The other day my fiance and I were discussing what we preferred to drink at restaurants when we were little kids. He told me that he hated when his mom made him order water. He wanted something sweet, something with a little flavor to go with his kiddie meal.
My sentiment was a little different, as a kiddo sometimes I wanted water, and sometimes I wanted lemonade or soda. My value was more so the ability to choose. I wasn’t anti-water.
Okay Denia, what does any of this have to do with primary and secondary sources in law?
I’m glad you asked.
Today I want to introduce the concept of primary and secondary sources by asking you to think about water and kool-aid. Oh yeah!
PRIMARY SOURCES= WATER
Got it? Cool.
So, let’s think about the relationship between water and kool-aid first.
WATER= clean, pure, life-giving. Translation: In law, primary sources are the STATUTES, STATE CONSTITUTIONS, and any other applicable enacted law. A Legal source simply can’t get any purer than this.
Now, let’s take the Kool-Aid
KOOL-AID= part water, part sugar, part some other junk we probably don’t really need in our system. Translation: In law, secondary sources aren’t as pure. These often opinionated sources may include dictionaries, law review articles, etc.
So let’s review:
PRIMARY SOURCE(WATER) is the constitutional and statutory governing law. It’s pure authority and always upheld.
SECONDARY SOURCE(KOOL-AID) is more so involving sources that may be applicable, but typically the information has been meddled with by an additional party.
I think I’m in the mood for some kool-aid right now. How about you?
Until next time!