KAP Law - Federal Court System

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adversarial system

courts settle civil disputes between private parties, a party and the government, or the united states and a state or local government, by applying the law and deciding in favor of one or the other after they present their sides.

prosecuting the accused

witnesses present evidence and a jury or a judge delivers a verdict of guilt or innocence

US federal system

supreme court
appellate courts
trial courts
federal courts

district courts

federal courts where trials are held and lawsuits begin, and all states have one.

original jurisdiction

hearing the case for the first time

appeals courts

review decisions made in lower district courts

appellate jurisdiction

the authority to hear a case appealed from a lower court

uphold

agree

reverse

disagree

remand

send it back to the lower courts

the court chooses two cases it hears through:

writ of certiorari

current supreme court

8 associate justices and, one chief justice

judicial review

the power to say whether any law or government action goes against the constitution

marbury v. madison

the constitution does not give the supreme court the power of the judicial review

power of judicial review

1. constitution is the supreme law of the land
2. if a law conflicts with the const. the const. rules
3. judicial branch must be able to determine when a law conflicts with the const. and nullify that law

limits on the courts' power

1. court usually depends on executive branch and state/local officials to enforce its decisions
2. court can amend the constitution
3. president has power to appoint justices and impeach them
4. court cannot that decide law is unconstitutional unless case comes on appeal (only deals with federal questions)

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