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When interest groups involved in litigation pursue a pattern of cases, they are

bringing the same type of suit into multiple circuits, hoping that a contradiction in rulings will bring about a Supreme Court review.

President Obama's first appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court was


Which of the following was not a case involving the Supreme Court overturning a state law?

marbury v madison

he written opinions of appellate courts have been described as halfway between ______ and ______.

common law and statutory law

When all of the justices on the Supreme Court are hearing a case, they are said to be sitting

en banc

Each year, the Supreme Court receives about ______ appeals and hears about ______ of them in full court.

9,500, 70

The written document in which attorneys explain why the court should rule in favor of their client is called a(n)


Approximately how many judges currently sit on the federal district courts?


What was known as the court-packing plan?

the attempt by Franklin Roosevelt to add sympathetic justices to the Supreme Court in order to get New Deal laws upheld as constitutional

Each of the following has been a method by which the federal courts have expanded their power except

narrowing the discretionary authority of the president over foreign affairs and diplomacy.

Which of the following best describes the role of the solicitor general?

the lawyer who represents the United States before the Supreme Court in cases where the federal government is a party

What is the significance of dissenting opinions?

Dissents are signs that the Court is in disagreement on an issue and could change its ruling.

Prisoners who are challenging their conviction are most likely to file a writ of

habeas corpus

What is the main function of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

The chief justice presides over the Court's public sessions and private conferences.

When the Supreme Court declared that the legislative veto was unconstitutional, in Immigration and Naturalization Services v. Chada, what was the response?

Congress and presidents have continued the practice; they just call it something different.

The right of due process is best described as the right of

every person not to be treated arbitrarily by a government official or agency.

When justices agree with the ruling of a court majority but not all of its reasoning, they may often write a(n)


Cases between two or more states are originally heard by

the Supreme Court

If someone is an advocate of judicial restraint, he or she believes

in looking only at the words of the constitution in determining its meaning

What is the most frequent and best-known action of Supreme Court justices in their role as circuit justices?

reviewing requests for stays of execution

The case Baker v. Carr concerns

apportionment of legislative seats

What is the Uniform Commercial Code?

a set of codes states may voluntarily adopt in order to reduce interstate differences in judicial opinions

Approximately what percentage of all court cases in the United States are heard in federal courts?


Which of the following statements concerning legislative courts is false?

Legislative court judges cannot have their salary reduced by Congress.

Why has partisan conflict surrounded federal judicial appointments in recent years?

The federal courts play an important role in shaping American law and politics.

All of the following are part of the official jurisdiction of the federal courts except

cases involving citizens from the same state.

The size of the U.S. Supreme Court is set by


Which of the following is not a specialized "legislative court" created by Congress?

the court of federal territories

A writ of habeas corpus declares that

the government must show a legal cause for holding someone in detention.

The power of the Supreme Court to review state actions and legislation comes from

marbury v madison

When the Supreme Court refuses to review a lower-court decision, announcing this decision through a brief unsigned opinion, it is called ______ opinion

a per curiam

If an individual is arrested because their home was searched by police without a legal warrant, they could argue in court that they had been denied

the due process of law

A "certiorari pool" describes the

practice by which Supreme Court law clerks work together to evaluate each petition.

Under normal rules of oral argument, each lawyer has ______ to present his or her case before the Supreme Court.


Trial courts in the federal judicial system are called

district courts

In most circumstances, a supreme court is best described as a(n) ______ court.


Which of the following is the essence of the rule of law?

Every state must judge government officials by the same laws as its citizens are judged.

Senatorial courtesy describes the practice of

senators from a president's party approving of a judicial nominee from their home state.

Andrew Jackson reputedly said, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." What did he mean by this statement?

The Supreme Court is unable to enforce its decisions without the aid of the executive branch.

A person, agency, or interest group not directly a party to a case but with an interest in its outcome may file a(n) ______ brief.

amicus curiae

In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court was required to rule on the issue of ______, due to the fact that the pregnancy had already come to term.


Original jurisdiction refers to

the court with the authority to hear a case first.

Which of the following statements about the U.S. Courts of Appeals is incorrect?

The appeals courts are able to hear all cases involving federal law, but not constitutional law.

The requirement of standing means that parties in a case must

have a concrete injury or interest at stake

Which of the following is part of the Miranda rule?

arrested people have the right to remain silent

Aside from the justices themselves, who or what has the greatest power in shaping the flow of cases to the Supreme Court?

the solicitor general

In recent years, federal court appointments have

been characterized by intense partisan and ideological efforts to support or defeat the candidate.

Which of the following was not part of the Supreme Court's ruling in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld?

Persons the president designates as enemy combatants do not have to be granted an opportunity to rebut those charges.

In which type of case does the Supreme Court have original jurisdiction?

any case involving an ambassador

Most cases reach the Supreme Court through the

writ of certiorari

What was the Supreme Court's ruling in 1948 regarding restrictive covenants?

individuals had the right to discriminate in private contracts but courts could not enforce these contracts

The jurisdiction of each federal court is derived from

the constitution and federal law

Each Supreme Court justice is assigned ______ clerk(s).


______ is an example of a justice who advocated judicial restraint.

felix frankfurter

Why was the Supreme Court's decision in Ricci v. DeStefano important?

It held that, in order to seek damages, employees must show that employment tests for promotion are clearly defective, rather than that they produce unequal outcomes based on race or gender.

When a case is resolved through a negotiated agreement before a full trial is completed, it is called

a plea bargain

Why did many Republicans oppose President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court?

she supported affirmative action

In what year was Marbury v. Madison decided?


What was the basis of Justice John Marshall's assertion that the federal courts have the power of judicial review?

It is the duty of the courts to say what the law is, therefore it is necessary for the courts to interpret and expound upon the law.

What did the framers call the "least dangerous branch"?

the supreme court

Which of the following is not a traditional limitation on the power of the federal courts?

the ability of congress to reduce federal judges' salaries

The increase of administrative agencies since the New Deal has resulted in

a delegation of power by congress to administrative agencies

_______________ involves the violation of the concepts of right and wrong as defined by statute and is usually punishable by a specified amount of time in jail.

criminal law

________________ involves disputes between individuals and/or businesses over relationships, obligations, or responsibility, with the remedy usually being monetary compensation.

civil law

The state courts that handle trials involving criminal or civil matters are the ______________

district courts

_____________ percent of criminal defendants agree to plead guilty rather than go to trial.


The ____________________ courts have jurisdiction to hear class C misdemeanors and minor civil matters (e.g., small claims).

justice of the peace courts

The highest court in Texas for civil matters is the ______________

Texas Supreme Court

In Harris County and in other large urban counties, the state trial courts are given specialized jurisdiction over all of the following, except ___________________.

maritime law

In district courts, the state is represented in criminal cases by the _______________

district attorney

Attorneys that represent plaintiffs in civil cases are generally paid _____________

on a contingency-fee basis

Statutory probate courts are given jurisdiction to hear cases arising out of disputes concerning ________________

wills and estate law

apital cases are appealed directly to the ___________________

Texas court of criminal appeals

__________________ were created by the Texas legislature to have jurisdiction over violations of city ordinances and class C misdemeanors.

municipal courts

exas judges, with the exception of municipal judges, are ________________

elected in partisan elections

The county court has the power to hear all of the following types of cases, except ______________________.

felony cases

A ________________ consists of twelve persons who serve for two to six months and who determine whether the state has enough evidence to support the issuance of an indictment.

grand jury

The highest court in Texas for criminal matters is the ______________

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Justice of the peace courts handle which kind of disputes?

small claims

Activist judges believe that the courts should

go beyond the words of a constitution or statute to consider the broader societal implications of its decisions.

What is the most important part of a judicial candidate's campaign in Texas?

party affiliation

What types of cases does the Texas supreme court hear?

civil appeals

Which of the following statements concerning legislative courts is false?

Legislative court judges cannot have their salary reduced by Congress.

The process of judicial confirmations is a low-key and uncontroversial affair.


Why is it difficult for voters to learn about judicial candidates in Texas?

are called upon to vote for too many different judicial races in a single election.

The majority of cases in municipal courts involve

traffic and parking violations.

Prior cases whose principles are used by judges to decide current cases are called


The main trial courts in Texas are called

district courts.

In what type of law is the government always the plaintiff?

criminal law

What is it called when a blue-ribbon committee selects judicial nominees who are then appointed by the governor and must finally run for retention in office?

merit selection

Which court in Texas has automatic jurisdiction over all death penalty cases?

the court of criminal appeals

Which of the following best describes capital punishment in Texas?

Texas executes more individuals than any other state and has a statistically low rate of successfully appealed capital cases.

In which type of case does the Supreme Court have original jurisdiction?

any case involving an ambassador

What is the most important role the governor of Texas plays in the judicial process?

The governor has the power to appoint judges to fill any vacancies on the bench for the time period before elections are held.

The area of authority possessed by a court, in terms of either subject area or geography, is called its


The Supreme Court is established under Article III of the U.S. Constitution.


A(n) ______ determines whether sufficient evidence is available to justify a trial.

grand jury

In ______, the first woman to serve as a Texas state judge was appointed.


How many justices currently serve on the Supreme Court?


What is the standard of proof used for civil cases in Texas?

The plaintiff must meet the preponderance of evidence.

What is common law?

law made by judges through their decisions, not through specific statutes

Judicial review over acts of Congress was established by Marbury v. Madison.


Which of the following is not an explanation for why Texas has one of the most controversial death penalty systems in the United States?

Since 1977, the electric chair has been the means for execution in Texas.

The doctrine of ______ requires courts to follow authoritative prior decisions when ruling on a case.

stare decisis

If you violate a city ordinance in Texas, which type of court would most likely hear your case?

a municipal court

Plea bargains are not often used in Texas criminal trials.


In Texas, the legal standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is used in which types of cases?


The most common route to a criminal conviction is a(n)

plea bargain between the defendant and the state.

Which court in Texas has automatic jurisdiction over all death penalty cases?

the court of criminal appeals

When a lawyer charges a client only if the case is won, it is called a

contingency fee.

Senatorial courtesy describes the practice of

senators from a president's party approving of a judicial nominee from their home state.

Why is the Supreme Court case of Marbury v. Madison important?

In this case, the Court authorized itself to exercise judicial review over laws passed by Congress.

Through the exercise of ______, the Supreme Court has held actions or laws of the executive and legislative branches unconstitutional.

judicial review

Most cases reach the Supreme Court through the

writ of certiorari.

A(n) ______ case is one that calls for the death penalty.


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