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ch 16 federal courts

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amicus curiae briefs
legal briefs given by friend of the court to bring up more points of view and influence court's decision
original jurisdiction
hear a case first, determine facts about a case
appellate jurisdiction
hears cases brought to them on appeal from lower courts; dont review the factual record, only legal issues
district courts
91 federal courts of original jurisdiction, no trials are held, juries may be empaneled
courts of appeal
appellate courts that review all final decisions of district courts, hears appeals to orders of many federal regulatory agencies
supreme court
pinnacle of american judicial system, national supremacy, resolves conflicts among states, has appellate and original jurisdiction
senatorial courtesy
unwritten tradition where nominations for state level federal judicial posts are not confirmed if they are opposed by the senator from the state in which the nominee will serve
solicitor general
a presidential appointee and the third ranking office in the department of justice, in charge of appellate court litigation of the federal government
opinion
a statement of legal reasoning behind a judicial decision
sare decisis
"let the decision stand" , most cases reaching appellate courts and settled on this
precendent
how similar cases have been decided in the past (cases that back up your case)
original intent
a view that the constitution should be interpreted according to the original intent of the framers; many conservatives support this
judicial implementation
how and whether court decisions are translated into actual policy, affecting the bahavior of others
marbury vs. madison
1803; chief justice john marshall used right of supreme court to determine meaning of u.s. constitution; judicial review
judicial review
the power of the courts to determine whether acts of congress or executive are in accord with u.s. constitution
judicial restraint
judges play minimal policymaking roles, leaving that strictly to legislatures
judicial activism
judges make bold policy decisions, even charting new constitutional ground
political questions
doctrine developed by the federal courts and used to avoid some cases, involving conflicts between president and congress
statutory construction
judicial interpretation of an act of congress
number of district courts
91
number of judges in district courts
646
district courts-jurisdiction???
original-fed crimes, civil suits
number of courts of appeal
12
number of judges in court of appeal
179
jurisdiction of court of appeals
correcting errors of procedure and law
number of judges in supreme court
9 but doesnt have to be
jurisdiction of supreme court
national supremacy, relationship between states and foreign powers, interpreting national laws
justiciable disputes
something that has to be settled by legal methods; can be settled by a law, constitution
role of a u.s. attorney
prosecute violations of federal law and represent the u.s. government in civil cases
3 conditions in which nominations to the supreme court are more likely to run into trouble
1)pres has minority party in senate 2)something questionable about nominee 3)if the pres's nomination is put in at end of term and has not been re-elected
demographic profile of the typical federal judge
white male, 50's-60's, protestant, previously a lawyer, judge
6 criteria important in choosing supreme court justices over the years
1) political ideology 2) party and personal loyalties 3)acceptability to the senate 4)judicial experience 5) race and gender 6)litmus test (ideological purity) what would you do if...
4 functions of solicitor general
1) to decide to appeal cases the gov has lost in lower courts 2) to review and modify briefs presented in gov appeals 3) to represent gov at supreme court 4) to submit a brief on behalf of a litigant in a case where the gov isnt directly involved
dissenting opinion
written by justices opposed to majority's decision
concurring opinion
written to support a majority decision (just another reason the chief justice has)
3 elements of judicial implementation according to charles johnson and bradley canon
1)interpreting population 2) implementing population 3)consumer population
standing to sue
requirement that litigants have a serious interest in a case
class action suits
lawsuits permitting a small group of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated
diff between criminal law and civil law
criminal-someone is charge by the gov for violating a law, harms society, deserves punishment civil- 2 parties in a disagreement, no charge of criminality ex. mergers, divorce
3 regular participants in judicial system and one other participant
1) litigants: plaitiff(charging), defendent(being charged) 2) jury: representing avg person (12 people), they decide the outcome 3)attorneys: 1. prosecuting-reps plaintiff 2. defense attorney-reps defendent 4)audience: interest groups that support one side or the other, dont have to be physically present
majority opinion
if the chief justice is in majority, chief justice writes why they are right
warren court ideology and judicial restraint or activism
liberal, for the rights of the individuals judicial activism
interpreting population
lawyers and judges, understand and reflect original decision
implementing population
police; anyone that has to put it into practice
consumer population
us; we have to know our rights and stand up for them
what is the most important of the 6 criteria important in choosing supreme court justices
party and personal loyalties
which president wanted more justices to the supreme court b/c of the new deal
franklin roosevelt
rehnquist court ideology and judicial restraint or activism
conservative, restraint (1st amendment rights)