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Chapter 15 - The courts

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The ability of the Supreme Court to "say what the law is" is more formally known as
judicial review
The doctrine of judicial review was established by
Marbury v. Madison
Alexis de Tocqueville, an observer of nineteenth-century American society, indicated that Americans rely on courts to
resolve political questions
Most American law is based on
the English legal system
The body of judge-made law is known as
common law
A court rule bearing on subsequent legal decisions in similar cases is called
precedent
The doctrine of stare decisis means
to stand on the decided cases
Sources of American law include all except
the charter of the united nations
The rules and principles announced in court decisions are called
case law
Under the doctrine of judicial review, the Supreme Court has ruled parts or all of acts of Congress to be unconstitutional about _____ in its history
200 times
Using judicial review, the Supreme Court has ruled state laws to be unconstitutional about _____ in its history
1,000 times
The United States has a dual court system. There are
state courts and federal courts
The federal court derives its power from _____ and is organized according to_____
Article III of the Constitution
Congressional legislation
Jurisdiction and standing to sue are
basic judicial requirements
The suthority of a court to hear and decide a particular class of cases is known as
jurisdiction
A question that has to do with the US Constitution, acts of Congress, or treaties is known as a _____
federal
Diversity of citizenship exists when
the parties to the lawsuit are from different states
Standing to sue is determined
by whether a person or group has suffered harm as a result of the action that led to the dispute in question
Justiciable disputes
are issues appropriate for resolution in court
Issues appropriate for resolution in court are known as
justiciable disputes
Tax courts and bankruptcy courts are examples of
courts of limited jurisdiction
US district courts are
trial courts
Each state
has at least one federal district court
Usually appelate courts look at questions of
law
The Supreme court can review a state supreme court decision
only if a federal question is involved
According to the Constitution, the Supreme Court can exercise original jurisdiction
in cases affecting foreign diplomats and in cases in which the state is a party
The FISA court
can issue warrants without revealing the information used to justify the warrant
To engage in legal proceedings or seek relief in a court of law is to
litigate
Interest groups play an important role in oour judicial system because
they bring to trial cases of discrimination, civil liberties cases and more than a third of cases involving business matters
A brief filed by a third party who is not directly involved in the litigation but who has an interest in the outcome of a case is called
an amicus curiae brief
A lawsuit seeking damages for "all persons sililarly situated" is called
a class-action suit
A class-action suit is a
lawsuit seeking damages for "all persons similarly situated"
A court that hears a broad, non-restricted range of cases is known as a court of
general jurisdiction
Of the total number of cases that are decided each year, those reviewed by the Supreme Court represent
less than one-half of 1 percent
A writ of certiorari by the Supreme Court orders
a lower court to send it the record of a case for review
Most petitions for writs of certiorari to the Supreme Court are
denied
A procedure used by the Supreme Court to determine which cases it will hear is called
the rule of four
A opinion of a court
sets forth the reasoning upon which the ruling was based
The reasoning upon which a court ruling was based is known as
the opinion
If a case is remanded, it
is sent back to the court that heard the case
If a case if affirmed, it
means the decision is valid and must stand
A justice who agrees with the result reached by the majority of the Court but wants to voice disapproval of the grounds on which the decision was made would write
a concurring opinion
A court opinion reflecting the views of most of the judges is called
a majority opinion
A dissenting opinion can be important because
it often forms the basis of the arguments used later to reverse the majority opinion in a similar case
Spoken presentations by attorneys to the appellate court laying out the reasons why the court should rule in his or her client's favor are known as
oral arguments
some scholars suggest that one of the reasons the Supreme Court hears fewer cases today than in the past is the
growing conserrvatism of the judges sitting on lower courts
When all Supreme court justices agree to an opinion, it is known as a _____ opinion
unanimous
The most likely occupational position of a Supreme Court nominee before nominaiton is
federal judgeship
Judicial candidates for federal judgeships are usually suggested by all of the following except
governors
The concept of senatorial courtesy refers to the
practice of allowing senators to veto candidates for federal district courts in their state
In the twenty-first century, Senate Republicans implemented a policy that
members of the opposition party, the Democrats, would not be allowed to invoke senatorial courtesy
Over the course of American history, Supreme Court justices have tended to be
protestant white males
There has never been an instance in which
more than two women served on the united states supreme court at the same time
Almost _____ percent of presidential nominations to the Supreme Court have been iether rejected or not acted on by the Senate
20
Sandra Day O'Connor was
appointed as a conservative but gradually shited to a more liberal position during her years on the Supreme Coourt
George W. Bush had to forgo one of his nominees to the Supreme Court, _____, when he realized that he could not win the confirmation battle in the Senate
Harriet Miers
The pwer of the courts to determine whether a law or action by the other branches of government is constitutional is called
judicial review
Judicial activism means
that the Supreme Court should actively check the other branches of government when they exceed their authority
The philosophy that the Supreme Court should actively check the other branches of government when they exceed their authority is known as
judicial activism
Strict construction means
attempting to follow the "letter of the law"
Which member of the current Supreme Court was quoted as saying "the Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document" which should be interpreted "as it was originally written and intended"
antonin scalia
The Supreme Court under the leadership of William Rehnquist
reversed a Florida Supreme Court decision that ordereded a manual recount of the votes in selected Florida counties after the 2000 presidential election
The judicial philosophy that looks to the context and purpose of a law when making an interpretation is known as
broad construction
The doctrin that holds that the Supreme Court should defer to the decisions made by the elected representatives of the people is known as judicial
restraint
Presidents have the pwer to change the direction of the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary by
appointing new judges who in principle have philosophies consistent with the president
Judicial implementation refers to
the execution of court decisions into policy
If Congress disagrees with a decision of the Supreme Court concerning the interpretation of the US Constitution it can
propose an amendment to the constitution that would negate the Court's ruling
Many states reacted to the Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London by
passing legislation limiting the ability of government to take private property for redevelopment by private business
Public opinion can serve as a check on the judiciary because
the public may pressure elected officials not to enforce an unpopular ruling
An issue that the court believes should be decided by the executive or legislative branch is called
a political question
Under our constitutionsystem, federal judges
are nominated by the president and confirmed by a majority of the Senate
From 1789 to 1970 the average Supreme Court justice served
only fifteen years and left the court at age 68, while since 1970 the average tenure is more than twenty-five years and retirement age is closer to 80
About ____ of those people exonerated by DNA testing are members of a minority group
70 %
To date, ____ people had death sentences before DNA proved their innocence
16
Sharia law is drawn not only from the Koran, but also
from the way the Prophet Muhammad lived his life
Jurisdiction refers to
the authority of a court to hear and decide a particular class of cases