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Interprets the laws, article 3
Role of Courts
Interpret laws/constitution, settle disputes, determine innocence/guilt
3 Federal Courts
District Court, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court
Federal Court Jurisdiction
deal with cases involving US laws, treaties with foreign nations, or interpretations of the Constitution, disputes between states and the federal government
Consists of nine justices, each appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress. Appointment is for life. Supreme Court exercises the power to determine constitutionality of laws
Allows the court to determine the constitutionality of laws; Marbury vs. Madison
A court opinion reflecting the views of the majority of the judges
Justice votes with majority but may have different legal view on the issue
A statement written by a justice who disagrees with the majority opinion, presenting his or her opinion
One who brings a court action against another (the complainer)
An individual or group being sued or charged with a crime
The authority of a court to hear a case
Fairness; rightfulness; equality under the law
Petition of Certiorari
The document that must be filed in order to ask for a case to be heard by the Supreme Court
Let the decision stand; decisions are based on precedents from previous cases
(civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial decisions
Equal Protection Clause
The section of the Fourteenth Amendment that says that states must apply the law equally and cannot discriminate against citizens or groups of citizens
Due Process Clause
A clause to the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments that says no person shall be deprived of "life, liberty or property" without due process of the law.