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Politics of the United States
Chapter Eight Quiz
Terms in this set (62)
Determine whether a law has been broken and what penalties can be applied.
To determine how to provide relief to those who have been harmed by others.
And if necessary, determine the meaning of a particular law or the Constitution.
The Courts fulfill three basic responsibilities:
interpret laws passed by Congress, most contradictory.
Pre-Constitution, no national court. State courts decided how to...
dual court system.
Constitution created a...
State courts hear matters about...
Constitutional or federal laws.
Federal courts hear cases based on...
Judiciary Act of 1789
laid out the structure of the courts into three-tiers: District Courts, Circuit Courts, and the Supreme Court.
District Courts, Circuit Courts, and the Supreme Court.
three-tier structure of the courts:
Have original jurisdiction over nearly all the criminal/civil cases heard in the United States.
Court of Appeals
These are circuit courts above the District courts. Only hear appeals.
Ultimate court of appeals, receives 8,000 petitions a year, only issues full opinions on 100. Courts gets to choose which cases it hears, typically involves major question about the Constitution or a federal law.
nominate federal judges
President has power to ______________ ____________ ____________, Senate must approve. Four factors the President considers:
Legal expertise, party affiliation, judge's judicial philosophy (judicial restraint, judicial activism), opinions of the Senate.
Four factors the President considers:
typically a shared party affiliation.
Judge's __________ _______________ is also a shared ______________ ______________, Judicial Restraint—a judge's interpretation of the Constitution according to the Framer's original intent, therefore only overturning a law that is clearly in violation of the Constitution's original meaning. Judicial Activism—Judges can adapt the meaning of the Constitution to meet the demands of a contemporary reality, interpreted more broadly as an evolving document consistent with changing values and circumstances.
a judge's interpretation of the Constitution according to the Framer's original intent, therefore only overturning a law that is clearly in violation of the Constitution's original meaning.
Judges can adapt the meaning of the Constitution to meet the demands of a contemporary reality, interpreted more broadly as an evolving document consistent with changing values and circumstances.
Opinions of the Senate
A tradition of courtesy among Senators, a senator from the same state as the nominee and the same party as the President can block a nomination for almost any reason. The other senators show their respect to the opposition by not supporting the nominee. Only applies to federal courts, not court of appeals or the Supreme Court.
President does typically consult with Senators from their party prior to making nominations to appeals court and the Supreme Court.
the primary "check" on the executive and legislative branches—power to rule on whether laws or executive action is Constitutional.
The judiciary gets checked by the other branches during the _______________ ____________—Congress can impeach and remove judges from office, but it is not easy.
are another way that Congress can "check" the judicial branch, can make something that was unconstitutional now Constitutional.
Appointment process, amendments
Ways other branches can check the judiciary branch
Federal District Courts
make up the trial courts of the federal system. Ninety-four total, each district has at least two judges, handle approximately 300,000 cases a year. The United States is divided into twelve regional circuits. California is part of the 9th Circuit.
residents of different states, the United States and a foreign government, civil rights violations, employment laws, bankruptcy, and some criminal actions.
Federal district courts types of cases
The Federal Judge serving a Lifetime term, until death or retirement.
(Bankruptcy judges, named by court of appeals, serve fourteen year terms) Magistrate judges, hear routine proceedings and misdemeanors, appointed by district judge, serve eight year terms.
Court Clerk: Who handles the court records, money (fines/fees) and jury recruitment process.
Court officials employed by the federal district court include:
serving a Lifetime term, until death or retirement.
named by court of appeals, serve fourteen year terms)
hear routine proceedings and misdemeanors, appointed by district judge, serve eight year terms.
Who handles the court records, money (fines/fees) and jury recruitment process.
United States Attorney
Each district has one, appointed by the President, approved by Senate, serves four year terms, numerous assistants to United States attorneys, employed by the Department of Justice under the Executive branch.
Used in criminal cases when defendant cannot afford one—appointed by a panel of judges from the court of appeals.
United States Marshal
Provide security and police protection at federal courthouses, transport prisoners, provide witness protection in federal cases, and help apprehend the accused. Each head of the United States Marshall's office is appointed by the President, with Senate approval for a four year term.
Court of Appeals
federal courts that hear appeals from district courts; no trials
There are ______________ court of appeals within the twelve regional circuits. Hear approximately ______________ cases annually.
appellant, legal mistake
The _____________ who files the appeal does so by trying to show the official ruling had a ______________ ______________.
In most cases the court of appeals will only overturn a case if the original court followed an ______________ ________________.
They do not retry cases, no new evidence is admitted, no witness testimony allowed.
Court of Appeals cases chosen by a three panel of _____________ ___________—they review the legal brief from both sides—use precedent as a means of reaching a decision.
United States Court of International Trade
Involves disputes over laws/rules governing it.
United States Tax Court
Disputes over federal taxes involving disagreements with an IRS judgement.
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
Disputes over benefits, disability payments, etc. Located in Washington D.C.
United States Courts of Federal Claims
Pertains to money claims over $10,000, located in Washington D.C.
United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
A court specialized to hear appeals of court-martial, panel of five judges, civilian, serve fifteen year terms. Court-Martials are based on violations of the Uniform Code of Military Conduct that has been violated.
National Security Courts
Made up of two special courts.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court 1978
responsible for reviewing and authorizing requests by our government to spy on a target identified "as an agent of a foreign power" on American soil. Made up of eleven district judges, serve seven year terms.
Alien Terrorist Removal court 1996
Reviews requests made by the United States attorney general to remove individuals suspected of being a terrorist from United States soil. Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, they serve a five year term.
Chief Justice John Marshall
appointed 1801, served thirty-four years. Brought the judiciary branch into power that equaled the other two. Established Judicial Review—courts right to review, and strike down if need be, acts of Congress—Marbury v Madison 1803.
Dred Scott v. Sanford 1857
furthered tensions that led to the Civil War.
Plessy v. Ferguson 1896
established the separate-but-equal doctrine that led to an expansion of Jim Crow laws for nearly 60 years.
Chief Justice Earl Warren
Appointed in 1953 by Dwight D. Eisenhower, served sixteen years—credited with nation's most dramatic and controversial decisions, assumed to be conservative, but turned out, not so much.
Brown v. Board of Ed Topeka, Ks, 1954-called for desegregation of public schools.
Miranda v. Arizona, 1966-expanded rights of the excused and restricted law enforcement actions.
Additionally, ____________ ruled that public schools could not prevent students from protesting (Vietnam War) but halted the practice of praying in public schools.
Same four factors applied when choosing Supreme Court nominations.
No Constitutional requirements, but historically all have had backgrounds in law. Most served as federal judges.
Confirmation process begins with the televised hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, intense questioning, detailed inspection of their judicial beliefs and record. Nominees judgement record is often questioned as well as their own legal backgrounds including personal/early life choices.
Following the investigation, Senate Judiciary Committee will vote, usually Senate follows with their decision.
Most nominees are confirmed.
Choosing Supreme Court Justices
October—first Monday, remains in session until June/July.
Supreme Court New term begins in...
Two weeks sitting on the bench hearing cases.
Two weeks working behind closed doors, writing opinions, deciding on future cases, and issuing orders on others.
Supreme Court Procedures
approximately four per justice, recent law school graduates, help with research, evaluating case requests, writing opinion drafts.
Most Come From Federal Court of Appeals
Are cases involving foreign ambassadors, United States government, disputes between states, or disputes between one state and citizens of another state or country.
Four justices must vote in favor of hearing a case on appeal before it is placed on the _____________.
Hearing a case
reading the briefs from each side, listen to oral arguments, attorneys only have thirty minutes to present their case, with questions from the justices looking for weakness in either side's argument.
Justices then meet to discuss, led by Chief, write a formal opinion, lengthy report that includes the major issues, judicial precedent, and the legal reasoning for their decision, to uphold or overturn a lower court decision
signed by five of the nine, represents actual ruling.
Agree with the overall conclusion in the case but cite different or additional legal reasoning.
Those held by the majority of the justices that do not agree with the ruling. No influence on current case but can influence future judgements.
50-60 cases a year that the Supreme Court directs a lower court to reconsider a certain case in light of a specific court decision. No briefs, no oral arguments, no written opinions.
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