An act of a legislature that declares, proscribes, or commands something; a specific law,
expressed in writing.
A statute is a written law passed by a legislature on the state or federal level. Statutes
set forth general propositions of law that courts apply to specific situations.
may forbid a certain act, direct a certain act, make a declaration, or set forth governmental mechanisms to aid society.
The power of statutes over other forms of laws is not complete, however. Under the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions, federal and state governments are comprised of a system of checks and balances among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. As the system of checks and balances plays out, the executive and judicial branches have the opportunity to fashion laws within certain limits. The Executive Branch may possess certain lawmaking powers under the federal or state constitutions, and the judiciary has the power to review statutes to determine whether they are valid under those constitutions. When a court strikes down a tatute, it in effect creates a law of its own that applies to the general public.