a legal principle by which judges are obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions
(law) the right and power to interpret and apply the law
-(Plus diversity cases IF some threshold value exists)
How many Courts of Appeal are there?
How many Justices are on the Supreme Court?
When can Federal Court Judges supervise State Court Judges?
When federal questions are involved
friend of court brief
Rejection rate of Supreme Court?
Writ of Sertorai
Make decision more certain
Rule of Four
If 4 or more of the 9 justices agree your case involves an important federal question, they will isue writ of certiorari
Opinions of the Court
A) Brief, unsigned= per curiam
B) Longer, signed
Case sent back down to lower courts to be fixed
The custom in the U.S. Senate of refusing to confirm a presidential appointment to office opposed by both senators from the state of the appointee or by the senior senator of the President's party.
About how many president nominations to the Supreme Court have been rejected by the Senate?
The power of the Supreme Court and other courts to declare unconstitutional federal or state laws and other acts of government
2 ways of doing Judicial Review
1. Strict Constructivism- judge finds what the law requires and does that (traditional approach)
2. Activist Approach- Judge discovers hidden principles, amplifies them on moral (his) philosophy, then applies that
Doctrine of Judicial Review
Self-imposed limit on the court
Doctrine of Judicial Activism
Judicial ruling suspected of being based on personal or political considerations rather than on existing law
Checks on Supreme Court
1. Executive Checks
2. Congressional Checks
3. Public Opinions
a requirement that to be heard a case must be capable of being settled as a matter of law rather than on other grounds as is commonly the case in legislative bodies
2 Kinds of lower Federal Courts
1. Administrative/Legislative Courts
2. Constitutional Courts**
Constraints on Judges ability to decide case in any way they please
1. The law
2. Earlier decisions
3. Facts of the case
Implication on Supreme Court's refusal to hear a case
If the U.S. Supreme Court denies a petition for a writ of certiorari (a request to hear a case on appeal), then the decision of the lower court is final.
Denial of certiorari occurs in 98-99% of cases, and in no way implies that the court agrees with the lower court's decision. Denial only means that the case, as presented, isn't of sufficient importance to warrant a review, doesn't involve constitutional issues, conforms to a precedent already set, falls outside the court's jurisdiction, or is moot, etc.
Between 7,500 and 8,500 cases are presented for review each year, but the court can only choose 80-150 to hear, so the Justices have to limit themselves to those cases that have the greatest impact on the law and on society.
If a case is denied certiorari, the decision of the last "court of competent jurisdiction" to handle the case is affirmed and the case is concluded. Affirmation by default does not necessarily indicate the Supreme Court agrees with the lower court decision; nor does accepting a case for review necessarily mean the Court disagrees with the lower court decision.
-Hired by Justices
----1) Help decided which cases the court will hear
----2) Help draft legal reasoning for opinions
----3) Do initial legal research