyday, the new presidential administration does or says something that leaves people wondering, "Is that even legal?" If you find yourself confused about the current state of America's politics, wondering what's happening in our government, or questioning what can be done to stop it, there's an easy place to start: with books to help you understand how laws get passed and overturned in the United States. If you can understand the way legislation works in our country, then you can begin to understand how you can affect change.
The United States is a democratic republic, which means our citizens are controlled by a constitution that guides all of our laws and judicial practices, a constitution that was originally drafted in 1787. It also means that, to the average American, lawmaking and legislative action is like a foreign language only spoken by the suits in Washington, D.C., and the mouthpieces in the media.
For many of us, lawmaking presents in our lives as it unfolds on cable news, and we can do little but look on, confused and alarmed. The truth is, though, as a free and liberated democracy, we the people are supposed to be taking part in the lawmaking process, and the best way to do that is to get educated and get involved.
If you're interested in understanding the basic functions of our lawmaking process and figuring out how you can get involved, try reading these five books about how laws are made (and unmade) in American government.