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Politics of the United States
Chapter 18 Questions
Terms in this set (31)
Why did the Framers see a need for a national judiciary?
The Framers saw a need for a national judiciary because laws were being applied however the states saw fit, causing laws to be enforced inconsistently.
Identify two provisions that the Constitution makes regarding the federal courts and their jurisdictions.
The Constitution gives the federal courts jurisdiction over certain cases. Article III, Section 2 provides that the federal courts may hear a case because of either (1) the subject matter or (2) the parties involved.
Which courts hear most of the cases in this country, the State courts or the federal courts?
The federal courts.
Describe the process by which most federal judges are nominated and approved.
The president nominates, and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints them. Of course, the President almost always selects someone the senators from the State recommend.
Why were the inferior courts created?
They were created to relieve some of the cases on the Supreme Court's overflowing docket and take them on.
What is jurisdiction and explain the difference between exclusive jurisdiction and concurrent jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction is the authority of a court to hear a case. Exclusive jurisdiction is when cases can only be heard in federal courts and concurrent jurisdiction is when cases can be heard in both federal and State courts.
Describe the roles of plaintiff and defendant.
A plaintiff is a person who files a lawsuit and a defendant is the person whom the complaint is being filed against.
Contrast original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction. What kind of jurisdiction does the Supreme Court have?
Original jurisdiction is a court in which a case is first heard while appellate jurisdiction is a court in which a case is heard on appeal from a lower court. The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction.
What jurisdiction do the federal courts have and what kind of cases do they hear?
The federal courts have several types of jurisdiction. The types are: exclusive jurisdiction, concurrent jurisdiction, original jurisdiction, and appellate jurisdiction.
When the Supreme Court's docket became overloaded in the late 1800s, what did Congress do to ease the burden?
Congress created the courts of appeals to relieve the Supreme Court of much of the burden of hearing appeals from the district courts.
In the federal judicial system, what is a circuit?
It is the name for the district encompassed by an appellate court.
Where do most of the cases that reach the federal courts of appeals come from?
Most appeals come from the district courts within their circuits.
How does the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit differ from other federal courts of appeals?
This appellate court, unlike the 12 other federal courts of appeals, hears cases from all across the country. That is, it has nationwide jurisdiction.
What is the difference between a criminal case and a civil case?
A criminal case is one in which a defendant is tried for committing some action that Congress has declared by law to be a federal crime while a civil case involves some noncriminal matter.
What action did Congress take in the late 1800s to relieve the Supreme Court's overloaded docket?
Congress created the Courts of Appeals to relieve the Supreme Court of much of the burden of hearing appeals from the district courts.
Summarize the main purpose of the federal district courts and the federal courts of appeals.
The federal district courts hear a wide range of both criminal and civil cases and they are only federal courts that regularly use grand juries to indict defendants and petit juries to try defendants. The federal courts of appeals take on the appeals that the Supreme Court cannot see to from the district courts.
Why is it so important for courts to have the power of judicial review and what famous court case established the Supreme Court's right to exercise this power?
The power is so important because it gives the courts in this country the power to decide the constitutionality of an act of government, whether executive, legislative, or judicial. The famous court case of Marbury vs Madison established the Supreme Court's right to exercise this power.
What kinds of jurisdiction does the Supreme Court have and what kind of cases does it usually accept?
The Supreme Court has both original and appellate jurisdiction and most of its cases come on appeal.
What is the rule of four?
It permits four of the nine judges to grant a writ of certiorari.
If the Supreme Court decides not to hear a case, what then becomes the final result in that case?
An order may remand a case to a lower court for reconsideration in the light of some other recent and related case decided by the High Court.
Describe how oral arguments are presented before the Supreme Court.
Once the Supreme court accepts a case, it sets a date on which that case will be heard. They hear oral arguments in several cases for two weeks; then the justices recess for two weeks to consider those cases and handle other court business.
What does a writ of certiorari have in common with a certificate and how do the two differ?
What they have in common is that they are both ways to get cases sent up to the Supreme Court by lower courts but a writ is an order from the High Court to send up the case so they can review it and a certificate is a lower court asking the High Court what they should do with a particular case.
Why are precedents important?
Precedents are important because they are examples to be followed from similar cases. It can help justices make a decision on what to do with a case based off of a similar one in times past.
Explain why "easy" cases don't usually reach the Supreme Court.
"Easy" cases don't usually reach the Supreme Court because their cases often pose very difficult questions on which lower courts have disagreed; most of the court's cases are controversial ones and the easy ones don't get too far.
Who created the special courts and why have they been created?
The special courts were created by Congress to hear certain cases involving the expressed powers of Congress.
Under what circumstances can an American citizen sue the United States?
Only in which Congress has declared the United States to be an open suit.
What kind of claims are heard by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims?
The court hears cases in which individuals claim that the VA (Veterans Affairs) has denied or otherwise mishandled valid claims for veterans' benefits.
What does it mean to seek redress in a court?
To seek redress in a court means to seek satisfaction (payment) of a claim.
What is the difference between military tribunals and courts-martial?
Courts-martial specifically serve the disciplinary needs of the Armed Forces and are not part of the federal court system while a military tribunal is not part of the courts-martial system.
Who created the special courts?
Congress created the special courts.
Marbury vs Madison
After Thomas Jefferson became president, he ordered his Secretary of State, James Madison, not to deliver the papers confirming Adams' appointment of William Marbury as a justice of the peace. Marbury sued Madison under the Judiciary Act of 1789, which said the Supreme Court could issue orders to a federal official. In a decision written by Chief Justice John Marshall, the Court ruled against Marbury, on the grounds that the Judiciary Act was unconstitutional. The Court's decision established the doctrine of judicial review.
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