the authority of the courts to hear certain cases
federal court jurisdiction
cases involving federal law, treaties, and the interpretation of the Constitution
lower courts have authority to hear cases for the first time
courts that hear reviews or appeals of decisions from the lower courts (Court of Appeals and Supreme Court)
allows certain types of cases to be tried in either federal or state courts
federal courts created by Congress under Article III
hear cases arising from the powers given to Congress under Article I
When does the Supreme Court have original jurisdiction?
If case comes from state supreme court and involves federal law or Constitution, or if the case involves representatives of a foreign government or a state as a party.
appointment of justices
nominated by president, confirmed by the senate
term length for justices
qualifications for justices
the practice of allowing individual senators who represent the state where the district is located to approve or disapprove potential nominees- District Court nominations
choosing judges from own political party
appointing judges who share political ideology
race, gender, religion, region
bring balance, satisfy certain people in society
previous experience in district courts, court of appeals, state courts
test of ideological purity toward a liberal or conservative stand on certain issues like abortion
if noncontroversial, more acceptable to Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate
American Bar Association
rates nominees' qualifications
use lobbyists to pressure senators about a nominee
endorsements by current members of Supreme Court may help nominee
first black justice
first woman justice
Sandra Day O'Connor
rule of four
four of the nine justices must agree to hear a case
an accepted case is returned to the lower court for reconsideration because of another related case that was recently decided
writ of certiorari
an order by the Court (when petitioned) directing a lower court to send up the records of a case for review
lower court asks Supreme Court about a rule of law or procedures in specific cases
a detailed statement of the facts of the case supporting a particular position by presenting arguments based on relevant facts and citations from previous cases
amicus curiae briefs
interest groups write briefs supporting or rejecting the arguments of the case
the decision is explained in a written statement
majority opinions become standards or guides to be followed in deciding similar cases in the future
New Deal Era
conservative court shot down new deal legislation, Justices Hughe and Roberts began voting in favor of new deal, court packing plan
liberal court, civil rights and civil liberties
court became more conservative, dealt with Rove v Wade, Nixon, and affirmative action
Rehnquist and Roberts Courts
continued to limit but not revese decisions of the earlier more liberal courts
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