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Government Vocab 4

Vocabulary for Chapter 18 Quiz (Magruder's American Government Text 2007)
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Inferior Courts/Lower Courts
Those federal courts beneath the Supreme Court
Jurisdiction
The authority of a court to hear (to try and to decide) a case. The term means, literally, the power "to say the law."
Exclusive jurisdiction
Power of the federal courts alone to hear certain cases
Concurrent jurisdiction
Power shared by federal and state courts
Plaintiff
The person who files suit, the party who brings some legal action against another
Defendant
The person whom the complaint is against; the person against whom a court action is brought
Original jurisdiction
Power to hear a case first, before any other court; A court in which a case is first heard
Appellate jurisdiction
Authority of a court to review decisions of inferior/lower courts; A court that hears a case on appeal from a lower court
Federal criminal case
A case in which the defendant is tried for commiting some action that Congress has declared by law to be a federal crime
Federal civil case
A case in which the defendant is tried for committing some action that Congress has declared not covered by criminal law, including disputes between private persons and between private persons and government
Docket
A courts list of cases to be heard;
writ of certiorari
An order by a higher court directing a lower court to send up the record in a given case for review; from the Latin meaning "to be more certain."
Certificate
A method of putting a case before the Supreme Court; used when a lower court is not clear about the procedure or rule of law that should apply in a case and asks the Supreme Court to certify the answer to a specific question
Majority Opinion
Written statement by a majority of the judges of a court in support of a decision made by that court
Precedent
Previous court decisions that influence the ruling of later and similar cases
Concurring Opinion
Written explanation of the views of one or more judges who support a decision reached by a majority of the court but disagree with the grounds for that decision
Dissenting Opinion
Written explanation of the views of one or more judges who disagree with a decision reached by a majority of the court
Redress
Satisfaction of a claim payment brought in court
Courts-Martial
A court composed of military personnel, for the trial of those accused of violating military law
Common law
That body of law made up of generally accepted standards of rights and wrongs developed over centuries by judicial decisions rather thatn in written statutes