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AP Gov - Chapter 14
Terms in this set (60)
The power of a court to refuse to enforce a law or government regulation that in the opinion of the judges conflicts with the U.S. Constitution or, in a state court, the state constitution.
A judicial system in which the court of law is a neutral arena where two parties argue their differences.
A dispute growing out of an actual case or controversy and that is capable of settlement by legal methods.
class action suit
Lawsuit brought by an individual or a group of people on behalf of all those similarly situated.
In a criminal action, the person or party accused of an offense.
Agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser offense to avoid having to stand trial for a more serious offense.
public defender system
Arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys.
A dispute that requires knowledge of a non-legal character or the use of techniques not suitable for a court or explicitly assigned by the Constitution to Congress or the president; judges refuse to answer constitutional questions that they declare are political.
Law that comes from authoritative and specific lawmaking sources, primarily legislatures but also including treaties and executive orders.
Judge-made law that originated in England in the twelfth century, when royal judges traveled around the country settling disputes in each locality according to prevailing custom. The common law continues to develop according to the rule of stare decisis, which means "let the decision stand." This is the rule of precedent, which implies that a rule established by a court is to be followed in all similar cases.
Law used whenever common-law remedies are inadequate. For example, if an injury done to property may do irreparable harm for which money damages cannot provide compensation, under equity a person may ask the judge to issue an injunction ordering the offending person not to take the threatened action. If the wrongdoer persists, he or she may be punished for contempt of court.
Statements interpreting the U.S. Constitution that have been given Supreme Court approval.
Admiralty and Maritime Law
Law applicable to cases concerning shipping and waterway commerce on the high seas and on the navigable waters of the United States.
Law relating to the authority and procedures of administrative agencies as well as to the rules and regulations issued by those agencies.
Law that defines crimes against the public order and provides for punishment. Government is responsible for enforcing criminal law, the great body of which is enacted by states and enforced by state officials in state courts. The criminal caseload of federal judges is growing.
Law that governs the relations between individuals and defines their legal rights. However, the government can also be a party to a civil action. Under the Sherman Antitrust Act, for example, the federal government may initiate civil as well as criminal action to prevent violations of the law.
writ of habeas corpus
A court order requiring explanation to a judge why a prisoner is being held in custody.
The authority of a court to hear a case "in the first instance."
The authority of a court to review decisions made by lower courts.
A jury of 12 to 23 persons who, in private, hear evidence presented by the government to determine whether persons shall be required to stand trial. If the jury believes there is sufficient evidence that a crime was committed, it issues an indictment.
A jury of 6 to 12 persons who determine guilt or innocence in a civil or criminal action.
An official who performs a variety of limited judicial duties.
court of appeals
A court with appellate jurisdiction that hears appeals from the decisions of lower courts.
Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect what the framers intended and what its words literally say.
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect current conditions and values.
The rule of precedent, whereby a rule or law contained in a judicial decision is commonly viewed as binding on judges whenever the same question is presented.
writ of certiorari
A formal write used to bring a case before the Supreme Court.
amicus curiae brief
Literally, a "friend of the court" brief, filed by an individual or organization to present arguments in addition to those presented by the immediate parties to a case.
opinion of the court
An explanation of a decision of the Supreme Court or any other appellate court.
An opinion disagreeing with the majority in a Supreme Court ruling.
An opinion that agrees with the majority in a Supreme Court ruling but differs on the reasoning.
writ of mandamus
Court order for one party to perform a certain act.
A court order forbidding a certain act.
class action lawsuit
A civil grievance brought by a group.
A description of judicial power. Courts cannot just "decide" to take cases.
Only those who have sustained injury can take a case to court.
Bush v. Gore
Evidence of the judiciary's newfound willingness to rule on political questions.
Sole authority of a federal court.
Authority of both a federal and a state court.
A formal accusation that a person has committed a criminal offense.
Appointed by the President with Senate confirmation, the person in this position oversees the Justice Department and sits in the Cabinet.
Appointed by the President with Senate confirmation, the person in this position represents the United States government in the Supreme Court, deciding the government's position and which cases it will appeal.
Senate Judiciary Committee
Has authority over confirmation of judicial nominees.
Marbury vs. Madison
1803 case that gave the Supreme Court the power to determine the constitutionality of a case.
Brown vs. Board of Education
Case that declared separate but equal unconstitutional.
Plessy vs. Ferguson
Case that declared separate but equal constitutional.
rule of four
Four Supreme Court justices must select a case for it to be heard.
Judicial rulings based on broad interpretation instead of existing law or precedent.
Texas vs. Johnson
1989 case that protected flag burning as a fair expression of free speech.
Clinton vs. New York
1998 case that declared the line-item veto unconstitutional.
DC v. Heller
2008 case that declared DC handgun ban unconstitutional.
US v. Eichmann
1990 case that protected flag burning at a federal level.
Atkins vs. Virginia
2002 case that declared death penalties for mentally retarded unconstitutional.
Lawrence vs. Texas
2003 case that declared anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional.
Belief that courts should not make new law.
Miranda vs. Arizona
1966 case that protected the rights of the accused.
Baker vs. Carr
1962 case that banned racial gerrymandering.
Roe v. Wade
1973 case that legalized abortion.
UC Regents vs. Bakke
1978 case that allowed for some forms of affirmative action.
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