McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli

Like the federal government, California laws are found in three places: the state constitution, the codes or the statutes, and regulations. The hierarchy of laws in California is the same as under federal law, with the Constitution on top, statutes in the middle, and regulations on the bottom. The following is a brief overview of these three sources of California laws.

The California Constitution is one of the longest in the nation. It’s about 110 pages in length. The following are the articles of the constitution and what they cover: Article I, Declaration of Rights; Article II, Voting Initiative and Referendum and Recall; Article III, State of California; Article IV, Legislative; Article V, Executive; Article VI, Judicial; Article VII, Public Officers and Employees; Article VIIII, Education; Article X, Water; etc.

Next comes the statutes. There are 29 titles in the state. They contain over 150,000 statutes according to the Legislative Council Bureau. The following are the codes: Business and Professions Code, Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, Commercial Code, etc.

Now, California has over 200 state agencies that make public policy via their authority to adopt regulations. They adopt between 500 and 600 new regulations each year. The website of the Office of Administrative Law provides direct access to the California Code of Regulations. The CCR is organized under 27 different titles. Remember, our statutes are in 29 codes, and our regulations are in 27 titles.

Title 1, General Provisions; Title 2, Administration; Title 3, Food and Agriculture; Title 4, Business Regulations; Title 5, Education; Title 7, Harbors and Navigation; Title 8, Industrial Relations; Title 9, Rehabilitative and Developmental Services; Title 10, Investment; etc.

You can find a full transcript of today’s podcast here.