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Chapter 10: Judiciary Branch Test
Terms in this set (75)
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Court establishes "Judicial Review" concept - affirms the Court's position as a coequal branch of government having considerable influence on the politics of government and direction of public policy
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Marshall Court defines what is meant by "necessary and proper" and established the primacy of federal government power over state government
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Marshall Court says only national government can regulate interstate commerce, not individual states per Article 1, section 8 commerce clause
Gitlow v. New York (1925)
Court nationalizes the Bill of Rights for the "first" time ("Incorporation Doctrine"). By the 1960's, the Court will apply almost all of the provisions of the Bill of Rights to the states through the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Establishment and development of the "Exclusionary Rule" - illegally obtained evidence cannot be used against a defendant at trial.
Gideon v Wainwright (1963), Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Landmark rulings dealing with the rights of the accused, government interrogations, and the right to counsel
Engel v. Vitale (1962)
Establishment Clause and school prayer - Public school policy that permits, endorses, or encourages prayer violates the 1st Amendment. Prayer in school is allowed if it is student initiated, student-led, and voluntary
Schenck v. United States (1919)
Free Speech - Court establishes the "clear and present danger" doctrine with respect to subversive and unpopular speech. This is the case in which Justice Holmes used the famous "falsely shout fire in a theater and cause a panic"
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964)
The Court defined what is meant by libel and slander as it pertains to public officials and public figures. Individuals must show that false statements were made and publicized with malice and knowledge of their falsity or with "reckless disregard of their truth or falsity". This standard makes it very hard for public figures to win libel suits
Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)
Landmark symbolic speech cases. In Tinker, student expression (wearing of armbands) is protected so long as it does not cause a "material disruption or substantial interference".
Texas v. Johnson (1989)
The burning of a flag (which the Court determined to be only a symbol) in public is protected by the 1st Amendment.
Furman v. Georgia (1972)
The Court ruled that the death penalty violated the 8th Amendment because of the indiscriminate and inconsistent manner in which it was imposed.
Gregg v. Georgia (1976)
4 years after the Furman v. Georgia ruling, the Court upheld a state law that "contained sufficient standards to pass constitutional muster" to eliminate excessive jury discretion to imposing the death penalty
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)
Landmark ruling in which the Court establishes that there is a "penumbra" of rights. These are civil liberties closely attached to the Bill of Rights. In this case, the right of consenting adults to use birth control is a privacy right protected under the 4th, 9th, and 14th Amendments
Roe v. Wade (1973), Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)
Right to privacy and the abortion issue. These cases show how the Court established the absolute right to choice (the 1st case) through the present interpretation which says that the right exists but states may pass restrictions so long as it does not impose an "undue hardship or burden on the mother" (2nd case)
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
State laws that allow for separate but equal public educational facilities based on race violate the Equal Protection Clause. This landmark case overturned Plessey v. Ferguson (1896). It is also important because it is the case that sparked the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's, culminating in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
California Regents v. Bakke (1978)
Landmark cases that paved the way for issues involving affirmative action. The Court held that a state university could not admit less qualified applicants solely because of their race (quotas). However, a university could adopt an "admissions program where race or ethnic background is simply one element - to be weighed fairly against other elements - in the selection process"
Baker v. Carr (1962)
Baker paves way for federal courts to adjudicate legislative apportionment. Reynolds uphold famous "one man, one vote" standard for state legislative apportionment and Wesberry applies the standard to U.S. Congressional districts
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S. (1964)
Court upholds Civil Rights Act of 1964. Congress can mandate hotel owner to serve black customers under interstate commerce clause
Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
Campaign spending is a form of political expression the 1st Amendment protects. The Constitution forbids Congress from limiting individual political campaign expenditures. However Congress can regulate contributions to candidates and parties. The decision opened the door for PACs to spend unlimited amounts of money for campaigning activities so long as they're not directly coordinated with a particular campaign.
Bush v. Gore (2000)
Florida's practice of allowing local election jurisdictions to establish their own procedures for counting ballots and determining voter intent is inconsistent with the Constitution's Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses. It ruled that Florida's procedures for manually recounting presidential votes were not specific enough when presidential candidate Al Gore demanded a recount of the ballots in the Florida presidential election. The case handed George W. Bush the presidency in 2000.
United States v. Nixon (1974)
The Court held that neither the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the generalized need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified, presidential privilege. The Court granted that there was a limited executive privilege in areas of military or diplomatic affairs, but gave preference to "the fundamental demands of due process of law in the fair administration of justice."
Clinton v. New York City (1998)
In 1996, Congress passed a law granting the president authority to line item veto certain types of appropriations bills and tax provisions. The Court voided the law claiming it violated the "separation of powers" concept.
Worcester v. Georgia
The treaties and laws of the United States contemplate the Indian territory as completely separated from that of the states; and provide that all intercourse with them shall be carried on exclusively by the government of the union. The Cherokee nation, then, is a distinct community occupying its own territory in which the laws of Georgia can have no force. The whole intercourse between the United States and this nation, is, by our constitution and laws, vested in the government of the United States. The Georgia act thus interfered with the federal government's authority and was unconstitutional.
Korematsu v. US
During World War II, Presidential Executive Order 9066 and congressional statutes gave the military authority to exclude citizens of Japanese ancestry from areas deemed critical to national defense and potentially vulnerable to espionage. Korematsu remained in San Leandro, California and violated Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34 of the U.S. Army. The need to protect against espionage outweighed Korematsu's rights.
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Dred Scott was a slave in Missouri, and resided in Illinois, a free state. After returning to Missouri, Scott sued unsuccessfully in the Missouri courts for his freedom, claiming that his residence in free territory made him a free man. Dred Scott was a slave, and therefore could not sue (because that is a citizen's right). The Court held that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional.
Bethel School District v. Fraser
At a school assembly, Matthew Fraser made a speech nominating a fellow student for elective office. In his speech, Fraser used what some observers believed was a graphic sexual metaphor to promote the candidacy of his friend. Bethel High School said his speech interfered with the educational process, and he was suspended. The Court found that it was appropriate for the school to prohibit the use of vulgar and offensive language. The First Amendment did not prohibit schools from prohibiting vulgar and lewd speech.
Morse v. Frederick
At a school-supervised event, Joseph Frederick held up a banner with the message "Bong Hits 4 Jesus," a slang reference to marijuana smoking. Principal Deborah Morse took away the banner and suspended Frederick. She justified her actions by citing the school's policy against the display of material that promotes the use of illegal drugs. Students do have some right to political speech even while in school, but this right does not extend to pro-drug messages that may undermine the school's important mission to discourage drug use
Shaw v. Reno
The U.S. Attorney General rejected a North Carolina congressional reapportionment plan because the plan created only one black-majority district. North Carolina submitted a second plan creating two black-majority districts. The Court held that although North Carolina's reapportionment plan was racially neutral on its face, the resulting district shape was bizarre enough to suggest that it constituted an effort to separate voters into different districts based on race, which was unconstitutional because it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Plessy v. Ferguson
The state of Louisiana enacted a law that required separate railway cars for blacks and whites. In 1892, Homer Adolph Plessy took a seat in a "whites only" car of a Louisiana train. He refused to move to the car reserved for blacks and was arrested. The majority upheld state-imposed racial segregation. The justices based their decision on the separate-but-equal doctrine, that separate facilities for blacks and whites satisfied the Fourteenth Amendment so long as they were equal.
Near v. Minnesota
Jay Near published a scandal sheet in Minneapolis, in which he attacked local officials, charging that they were implicated with gangsters. Minnesota officials obtained an injunction to prevent Near from publishing his newspaper under a state law that allowed such action against periodicals. The Supreme Court held that the statute authorizing the injunction was unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment. The government could not censor a publication in advance, even though the communication might be punishable after publication.
Wisconsin v. Yoder
Jonas Yoder, Wallace Miller, and Adin Yutzy were prosecuted under a Wisconsin law that required all children to attend public schools until age 16. The three parents refused to send their children to such schools after the eighth grade, arguing that high school attendance was contrary to their religious beliefs. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that individual's interests in the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment outweighed the state's interests in compelling school attendance beyond the eighth grade.
Why courts are considered to be above "political fray"
-the justices are appointed, and not elected (they are not representatives of the people, but rather serve at the hands of the President, and rule in favor for what they deem to be best for the entire country, despite public opinion)
-have secret deliberations and never record their decisions (cannot be scrutinized or criticized for what they say during the debate, and they can be sure that their decisions remain isolated from public opinion)
-limits its media appearances, and does not strive to be the center of the public's attention
Identify the court case that influenced the political process in the past few elections.
-Bush v. Gore
-ruled that there was an Equal Protection Clause violation in using different standards of counting in different counties and ruled that no alternative method could be established
-decision allowed the previous vote certification to stand: George W. Bush = winner of Florida's 25 electoral votes (gave Bush, the Republican candidate, 271 electoral votes)
-Florida subsequently changed to new voting machines to avoid punch cards which had allowed dimpled cards or hanging chad
Known for saying the Judiciary is the "least dangerous branch"
Judicial Review comes from which court case?
-Marbury v. Madison (1803)
-power of the courts to review acts of other branches of government and the states
-not explicitly stated in the Constitution
Explain the reason for life tenure for federal judges.
-did not want judges to be subject to the whims of politics, the public, or politicians
-the independence of judges was needed to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals
List the checks on the powers of the US Supreme Court.
-Congress has the authority to alter the Court's jurisdiction (ability to hear certain cases)
-Congress can propose constitutional amendment that, if ratified, can effectively reverse judicial decisions
-Congress can impeach and remove federal judges
-the President (with advice and consent of the Senate) appoints federal judges
Explain the Judiciary Act of 1789
-established the basic 3-tiered structure of the federal court system
1.) District Courts (at the bottom) - at least one in each state, each staffed by a federal judge; those who are unhappy with the outcome of the District Court may appeal their case to one of three Circuit Courts
2.) Circuit Courts - avenue for appeal; each circuit court initially composed of one district judge and two traveling Supreme Court Justices who met as a circuit court twice a year
3.) Supreme Court - size set in the Judiciary Act was 1 Chief Justice and 5 associates (number of Justices changed to 9 in 1869)
Chisholm v Georgia
-held that states did not enjoy sovereign immunity from lawsuits brought by resident of other states
-overruled by the 11th Amendment which provides that states may not be sued in federal court by citizens of another state or country without the consent of the states being sued
Who was the first Chief Justice?
-John Jay (1789-19795)
-the jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first, usually in a trial
-courts determine the facts of a case under their original jurisdiction
Which courts have original jurisdiction?
-US District Courts (trial courts)
-US Supreme Court
List the requirements of Civil Suits in a federal court.
1.) citizens are from different states
2.) the amount of money being argued over is more than $75,000
Which court does not have original jurisdiction.
Role of Appellate Courts
-hears appeals of cases from lower federal courts
-US Court of Appeals and US Supreme Court have appellate jurisdiction
-codes of behavior related to the protection of property and individual safety.
-the person or party who brings the suit to court (files the lawsuit)
-head of the Justice Department and the chief law enforcement officer of the United States
-the side that seeks an appeal in the Circuit Courts
Role of a Jury
1.) Grand Jury - a jury of 12 - 23 people who, in private, hear evidence presented by the government to determine whether people shall be required to go to trial; if the jury believes there is sufficient evidence that a crime was committed, an indictment is issued
2.) Petit Jury - a jury of 6 - 12 people who determine guilt or innocence in a civil or criminal action
-courts established by Congress for specialized purposes, such as the Court of Military Appeals
-judges who preside over these courts are nominated by the President, and approved by the Senate
How many districts are there?
-staffed by 646 active judges
-assisted by more than 300 retired judges
Which states have the most district courts?
-no district courts cross state lines
-every state has at least 1 federal district court
-the most populous states have 4 district courts (CA, TX, and NY)
Role of US Attorney
-nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate
-a specific district's chief law enforcement officer
-have discretion as to whether they pursue criminal or civil investigations, or file charges against individuals or corporations
-represent US federal government in District Courts and Courts of Appeals cases
Major purpose of federal circuit courts
-13 appellate courts (12 Circuit Courts of Appeals across the country, by region, and the Federal Circuit Court)
-Federal Circuit Court has nationwide jurisdiction to hear appeals in specialized cases
-sit below the US Supreme Court
-review the procedures and the decisions in the trial court to make sure that the proceedings were fair and that the proper law was applied correctly
-a document containing the legal written arguments in a case filed with a court by a party prior to a hearing or trial
Writ of Mandamus
-issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly
-a court order requiring police officials to produce an individual held in custody and show sufficient cause for that person's detention
Amicus Curiae Brief
-"Friend of the court"
-a third party to a lawsuit who files a legal brief for the purpose of raising additional points of view in an attempt to influence a court's decision
-in court rulings, a reliance on past decisions or precedents to formulate decisions in new cases
Process of nominating a Judge
-nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate
Requirements for being nominated for the Supreme Court
-ideology / policy preference
-pursuit of political support
-race, ethnicity, and gender
-the names of all nominees will be sent to the FBI for a background check
-the names of all nominees will be sent to the American Bar Association, who checks nominees qualifications and deems them as either highly qualified, qualified, or not qualified
½ of all court cases are based on ...
Bill of Rights issues
Rule of Four
-at least four justices of the Supreme Court must vote to consider a case before it can be heard
Duties of the Clerks
-perform initial screening of the 9,000 or so petitions that come to the Court each term
-draft memos to summarize the facts and issues in each case, recommending whether the case should be accepted by the Court for full review
-Write a "bench memo" summarizing an accepted case and suggesting questions for oral argument
-Write the first draft of an opinion
-Be an informal conduit for communicating and negotiating with other justices' chambers as to the final wording of an opinion
-the fourth-ranking member of the Department of Justice
-responsible for handling all appeals on behalf of the US government to the Supreme Court
-a philosophy of judicial decision making that argues judges should use their power broadly to further justice, especially in the areas of equality and personal liberty
-a philosophy of judicial decision making that argues courts should allow the decisions of other branches of government to stand, even when they offend a judge's own sense of principles
Effects of the Supreme Court Decisions
-allows for continuity and accountability
-maintains the supremacy of the national law in the federal system
-acts as the final interpreter of the Constitution
-ensures uniformity in the interpretation of national laws and the Constitution
Areas Supreme Court Rules on
-all cases arising under the Constitution and laws or treaties of the US
-all cases of admiralty or maritime jurisdiction
-cases in which the US is a party
-controversies between a state and citizens of another state
-controversies between 2 or more states
-controversies between citizens of different states
-controversies between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants in different states
-controversies between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states or citizens thereof
-all cases affecting ambassadors or other public ministers
Role of Judiciary Committee
-21 US Senators
-oversee the Department of Justice
-consider executive nominations
-review pending legislation
-holds hearings and investigates judicial nominations to the Supreme Court, the US court of appeals, the US district courts, and the Court of International Trade.
-Standing Rules of the Senate give jurisdiction to the Judiciary Committee in certain areas (considering proposed constitutional amendments and legislation related to federal criminal law, human rights law, immigration, intellectual property, antitrust law, and internet privacy)
Requirements for Writ of Certiorari
1.) the case must come from either a US Court of Appeals, a special 3-judge district court, or a state court of last resort
2.) the case must involve a federal question (this means that the case must present questions of interpretation of federal constitutional law or involve a federal statute, action, or treaty)
-an implied presidential power that allows the president to refuse to disclose information regarding confidential conversations or national security to Congress or the judiciary
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