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Politics of the United States
Ch.10 The Judiciary
Terms in this set (46)
Power of the courts to review acts of other branches of government and the states. Resolved due to Marbury v. Madison regarding the acts of national government. Can be implied from the Constitution's
Judiciary Act of 1789
Legislative act that established the basic three-tiered structure of the federal court system. District, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court. Congress set the size of the supreme court at six and then eventually to nine.
Marbury v. Madison 1803
Brought in the Marshall Court. Case in which the supreme court first asserted the power of judicial review by finding that the congressional statute extending the Court's original jurisdiction was unconstitutional.
Chisholm v. Georgia 1793
The justices interpreted Court's jurisdiction under Article III section 2 to include the right to hear suits brought by a citizen against a state in which he did not reside.
Court of original jurisdiction where cases and litigation begin. U.S District Courts.
The middle. Court that generally reviews only findings of law made by lower courts. U.S Court of Appeals.
Courts of final resort
The top of the court system. U.S Supreme Court.
Authority vested in a particular court to hear and decide the issues in a particular case. Must occur before a state or federal court can hear a case. Jurisdiction of federal courts is controlled by U.S constitution and statute. Based on issues, money, and type of offense. Two types: original and appellate.
The jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first, usually in trial. These courts determine the facts of a case.
Court's ability to review/revise cases already decided by a trial court. Review legal procedures to make certain that the law was applied properly to the issues presented in the case, generally in panels of 3 judges.
Codes of behavior related to the protection of property and individual safety. Crimes are graded as felonies, misdemeanors, or offenses. Assumes that society itself is the victim of the illegal act.
Codes of behavior related to the conduct and relationships between individuals or groups. Involve lawsuits filed to recover something of value (right to vote, fair treatment..)
Federal courts specifically created by the U.S Constitution or by Congress pursuant to its authority in Article III. The federal district courts, courts of appeals, and the Supreme court. Judges who preside over these courts nominated by president and consent of senate and serve for life.
Courts established by Congress for specialized purposes, such as the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Article I courts. Judges serve fixed/limited terms.
Congress created these when it enacted the judiciary act, Federal trial courts and currently there are 94 of them, Every state has at least one, Has original jurisdiction over most cases, has a U.S attorney appointed by president confirmed by senate.
Courts of Appeals
Also known as circuit courts of appeals are the intermediate courts in the federal system, the losing party in a case decided by a district court can appeal decision here, currently 11 in the U.S. The 12th is in the D.C circuit and handles appeals involving commissions and agencies (SEC and NLRB). 13th is for the Federal Circuit and deals with financial claims against government. Each court supervised by a chief judge--most senior. Appellate jurisdiction occurs here. Criminal and civil cases/administrative agencies general categories of cases appealed here.
Reviews cases from the courts of appeals and state supreme courts as well as other courts of last resort and acts as the final interpreter. Resolves conflicts among the states and maintains the supremacy of national law in the federal system. 8 associate justices and one chief justice appointed by the president.
A document containing the legal written arguments in a case filed with a court by a party prior to a hearing or trial. Also can be submitted in trial courts.
Facts of case, question, yes or no is the ruling
A prior judicial decision that serves as a rule for settling subsequent cases of a similar nature.
In court rulings, a reliance on past decisions or precedents to formulate decisions in new cases. "Let the decision stand" allows for continuity and predictability in our judicial system.
Process by which presidents generally defer selection of district court judges to the choice of senators of their own party who represent the state where the vacancy occurs.
Competence or experience, ideology/policy preference, rewards, pursuit of political support, religion, and race/gender.
Senate must approve all nominees to the federal bench and ordinarily are referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. They investigate, hold hearings, and vote on each nominee. Can either reject or send the nomination to the full Senate for a vote. A majority vote is required by the full Senate for confirmation.
Role of interest groups
Very active in Supreme Court nominations and can effect the decision of the senate on accepting or rejecting a nomination.
Amicus curiae briefs
"Friend of the Court" amici may file briefs or even appear to argue their interests orally before the court. Briefs are filed by interest groups or other parties potentially affected by the outcome of the case. Also it is a useful way in advancing their policy preferences. Improves the chance of a case being selected.
Writ of certiorari
A request/petition for the supreme court to order up the records from a lower court to review the case. Must come from a court of appeals, special 3 judge court of military appeals, district court, or a state court of last resort and the case must involve a federal question. Certiorari granted according to the rule of 4.
Rule of four
At least four justices of the Supreme Court must vote to consider a case before it can be heard.
Supreme court clerks
Selected from candidates at the top of the graduating classes of law schools, assists justices, transmits petitions for writs of certiorari to chief justice's office and reviews petitions and then to individual justices. Also prepares a discuss list of petitions after review.
Appointed by the president, the fourth-ranking member of the Department of Justice; responsible for handling nearly all appeals on behalf of the U.S government to the supreme court, referred to as the court's "ninth and a half member." Most important cue for predicting whether or not the supreme court will hear a case.
Conflict among the courts of appeals
Another reason why justices take cases, often these conflicts occur when important civil rights or civil liberties questions arise. Justices ideological leanings also play a role and also when several circuit courts are in a disagreement over a main issue when choosing cases.
Once a case is accepted by the Court for full review and after briefs are submitted on each side, this occurs. Usually heard Monday-Wednesday. Generally limited to the immediate parties in the case. Only opportunity for a small portion of the public to observe, assures lawyers that the justices have heard the argument, and forces lawyers to focus on arguments important to the justices, and lastly provides court with additional information not included in a written brief.
Written by one member of the court to reflect the views of of at least five of the justices. Sets out legal reasoning justifying decision and becomes a precedent for deciding future cases.
Justices who agree with the outcome of the case but not with the legal rationale for the decision.
Justices who do not agree with the outcome of a case.
A philosophy of judicial decision making that posits judges should use their power broadly to further justice. (Going AGAINST precedent) Most are liberal.
An approach to constitutional interpretation that emphasizes interpreting the Constitution as it was written and intended by the Framers.
Social background differences, religious values, education, earlier political careers influence how a judge evaluates a case. Based on personal life experiences.
Justices decide cases according to their personal preferences toward issues of public policy. Adapt interpretations of the law to support their own ideological beliefs.
Justices temper legal doctrine and their own policy beliefs with concerns about how other internal and external variables will affect and be affected by their decision.
Supreme court decisions and American public opinion
Public opinion influences justices on their decisions and can act as a check on power of the courts as an energizing factor.
How and whether judicial decisions are translated into actual public policies affecting more than the immediate parties to a lawsuit.
Supreme Court Justices 2010
Roberts Jr. (Chief Justice)
Attract the support of three or four justices.
A philosophy of judicial decision making that posits courts should allow the decisions of other branches of government to stand, even when they offend a judge's own principles. (Going WITH precedent) Advocates for strict constructionists. Most are conservative.
Argued that in Federalist No.78 that the independence of judges was needed to guard the constitution and the rights of individuals. Also, first publicly endorsed the idea of judicial review in Federalist No.78 noting whenever a particular statute contravenes the constitution, it will be the duty of the judicial tribunals to adhere to the latter and disregard the former.
Recommended textbook explanations
Magruder's American Government
William A. McClenaghan
United States Government: Principles in Practice
Luis Ricardo Fraga
United States Government: Democracy In Action
Richard C. Remy
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