Georgia residents are subject to Georgia state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Georgia as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Georgia also has its own state laws. Georgia state laws include the Georgia Constitution, laws passed by the Georgia legislature and periodically codified in the Georgia Code, and decisions by courts that interpret Georgia laws.
Ratified in 1982, the Georgia Constitution is the second-newest state constitution in the U.S. Unlike most state constitutions, it not only divides its articles into sections but also divides its sections into paragraphs. The current version of the Constitution shifted many issues to the Georgia General Assembly that had been covered by the previous version of the Constitution. Under Article X, the Georgia Constitution may be amended by legislative referral or by a constitutional convention. The Georgia General Assembly has the authority to set up a constitutional convention without a popular vote. A two-thirds majority in each chamber of the General Assembly is required to put an amendment on a ballot or to call for a convention.
The Georgia Code contains the laws passed by the Georgia legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Georgia Constitution are often interpreted by the Georgia Supreme Court. The Georgia Court of Appeals also reviews the laws in the Georgia Code. In addition, three federal district courts in Georgia issue decisions that may affect Georgia residents. These are the Northern, Middle, and Southern District Courts of Georgia. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by federal district courts in Georgia. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Eleventh Circuit or from the Georgia Supreme Court.