a group of courts that work together as a regional justice system. They have trial jurisdiction and hear appeals from within the region.
only the federal courts may hear and decide cases.
both federal and state courts have jurisdiction.
a state of federal trial court; there are 94 of these.
a court's power to hear and decide a case before any appellate review.
the power of a higher court to review decisions and change outcomes of decisions of lower courts.
to send or order back; in law, to send back to jail or to a lower court.
a written explanation by a judge or group of judges that accompanies an order or ruling in a case, laying out the rationale and legal principles for the ruling.
a principle or rule established in a previous legal case that is either binding on or persuasive for a court or other tribunal when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts.
the power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress, and orders from the executive branch are constitutional. It was establish by John Marshall and his associates in Marbury V. Madison.
a written legal document used that is presented to a court arguing why one party to a particular case should win.
A statement that presents the views of the majority of the Supreme Court Justices regarding a case.
A court opinion or determination on which all judges agree.
an opinion that agrees with majority in a supreme court ruling but differs on the reasoning.
an opinion disagreeing with the majority decision in a supreme court ruling.
A Latin phrase meaning "let the decision stand". Most cases reaching appellate courts are settled on this principal.
a law established by following earlier judicial decisions.
a written law passed by a legislative body.
a person who brings a case against another in a court of law.
an individual, company, or institution sued or accused in a court of law.
a crime, typically one involving violence, regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor, and usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or death.
a minor wrongdoing;
the unlawful taking away of another person's property with the intent never to return it.
the taking of property from a person's possession by using force or threats.
unlawful entry into any dwelling or structure with the intention to commit a crime.
a claim or dispute brought to a court of law for a hearing.
the printing of false or damaging information.
applies to that branch of law dealing with the formation, construction, and interpretation of constitutions.
Writ of habeas corpus
a court order to a person or agency holding someone in custody to deliver the imprisoned individual to the court issuing the order.
Bill of attainder
is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them, often without a trial.
Ex post facto law
one which makes a particular act illegal, and punishes people committed that crime before the law was passed.
due process (of law)
the principle that an individual cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards.
a legal document authorizing a police officer or other official to enter and search premises.
the prosecution of a person twice for the same offense.
a jury selected to examine the validity of an accusation before trial.
an agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor.
the temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial, sometimes on condition that a sum of money be given to guarantee their appearance in court.
Code of Hammurabi
a Babylonian legal code of the 18th century ; important because it set the first written laws in human history.
the law code of the ancient Romans, which forms the basis of civil law in many countries today.
a legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in the Commonwealth countries and the United States
the system of law concerned with private relations between members of a community over disuptes
a system of law concerned with the punishment of those who commit crimes
the body of law that regulates the operation and procedures of government agencies
any formal legal document that sets out the facts and legal reasons that the plaintiff(s) believes are sufficient to support a claim against the party or parties against the defendant.
a notice directing someone to appear in court to answer a complaint or charge
process by which attorneys have opportunities to check facts and gather evidence.
in a legal case, the amount of money the defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff
party who starts the legal proceeding against another party for a violation of the law
an act that breaks a law and causes harm to people or society in general
a state's written criminal laws.
to grant a prisoner an early release from prison, with certain restrictions.
punishment that judges must impose according to what the law directs.
a hearing in which a suspect is charged and pleads guilty or not guilty.
the statement a witness makes under oath
to question a witness at a trial or a hearing check or discredit the testimony
a vote of not guilty
a jury that cannot agree on a verdict.
a person not yet legally an adult.
a child or teenager who commits a serious crime or repeatedly break the law
to correct a person's behavior
Reasons for Filing a civil suits
Personal injury, libel or slander, breach of contract, etc.
a prison sentence that consists of a range of years (such as five to ten years)
Marbury v. Madison
arguably the most important case in Supreme Court history; first supreme court case to apply the principle of "judicial review"- the power of federal courts to void acts of Congress in conflict with the constitution.
Cherokee Nation v. GA
established that Cherokee was a dependent nation to the US and not an independent nation.
Dred Scott v. Sanford
declared that slaves were not citizens of the United States and could not sue in federal courts
Plessy v. Ferguson
The court ruled on the concept of 'separate but equal' and set back civil rights in the United States for decades to come
Korematsu v. U.S.
the supreme court held that the wartime internment of American citizens of Japanese descent was constitutional.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
signaled the start of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, while for others , it represented the fall of segregation.
Mapp v. Ohio
decided that "unreasonable searches and seizures" may not be used in state law criminal prosecutions in state courts as evidence.
Gideon v. Wainwright
requires states to provide defense attorneys to criminal defendants charged with serious offenses who cannot afford lawyers themselves.
Miranda v. AZ
detained criminal suspects, prior to police questioning, must be informed of their constitutional right to an attorney and against self-incrimination.
In Re Gault
held that juveniles accused of crimes in a delinquency proceeding must be afforded many of the same due process rights as adults
Tinker v. Des Moines
students wore black armbands to school in silent protest against the vietnam war. Supreme court established a standard favorable to a broad interpretation of student's first amendment rights .
Swann v. Charlotte-Meck BOE
upheld busing programs that aimed to speed up the racial integration of public schools in the US
Roe v. Wade
the court recognized that the constitutional right to privacy includes the termination of pregnancy. ; known as the case to legalize abortion nationwide.
U.S v. Nixon
important to the late stages of the Watergate scandal. It considered a crucial precedent limiting the power of any US president.
Bush v. Gore
interpreted the 14th Amendment under the Equal Protection Clause saying that the federal government must respect, maintain, and uphold the legal rights of American citizens.