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Politics of the United States
Stephens test on Courts
Terms in this set (63)
Writ of Certiorari
In response to a petition, an order from the Supreme Court to a lower court to send up the records on a case for review.
Appointed by the president to supervise and conduct litigation before the Supreme Court involving the federal government.
Per Curiam Opinion
A brief, unsigned statement of a Supreme Court decision.
A written statement setting for the legal arguments, relevant facts, and precedents supporting one side of a case.
A lawyer for each side explains the merits of their case to the Court and also answers and questions or challenges from the Court.
A closed conference when the Justices meet to discuss cases in which they have heard oral argument.
A written brief from an individual or group claiming to have information useful to the Court's consideration of a case. Latin for "friend of the court."
The Court's decision expressing the views of a majority of the justices.
The opinion expressed by a minority of the justices in a court case.
A separate opinion that agrees with the ultimate outcome of the majority, but for a different reason.
A decision where all of the justices agree to both the result and the reasoning for it.
The power of the Supreme Court to declare actions of local, state or national governments unconstitutional.
Latin for "let the decision stand." The principle that once the Supreme Court rules on a case, its decision serves as a precedent on which to base other decisions.
A model on which to base later decisions or actions.
A ruling on a law or action that has not been challenged.
A coalition that promotes a common interest.
The deciding vote in a case.
Code of Hammurabi
One of the earliest known written sets of laws collected by the king of Babylonia from 1792 BC to 1750 BC.
Law that deals with the formation, construction and interpretation of constitutions. These cases decide the limits of the government's power and the rights of individuals.
Law that is written down so that everyone knows and understands it.
A law or statute passed by a city council.
A law written by a legislative branch.
A single system of Roman Law, organized in the AD 530s at the command of the Roman empower Justinian.
French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's 1804 update of the Justinian Code. Portions of this law is still used in France; Quebec, Canada; and Louisiana, USA.
The set of rules and standards by which a society governs itself
Rule of Law
The theory that both the government and citizens should be subject to the law and no person is above the law
Law that spells out the authority, procedures, rules and regulations that government agencies must follow.
Law made by judges in the process of resolving individual cases.
A decision in a previous case with similar facts upon which to base later decisions or actions.
A system of rules by which disputes are resolved on the grounds of fairness.
Substantive Due Process
Certain rights of individuals in the application of laws, some that are specified in the Constitution (like free speech) and some that are not specified (like the right of privacy in making personal decisions).
Procedural Due Process
Principle that prohibits arbitrary enforcement of the law and also provides safeguards to ensure that constitutional and statutory rights are protected by law enforcement.
A judicial system in which opposing lawyers present their strongest cases.
Presumption of Innocence
The presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
Equal Justice Under the Law
The belief that the law should treat all people alike, regardless of race, gender, social status, wealth, ethnicity, or age
Rules governing disputes amend two or more individuals or between individuals and the government.
Rules governing crimes and their punishments. Crimes are acts that break the criminal law or cause injury or harm to people or society in general.
The authority of a court to hear certain types of cases.
The authority of a trial court to be the first to hear a case.
Judicial authority shared by both federal and state courts.
Authority of a court to hear a case that questions the result of the same case in a lower court.
Dual Court System
A system that has two levels of courts. In the United States that includes state and federal courts.
A person engaged in a lawsuit.
Marbury v. Madison
The Supreme Court case that established the power of judicial review in 1803.
The authority of courts to review the actions of the other branches of government. This extends to both state and federal laws and actions.
Dred Scott v. Sandford
The 1857 Supreme Court case that supported states' rights on the issue of slavery by stating the Missouri Compromise clause that made slaves who entered the territory free was unconstitutional, and that Scott was still a slave when he returned to Missouri despite living as a free man in Illinois for 10 years. This case damaged the Court's reputation in the eyes of the nation.
Due Process Clause
14th Amendment clause stating that no state may deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.
The set of 1873 Supreme Court cases about the Louisiana meatpacking industry's monopoly that held that the 14th Amendment protected the rights and privileges of federal, not state citizenship.
Plessy v. Ferguson
The 1896 Supreme Court case about a mixed race man who sat in the white section of a train that upheld Jim Crow laws by holding that if facilities are equal for both races, the facilities can be segregated (separate but equal).
Brown v. Board of Education
The 1954 Supreme Court case about integration of public schools that overturned the ruling in Plessy by holding that separate but equal was inherently unequal.
Courts established by Congress under Article III of the Constitution.
Courts created by Congress in 1789 to serve as trial courts.
A group of 16-23 people that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the accused person to trial.
A formal charge or accusation that a grand jury issues.
A jury of 6-12 people that weights the evidence presented at trial and renders a verdict.
Federal Courts of Appeals
Article III courts established by Congress to hear appeals from the Federal district courts as well as some Article I trial courts and some executive agencies.
The 12 regions into which the US is divided to establish jurisdiction for 12 of the 13 Federal Courts of Appeals.
Courts established by Congress under Article I of the Constitution to help Congress carry out its enumerated powers.
A system by which the president submits the name of a candidate for judicial appointment to the senators from the candidate's state before formally submitting it to the full Senate for approval.
Traveling to hold court in a justice's assigned region of the country.
The lead justice on the Supreme Court.
The eight justices on the Supreme Court besides the Chief Justice.
A written explanation of a court's decision.
Recommended textbook explanations
Magruder's American Government
United States Government: Our Democracy
Donald A. Ritchie, Richard C. Remy
Magruder's American Government (Florida Student Edition)
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