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A case on appeal reaches the Supreme Court via a writ of what?


A chief justice is able to exercise his influence most effectively by doing what?

guiding the debate

A diversity case is one involving what?

citizens of different jurisdictions

A judge who holds to judicial activism believes what?

judges should make law

Amicus curiae briefs amount to a form of judicial what?


Between 1789 and the Civil War, the Supreme Court was primarily occupied with the issues of what?

slavery and sectionilism

California is suing Arizona over the use of the Colorado River. The case will be heard by what court?

U.S Supreme court

Citizen X is suing his neighbor Y for ramming his $7,000 car. This case could be heard in what court?

state court

Clarence Gideon managed to have his case heard before the Supreme Court by doing what?

filing in forma pauperus

From the Civil War to the 1930s, the Supreme Court was primarily occupied with what type of issues?

ability to reulate business firms

From what things does the power of federal courts to make policy derive?

interpreting laws and the constitution, extending laws, and shaping relief

How did Alexander Hamilton describe the judiciary in Federalist #78?

weakest branch

How many (approximately) federal laws that have actually been overturned by the Supreme Court?

about 130

How successful have attempts by Presidents Nixon, Reagan, and Bush to produce a less activist court been?

somewhat successful

Identify the rulings in Marbury v. Madison that had legal and political significance.

political significance - power of judicial review / legal significance - Congress cannot extend the jurisdiction of the Court

In most cases presented to the Supreme Court, the bulk of the argumentation presented by either side will be found where?

in the printed "briefs" submitted to the Court

It has been suggested that senators actually appoint district judges, and presidents confirm them, through the practice of what?

senatorial courtesy

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for example, votes on the side of a majority of Supreme Court justices on a particular case even though her reasoning differs from the others. She may choose to express her reasons in what kind of opinion?

concurring opinion or concurrence

Politically, what type of judge is most likely to be an activist these days?


Senate conservatives, for example, might make their approval of a Supreme Court nominee contingent on that individual's personal views about the death penalty. Such concern for a nominee's ideology is known as what kind of test?

litmus test

Taxpayer X believes that the federal Endangered Species Act is unconstitutional. What will he have to show before his case can be heard on its merits?

personal damage

The behavior of Justices Holmes, Warren, Burger, and Blackman suggests what? (in relation to presidential selection of justices)

judicial behavior is often hard to predict

The Dred Scott case involved what legal issue?

whether slaves could become citizens of the U.S

The majority of cases heard by federal courts begin where?

district courts

The period in Supreme Court history from 1936 to the present has been marked by a concern for what?

Supreme Court could declare a congressional act unconstitutional. Power granted to federal government should be construed broadly. Federal law is supreme over state law.

The strongest type of Supreme Court opinion is a(n) what?

unanimous opinion of the Court

The Supreme Court tradition of deferring to the legislature on matters of economic regulation was established during what historical period?

the 1930s - the middle of the New Deal era

Under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, a citizen cannot do what?

sue the government without its approval

Until the 1930s, how did the Supreme Court interpret the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments?

narrowly with the regards to blacks

What are important reasons federal courts follow precedent?

predictability in the law and the fact that equal justice requires that similar cases be decided

What are the basic differences between a constitutional court and a legislative court?

Constitutional courts hear cases involving jurisdiction outlined in Article III, judges have lifetime appointments and protection of pay

What does a President usually look for in selecting judges for the federal courts?

agreement with his essential philosophy of government

What does the "dual-court system" of the United States refer to?

the fact that there is a federal court system and a state court system

What is "court packing?"

increasing the number of judges on a court so as to appoint a majority of judges who agree with the President

What is "fee shifting?"

getting the loser to pay court costs

What key government official is involved in the determination of whether a case should be appealed to the Supreme Court?

solicitor general

What principles were established by rulings of the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison and McCulloch v. Maryland?

number of laws declared unconstitutional, number of times they overturned precedent (not followed stare decisis), ability to fashion remedies

What was exemplified by the 1952 steel mill seizure case?

the ability of the Supreme Court to check the President

What was the principle that the Supreme Court used in overturning Fulton's monopoly on a New York steamboat operation?

Federal law stumps state laws

When a citizen sues and wins a suit against a government official for withholding a benefit to which a citizen is entitled, it is called what kind of suit?

Section 1983 suit (after 42 U.S.C. 1983)

Which case that we have studied in class is an example of a class action suit?

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

Which courts are mandated by the U.S. Constitution?

Just the supreme court

Which courts exercise the judicial powers found in Article III of the Constitution?

49. the Supreme Court and the inferior constitutional courts established by Congress

Why are presidents often disappointed by the records of their Supreme Court appointees?

It's difficult to anticipate the behavior of a judge once he or she is on the Court with a lifetime appointment.

Why did major reasons class-action suits become more common in recent years?

They became financial attractive to lawyers.

Why did the Founders expect that judicial review would be relatively passive?

They thought that judges would be content to find and apply existing law.

Why is it that only in the U.S. will you see intense battles over confirmation of Supreme Court judges?

only in the u.s. judges play such a large policy role

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