Terms in this set (81)

a formal request by an appellant to have the Supreme Court review a decision of a lower court. Certiorari is from a Latin word meaning "to make more certain"
abbreviated cert
cases deemed to merit cert are called certworthy
90 days to file a petition for "this" with clerk of Supreme Court
two types of petitions:
paid petitions: require payment for filing fees, submission of a certain number of copies, and compliance with a variety of other rules
in forma pauperis petitions: usually filed by prison inmates, Court waives the fees and most other requirement
since 1972, justices have been participating in a "certiorari pool"--law clerks work together to evaluate petitions
one clerk writes memo summarizing facts and issues recommendation for all the justices participating in the pool
clerks for other justices add their own comments
justices can then place on discuss list--if not placed on discuss list, case automatically denied certiorari
discussed and then voted on, must have 4 justices convinced that case satisfied rule 10 for it to be granted certiorari
few cases are able to satisfy this requirement
fewer than 90 petitioners each year granted certiorari--about 1 percent of those seeking supreme court review
a handful of cases reach the Supreme Court through avenues other than certiorari: writ of certification, can be used when Court of Appeals asks Supreme Court for instruction on a point of law that has never been decided; writ of appeal, used to appeal the decision of a three-judge district court
normal politics: legislatures, executive and regulatory agencies, political process like elections
Stage 1. administrative and regulatory agencies have well-defined procedures for appealing a ruling within the agency
dissatisfied with outcomes there, move the dispute to Court
aggrieved party has a decision-with regard to whether or not it wants to appeal/appeal to the Supreme Court--to make with two things to keep in mind
a. an appeal will consume resources that might otherwise be redeployed and used for different purpose
b. all options are uncertain propositions whose resolution stretches out over time
Stage 2. Court has power to create its own agenda
support some cases undoubtedly out a strong belief that an area is ripe for constitutional clarification OR development of legal principles
even though a case might attract the interest of a justice on substantive grounds or might be perceived by a justice as containing procedural errors that could lead to a reversal, she might not support containing procedural errors that could lead to a reversal, she might support certiorari because of a strategic calculation that it is not a particularly good vehicle
case becomes the subject of two decisions:
a. takes place after it is discussed by justices in one of the regularly scheduled conferences during the Court's term-vote on merit (vote in favor of the appeal or against it); affects only the parties to the case, either affirming or reversing lower-court decision
b. wider bearing; the justices must determine whether there is agreement on the reasons; the reasons of a Court majority set legal precedent for a similar case in the future; if the majority cannot agree among themselves, there is no binding effect on other comparable cases; drafting an opinion that can attract the signatures of at least five justices is therefor of pivotal significance
tend to use moderate members
in some cases a majority may agree on the merits of a case but are unable to consensus on the reasons --> no majority opinion; each justice is free to right his or her own opinion BUT these opinions have no binding effect on future lower-court cases
Stage 3: its decisions are not automatically implemented; it must depend on executive agencies for implementation and on lower courts for enforcement; !954 Chief Justice Earl Warren worried about this in Brown case, so strategically softened some of its own language. the 9-0 decision and opinion were a signal to a potentially defiant South; resistance would not pay off in the near or medium term
need majorities in both houses of Congress and the president may pass a new statute reversing the Court's interpretation
The Court may well say "what the law is," but Congress and the president are free to change the law
For decision taken by the Court on constitutional grounds, need constitutional amendment to overturn Court decision
demand for legal solutions has increased and the reach of judiciary has expanded
even the most conservative justices are reluctant to relinquish their newfound power authority that has become accepted and thus established
judges enjoy great latitude because they are not subject to electoral pressures
MOST of history: justices tended to legitimate laws passed by Congress and the actions of the president
3 JUDICIAL REVOLUTIONS
a. liberalization of a wide range of public policies in the United States post WWII; the supreme court was at the forefront of a series of sweeping changes
b. 1960s + 1970s: Supreme Court and other federal courts began a series of institutional changes in judicial procedures that had major consequences by fundamentally expanding the power of the courts in the United states
i. federal courts liberalized the concept of standing to permit almost any group seeking to challenge the actions of an administrative agency to bring its case before the federal bench
Congress helped make it even easier for groups dissatisfied with government policies by adopting Title 42, Section 1988 which permits the practice of "fee shifting"; allows citizens who successfully bring a suit against a public official for violating their constitutional rights to collect their attorneys' fees and costs from the government--bring their problems to the courts rather than to Congress
ii. the federal courts broadened the scope of relief to permit themselves to act on behalf of broad categories of classes of persons in "class-action" cases, rather than just on behalf of individuals
c. the federal courts began to employ so-called structural remedies, in effect retaining jurisdiction of cases until a court's mandate has been implemented to its satisfaction
e.g. W. Arthur Garrity operate the Boston School system; issued 14 decisions relating to different aspects of the Boston school desegregation plan
in essence, liberalization of the rules of standing and expansion of the scope of judicial relief drew the federal courts to link with important social interests and classes
1960-1970s: court expanded the way the presidency did during the 1930s-through links with constituencies; because Supreme Court was leading the way in civil rights, those interests groups staunchly defended the Supreme Court
1980s-1990s: Republican presidents modified the Court's positionBUT nevertheless in a one-week window in 2003, the Supreme Court affirmed the validity of affirmative action, reaffirmed abortion rights, strengthened gay rights, offered new protection to individuals facing the death penalty, and issued a ruling in favor of a congressional apportionment plan that dispersed minority voters across several districts
court has not been conservative with judicial restrain
"it has been eager to surrender the expanded powers carved out by earlier Courts, especially in areas that assert the power of the national government over the states
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