AP GOV The Judiciary
Terms in this set (71)
the view that judges should discern the general principles underlying the Constitution and its often vague language and assess how best to apply them in contemporary circumstances, in some cases with the guidance of moral or economic philosophy
"friend of the court" ; refers to interested groups or individuals, not directly involved in a suit, who may file legal briefs or oral arguments in support of one side.
authority of a court to review decisions made by lower courts
Bill of Attainder
a legislative act finding a person guilty of treason or felony without a trial (prohibited by the Constitution)
a written statement by an attorney that summarizes a case and the laws and rulings that support it
Burden of proof
the obligation to provide evidence to prove that someone is guilty or not guilty (preponderance of evidence = civil & beyond a reasonable doubt = criminal)
Preponderance of Evidence
the standard of proof that must be established to win a civil case. The standard is met when a party's evidence indicates that it's more likely than not that the fact is as the party alleges it to be.
Beyond A Reasonable Doubt
the standard of proof used in criminal cases. If there is any reasonable doubt that a criminal defendant committed the crime with which she or he has been charged, then the verdict must be "not guilty."
A historical court under Nixon, who replaced Warren with a more conservative replacement. It narrowed defendants rights. But it did make fundamental contours of the Miranda decision. Also wrote the abortion decision in Roe v Wade.
a law that governs relationships between individuals and defines their legal rights
Class Action Suit
lawsuit brought by an individual or group of people on behalf of all those similarly situated.
Clear and Present Danger Test
interpretation of the First Amendment that holds that the government cannot interfere with speech unless the speech presents a clear and present danger that it will lead to evil or illegal acts.
authority for both state and federal courts to hear and decide cases
a statement written by the senior justice of the side that agrees with the majority in a Supreme Court ruling but differs on the reasoning
Congressional Act of 1869
increased the size of the Supreme Court, established separate judgeships for the U.S. circuit courts, and allowed judges to retire with pension
have only the powers specified in Article III. They can hear only cases or controversies; their judges hold office for life, as long as they are not guilty of judicial misconduct; and their judges' salary cannot be reduced while those judges serve in office. (The Supreme Court, the U.S. courts of appeal, the U.S. district courts, and the Court of International Trade)
Court of Appeals
a court whose jurisdiction is to review decisions of lower courts or agencies
a law that defines crimes against the public order; group of laws that defines and sets punishments for offenses against society
questioning of a witness during a trial or during the taking of a deposition, by the party opposed to the one who produced the witness.
De Facto Segregation
Segregation resulting from economic or social conditions or personal choice and not as a result of law
De Jure Segregation
segregation that is imposed by law
in a criminal action, the person or party accused of an offense.
statement written by the senior justice of the side that disagrees with the majority in a Supreme Court ruling.
The 91 Federal courts of original jurisdiction. They are the only federal courts in which trials are held and in which juries may be impaneled.
cases involving citizens of different states over which the federal courts have jurisdiction as described in the Constitution.
the list of potential cases that reach the Supreme Court.
under the fifth amendment, the clause prohibits state and federal governments from prosecuting individuals for the same crime on more than one occasion, or imposing more than one punishment for a single offense
a theory of federalism saying that both the national and state governments have final authority over their own policy domains; the existence of two governments, each with sovereignty over different matters at the same time; neither level is sovereign over the other.
allows the government to take property for public use but also requires the government to provide just compensation for that property under the fifth amendment
clause in the First Amendment that says the government may not establish an official religion; separates church from state
Ex Post Facto Law
a law that makes an act criminal although the act was legal when it was committed
the rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained. The rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure.
power of the federal courts alone to hear certain cases
a rule that allows a plaintiff to recover costs from the defendant if the plaintiff wins
Free Exercise Clause
the First Amendment clause that guarantees that citizens may freely engage in the religious activities of their choice
group that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial
freedom from prosecution for witnesses whose testimony ties them to illegal acts
In Forma Pauperis
"in the form of a pauper"; referring to a party of a lawsuit who gets filing fees waived by filing a declaration of lack of funds (poor defendants)
a charge of a felony voted by a grand jury based upon a proposed charge, witnesses' testimony and other evidence presented by the public prosecutor; purpose is to inform an accused individual of the charge against him or her so that the person will be able to prepare a defense.
philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect what the framers intended and what its words literally say.
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.
Judiciary Act of 1789
Passed by the first Congress that established the first federal courts and organized the Supreme Court comprised of a chief justice and five associates, as well as federal district and circuit courts. Completed the three branch government
courts established by Congress for specialized purposes, such as the Court of Military Appeals (not protected by Article III)
a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation; a written defamation.
a test of ideological purity (used when nominating judges)
a statement that presents the views of the majority of supreme court justices regarding a case (simply known as "The Opinion")
Quality or state of a work that taken as a whole appeals to a prurient interest in sex by depicting sexual conduct in a patently offensive way and that lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
the authority of a court to hear a case "in the first instance."
Per Curiam Opinion
a brief, unsigned opinion issued by the Supreme Court to explain its ruling.
a trial jury, usually consisting of 6 or 12 people, that weighs the evidence presented at a trial and renders a verdict
one who brings a civil court action against another
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.
an issue that a court believes should be decided by the executive or legislative branch
a ruling that is used as the basis for a judicial decision in a later, similar case
A government preventing material from being published. Is unconstitutional according to the First Amendment and as confirmed in the 1931 Supreme Court case of Near v. Minnesota.
Procedural Due Process
the procedural limitations placed on the manner in which a law is administered, applied, or enforced; prohibits the government from arbitrarily depriving individuals of legally protected interests without first giving them notice and the opportunity to be heard.
party who starts the legal proceedings against another party for a violation of the law; a government body that brings a criminal charge against a defendant who is accused of breaking one of its laws
a court of law, usually in the exercise of civil law jurisdiction, enforces a right, imposes a penalty, or makes some other court order to impose its will
Rule of Four
At least four Justices of the Supreme Court must vote to consider a case before it can be heard
a court order allowing law enforcement officers to search a suspect's home or business and take specific items as evidence
presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation.
appointed by the President of the United States to assist the Attorney General and supervises and conducts government litigation in the United States Supreme Court; determines the cases in which Supreme Court review will be sought by the government and the positions the government will take before the Court
the rule that a citizen cannot sue the government without the government's consent
a legal rule stating who is authorized to start a lawsuit
"Let the decision stand"; the practice of using earlier judicial rulings as a basis for deciding future cases
a person who believes that a constitution should be interpreted rigidly and narrowly based only on what is written in the document
Substantive Due Process
prohibits the government from infringing on fundamental constitutional liberties; the substance of the laws themselves must be fair and reasonable; limits what a government may do.
was nominated by president Eisenhower to be Chief of Justice. The court took an activist stance, helping to shape national policy by taking a forceful stand on a number of key issues of the day; overturned Plessy v. Ferguson in Brown v. Board of Education
Writ of Certiorari
order by the Supreme Court directing a lower court to send up the records of a case for review
Writ of Habeas Corpus
a court order requiring explanation to a judge why a prisoner is being held in custody