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CHP 14 - AP GOV
Terms in this set (35)
: A body of rules defining offenses that are considered to be offenses against society as a whole and for which conviction could result in a prison term.
Rules defining relationships among private citizens.
The right of federal courts to declare laws of Congress and acts of the executive branch void and unenforceable if they are judged to be in conflict with the Constitution
federal- question cases
Jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution on federal courts to hear all cases "arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties."
The authority of a given court to be the first court to hear a case.
The lowest federal courts where federal cases begin. They are the only federal courts where trials are held.
COURTS OF APPEALS
The federal courts that have the authority to review decisions by federal district courts, regulatory commissions, and certain other federal courts. Such courts have no original jurisdiction; they can hear only appeals.
A lower federal court created by Congress for specialized purposes. These justices have fixed terms of office, can be removed from office, and may have their salaries reduced while in office
A legal concept that refers to who is entitled to bring a case. Three basic rules govern standing. First, there must be an actual controversy between real adversaries. Second, the person bringing suit must show that he or she has been harmed by the law or practice involved in the complaint. Third, merely being a taxpayer does not entitle a person to challenge the constitutionality of a governmental action.
writ of cert.
An order issued by the Supreme Court granting a hearing to an appeal. A vote of four justices is needed to issue the writ. Only about 3 or 4 percent of all appeals are accepted.
A writ (request) from a higher court to a lower court to send up a case's record so that the higher court can review it. Most cases come to the Supreme Court in this manner instead of through appeal. A party must petition a court to issue a writ of certiorari however, fewer than five percent of the petitions are granted.
rule of 4
A procedure that requires four votes in favoring of hearing a case before the entire Supreme Court.
writ of mandamus
written order from a court to enforce an official to perform some sort of public duty.
A legal document submitted by lawyers to courts. It sets forth the facts of a case, summarizes any lower court decisions on the case, gives the arguments for the side represented by the lawyer filing the brief, and discusses decisions in other cases that bear on the issue.
A Latin term meaning "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.
class action suit
A case brought into court by a person on behalf of not only himself or herself but all other persons in similar circumstances. The Supreme Court in 1974 tightened rules on these suits to only those authorized by Congress and those in which each ascertainable member of the class is individually notified if money damages are sought.
opinion of the court
An opinion by the Supreme Court that reflects the majority's view.
An opinion by one or more justices who agree with the majority's conclusion but for different reasons that they wish to express.
The opinion of the justices on the losing side.
per curiam opinion
A brief and unsigned opinion by the Supreme Court.
An informal rule of judicial decision making in which judges try to follow precedent in deciding cases. That is, a court case today should be settled in accordance with prior decisions on similar cases.
In an appellate court, to reach a decision that agrees with the decision reached in a lower court.
A previous court ruling that bears on a later court decision in a similar or related case. Courts are free to overrule a precedent and establish a new one.
Sending a legal case back to the court that heard it previously. Often for clarification.
To nullify or invalidate a legal judgment
A judicial order setting forth what must be done to correct a situation a judge believes to be wrong.
A law enacted by Congress or by a state legislature
judicial activist approach
An approach to judicial review which holds that judges should discover the general principles underlying the Constitution and its often vague language, amplify those principles on the basis of some moral or economic philosophy, and apply them to cases.
A doctrine holding that judges should not take an active role in making decisions that lead to socially desirable ends. Instead, judges should restrain their own opinions and defer policy decisions to legislators and the executive branch-elected officials who are accountable to voters.
strict constructionist approach
An approach to judicial review which holds that judges should confine themselves to applying those rules that are stated in or clearly implied by the language of the Constitution.
The tradition by which the Senate will not confirm a district court judge if the senator who is from that state and of the president's party objects.
A test of ideological purity used by recent presidents in selecting and senators in confirming judges to nominate to federal courts.
in forma pauperis
A petition filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by an indigent person. The normal $300 filing fee is waived for such petitions.
The third-ranking officer in the Justice Department, who decides what cases the federal government will appeal from lower courts and personally approves every case the government presents to the Supreme Court.
A practice that enables plaintiffs to collect their costs from a defendant if the defendant loses. The Supreme Court has limited fee shifting to cases in which it is authorized by statute.
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