Chapter 12 Questions

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What did the framers call the "least dangerous branch"?

the Supreme Court

Which of the following is the essence of the rule of law?

Every state must judge government officials by the same laws as its citizens are judged.

In what type of law is the government always the plaintiff?

criminal law

Compared to the other two branches of the federal government, the federal courts have had _____
institutional crises during its history.

fewer

If a private individual brought a suit against a corporation for breaking a contract, what kind of law would this lawsuit involve?

civil

The party that brings a complaint in court is called the _____, and the one against whom the complaint is
brought is called the _____.

plaintiff; defendant

The doctrine of _____ requires courts to follow authoritative prior decisions when ruling on a case.

stare decisis

The phrase stare decisis means

"let the decision stand."

Which of the following scenarios would most likely lead to a trial involving public law?

a citizen accuses the police of searching her house without a warrant

Prior cases whose principles are used by judges to decide current cases are called

precedents

In most circumstances, a Supreme Court is best described as a(n) _____ court.

appellate

When a case is resolved through a negotiated agreement before a full trial is completed, it is called

a plea bargain.

What is the Uniform Commercial Code?

a set of codes states may voluntarily adopt, in order to reduce interstate differences in judicial opinions

The area of authority possessed by a court, in terms of either subject area or geography, is called its

jurisdiction.

All of the following are part of the official jurisdiction of the federal courts

1. cases involving the United States Constitution.
2. federal statutes.
4. treaties with other nations.

When all of the justices on the Supreme Court are hearing a case, they are said to be sitting

en banc.

There are _____ United States district courts.

94

Which of the following is not a specialized "legislative court" created by Congress?

Court of Federal Territories

Approximately what percentage of all court cases in the United States are heard in federal courts?

1%

The right of due process is best described as the right of

every person not to be treated arbitrarily by a government official or agency

Each year, the Supreme Court receives about _____ appeals and hears about _____ of them in full court.

9,500; 75

Original jurisdiction refers to

the court with the authority to hear a case first

Trial courts in the federal judicial system are called

district courts

In which of the following types of cases does the Supreme Court have original jurisdiction?

any case involving an ambassador

Approximately how many judges currently sit on the federal district courts?

700

Which of the following statements about the U.S. Courts of Appeals is incorrect?

The appeals courts are able to hear all cases involving federal law, but not constitutional law.

What is the main function of the chief justice of the Supreme Court?

The chief justice presides over the Court's public sessions and private conferences.

What is the most frequent and best known action of Supreme Court justices in their role as circuit
justices?

reviewing requests for stays of execution

How many justices currently serve on the Supreme Court?

nine

What was known as the court-packing plan?

the attempt by Franklin D. Roosevelt to add sympathetic justices to the Supreme Court in order to get New Deal laws upheld as constitutional

The size of the U.S. Supreme Court is set by

Congress

When the president places a judicial candidate on the bench while Congress is not in session, it is called a

recess appointment.

Which of the following Supreme Court justices was not appointed by a Republican president?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In recent years, federal court appointments have

been characterized by intense partisan and ideological efforts to support or defeat the candidate.

Which of the following Supreme Court justices was not appointed by Bill Clinton?

David Souter

Through the exercise of _____, the Supreme Court has held actions or laws of the executive and
legislative branches unconstitutional.

judicial review

Why is the Supreme Court case of Marbury v. Madison important?

In this case, the Court authorized itself to exercise judicial review over laws passed by Congress.

What was the Supreme Court's decision regarding the line-item veto?

It was struck down as an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers.

In what year was Marbury v. Madison decided?

1803

The power of the Supreme Court to review state actions and legislation comes from

the supremacy clause of Article VI.

Which of the following was not a case involving the Supreme Court overturning a state law?

Marbury v. Madison

In which of the following cases did the Supreme Court exercise judicial review to uphold a state law?

The Court overturned state laws in all of the above.

The increase of administrative agencies since the New Deal has resulted in

a delegation of power by Congress to administrative agencies

What is common law?

law made by judges through their decisions, not through specific statutes

What was the Supreme Court's ruling in 1948, regarding restrictive covenants?

Individuals had the right to discriminate in private contracts, but courts could not enforce these contracts.

Which of the following was not part of the Supreme Court's ruling in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld?

All persons accused of being terrorists had the right to a lawyer.

The written opinions of appellate courts have been described as halfway between _____ and _____.

common law; statutory law

In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court was required to rule on the issue of _____, due to the fact that the
pregnancy had already come to term.

mootness

Which are the parts of the Miranda rule?

1. Arrested people have a right to a lawyer present during interrogations.
2. Arrested people have the right to know that anything they say will be used against them.
3. Arrested people have a right to remain silent.

The requirement of standing means that parties in a case must

have a concrete injury or interest at stake.

The case Baker v. Carr concerns

apportionment of legislative seats.

Cases between two or more states are originally heard by

the Supreme Court

Most cases reach the Supreme Court through the

writ of certiorari.

Prisoners who are challenging their conviction are most likely to file a writ of

habeas corpus.

Which of the following best describes the role of the solicitor general?

the lawyer whorepresents the United States before the Supreme Court in cases where the federal government is a party

A person, agency, or interest group not directly a party to a case but with an interest in its outcome may file a(n) _____ brief.

amicus curiae

When the Supreme Court refuses to review a lower-court decision, announcing this decision through a
brief unsigned opinion, it is called _____ opinion.

a per curiam

Aside from the justices themselves, who or what has the greatest power in shaping the flow of cases to the Supreme Court?

the solicitor general

Each Supreme Court justice is assigned _____ clerk(s).

4

Then interest groups involved in litigation pursue what is called a pattern of cases, then they are

bringing the same type of suit into multiple circuits, hoping that a contradiction in rulings will bring about a Supreme Court review.

The written document in which attorneys explain why the court should rule in favor of their client is
called a/an

brief

Under normal rules of oral argument, each lawyer has _____ to present his or her case before the
Supreme Court.

a half-hour

When justices agree with the ruling of a court majority but not all of its reasoning, they may often write a(n)

concurrence

What is the significance of dissenting opinions?

Dissents are signs that the Court is in disagreement on an issue and could change its ruling.

If someone is an advocate of judicial restraint, he or she believes

1. in looking only at the words of the Constitution in order to understand its meaning.
2. that the Court should beware of overturning the judgments of popularly elected legislatures.
3. that judges should limit their interpretations to the intention of the law's framers.

Activist judges believe that the courts should

go beyond the words of a Constitution or a statute to consider the broader societal implications of its decisions.

Which of the following is not a traditional limitation on the power of the federal courts?

the ability of Congress to reduce federal judges' salaries

Andrew Jackson reputedly said, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." What did
he mean by this statement?

The Supreme Court is unable to enforce its decisions without the aid of the executive branch.

Each of the following has been a method by which the federal courts have expanded their power, except

narrowing the discretionary authority of the president over foreign affairs and diplomacy

A single lawsuit involving thousands of smokers suing a tobacco company would be a good example of

a class action suit.

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