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Judiciary Act of 1789

the first bill ever introduced to the Senate

Constitutional Courts

the courts that exercize "the judicial power of the United States"

Constitutional Courts include...

district courts, the courts of appeals, the court of appeals for the federal circut, court of international trade, and the supreme court


the right of a court to hear and decide a case

11th amendment

a state cannot be sued in federal court by its own citizens, by the citizens of another state or by a foreign country

legislative courts

handles appeals from specific cases arising from the powers granted to congress

legislative courts include...

tax court, claims court, territoral court, courts of the District of Columbia, court of military appeals, and the court of veterans appeals

judges (for the supreme court Justice)

the cheif decision maker of the federal judiciary

American Bar Association (ABA)

the professional intrest group that has the most influence on the President and his choice of a federal judge

civil case

in which the plaintiff feels he has been wronged by the defendant and is seeking to recover something from the defendant


the person filing the lawsuit


the person named in the suit

criminal cases

the government is the plaintiff and they seek legal action b\c the defendant has wronged society by his behavior. (these are cases like narcotics, embezzlement, fraud, larceny, and immigration


an official examination of available evidence in a court of law

United States District Courts

the most active federal judiciary courts

Origional Jurisdiction

the right of a court to be the first to hear and decide a case

grand jury

13 to 23 people, examines the evidence presented by the prosecutor to determine whether there is sufficient evidence against the accused to try a case


a formal accusation against the accused issued by the grand jury


sets of the accussed free immediately, if the grand jury cannot find enough proof against someone

trial jury

6-12 people hear the case in court


"guilty" or "not gulity"

hung jury

a jury that can not agree on a verdict


material presented as proof at a trial

rules of evidence

a set of rules attornys must follow in governing the administration of evidence

Exclusionary Rule

evidence abtained illegally is not admissible in a court of law


a request that a higher court review the case records and verdict of the lower court


the lawyer's written argument


past decisions involving similar cases

Supreme Court

hihgest tribunal of the United States

Since 1869 how many cheif justices has the Supreme Court had on the bench?


Judicial Review

the right of a court to declare a law, or action based on that law, unconstitutional (Cheif Justice John Marshall used Judicial Rewiew in the case of Marbury vs. Madison


a court order compelling a person to obey

writ of certiovari

a petition for a court to hear a case

writ of appeal

a principal way cases reach the supreme court


one who appeals a case

discretionary reviews

the ability to decide wether the supreme court wants to hear a case


one who petitions a court to review the decision of a lower court

amicus curiae (friend of the court)

is filled by individuals who are not parties in the case but still have an intrest in the case's outcome

conference handshake

before the supreme court meet in the conference the all shake hands

unanimous opinion

all the justices agree on an oppinion

majority opinion

is used if the court is split on a case

concurring opinion

if a justice votes with amajority but wishes to explain his opinion he will write it down

Dissecnting Opinion

a justice who does not vote with the majority and wishes to explain

Judicial Restraint

the historical role of the supreme court has been to interpret and apply the constitution

Judicial Activism

belives that the judges should go beyone the "four coners of the Constitution" and use it to change society

in 1973 Roe v. Wade

it became legal to have elective abortions

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