Aside from the justices themselves, who or what has the greatest power in shaping the flow of cases to the Supreme Court?
a) the attorney general
b) the solicitor general
c) the Senate judiciary committee
the state supreme courts
The jurisdiction of each federal court is derived from
a) the Constitution and federal law.
b) the Supreme Court.
c) state laws.
the federal courts decide their own jurisdictions.
______ is an example of a justice who advocated judicial restraint.
a) Harry Blackmun
b) Earl Warren
c) John Marshall
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
If an individual is arrested because their home was searched by police without a legal warrant, they could argue in court that they had been denied
a) a writ of habeas corpus.
b) their Miranda rights.
c) a writ of certiorari.
the due process of law.
The power of the Supreme Court to review state actions and legislation comes from
a) the judicial review clause of Article III.
b) the supremacy clause of Article VI.
c) the Tenth Amendment.
Marbury v. Madison.
If someone is an advocate of judicial restraint, he or she believes
a) in looking only at the words of the Constitution in order to understand its meaning.
b) that the Court should beware of overturning the judgments of popularly elected legislatures.
c) that judges should limit their interpretations to the intention of the law's framers.
the Court should go beyond the words of the Constitution or a statute to consider the broader societal implications of its decisions.
that judges should consider legal questions rather than deciding political matters.
Under normal rules of oral argument, each lawyer has ______ to present his or her case before the Supreme Court.
a) thirty minutes
b) an hour
c) ninety minutes
In which type of case does the Supreme Court have original jurisdiction?
a) any case involving the Constitution
b) any case involving an ambassador
c) any case involving the president
any case it wants to take up
any case involving a member of Congress
Which of the following best describes the role of the solicitor general?
a) the chief legal counsel for the White House
b) the lawyer who represents the United States before the Supreme Court in cases where the federal government is a party
c) the chief lawyer for Congress who makes advisory opinions on the constitutionality of legislative proposals
the head of the Department of Justice
the chief legal counsel to the U.S. military
When justices agree with the ruling of a court majority but not all of its reasoning, they may often write a(n)
c) ex parte.
writ of certiori.
A person, agency, or interest group not directly a party to a case but with an interest in its outcome may file a(n) ______ brief.
b) per curiam
c) amicus curiae
The right of due process is best described as the right of
a) everyone to appeal his trial.
b) every citizen to vote.
c) every person not to be treated arbitrarily by a government official or agency.
every person to be a lawyer.
every person to sue when they feel harmed in some way.
Most cases reach the Supreme Court through the
writ of appeal.
writ of certiorari.
writ of habeas corpus.
writ of amicus curiae.
What is common law?
another name for federal law
law made by judges through their decisions, not through specific statutes
law made by an administrative body
law that is guided by the Constitution
law passed by the U.S. Congress
Activist judges believe that the courts should
always overrule state legislatures and governors when making decisions.
interpret the U.S. Constitution according to the intentions of its framers and defer to the views of Congress when interpreting federal statutes.
be more aggressive and ideological than the president when vacancies occur on the court.
go beyond the words of a constitution or statute to consider the broader societal implications of its decisions.
always defer judgment to precedents set by previous courts.
A single lawsuit involving thousands of smokers suing a tobacco company would be a good example of
a class-action suit.
a plea bargain.
Why is the Supreme Court case of Marbury v. Madison important?
In this case, the Court declared the authority of Congress to regulate the economy of the United States.
In this case, the Court nationalized the Bill of Rights.
In this case, the Court authorized itself to exercise judicial review over laws passed by Congress.
In this case, the Court declared the secession of the Confederate states to be in violation of the Constitution.
In this case, the Court declared the segregation of schools based on race illegal.
In what type of law is the government always the plaintiff?
The requirement of standing means that parties in a case must
have a concrete injury or interest at stake.
be present in court during the trial.
know the law they are using to defend themselves.
have an attorney present with them in court.
What is the Uniform Commercial Code?
a federal law establishing common practices in each state regarding commercial affairs
a set of codes states may voluntarily adopt in order to reduce interstate differences in judicial opinions
judicial guidelines established by the Supreme Court explaining the meaning of federal economic regulations
a federal law regulating all forms of advertisements throughout the United States
a set of federal codes establishing common practices in each state regarding international commercial affairs.
Which of the following is part of the Miranda rule?
Arrested people have the right to remain silent.
Arrested people have the right to sue the police for police brutality.
Arrested people have the right to a fair trial.
Arrested people have the right to face their accuser.
Arrested people have the right to a reasonable bail.
When a case is resolved through a negotiated agreement before a full trial is completed, it is called
a plea bargain.
taking the Fifth.
a writ of certiorari.
Senatorial courtesy describes the practice of
senators from a president's party approving of a judicial nominee from their home state.
including home-state senators in the formal vetting of district and circuit court judges.
allowing any senator to place a hold on the consideration of a judicial nominee.
permitting senators to officially swear in home-state district court judges.
allowing senators to nominate members to the federal judiciary.
If a private individual brought a suit against a corporation for breaking a contract, what kind of law would this involve?
The size of the U.S. Supreme Court is set by
the U.S. Constitution.
a national convention.
the American Bar Association.
The increase of administrative agencies since the New Deal has resulted in
an increased occurrence of Congress writing administrative rules.
a delegation of power by Congress to administrative agencies.
a strict nondelegation doctrine pronounced by the Supreme Court.
an increase in states making administrative law.
an increase in federal laws being challenged in the courts.
When the Supreme Court refuses to review a lower-court decision, announcing this decision through a brief unsigned opinion, it is called ______ opinion.
a per curiam
an ex parte
an amicus curiae
an ex post facto
In most circumstances, a supreme court is best described as a(n) ______ court.
What was the Supreme Court's ruling in 1948 regarding restrictive covenants?
It was illegal for homeowners to discriminate in sales contracts.
It was acceptable for private contracts to have discriminatory provisions.
Individuals had the right to discriminate in private contracts, but courts could not enforce these contracts.
Only state supreme courts had the authority to rule on the legality of restrictive covenants.
Only the U.S. Supreme Court had the authority to rule on the legality of restrictive convenants.
When interest groups involved in litigation pursue a pattern of cases, they are
using legal arguments that have won in the past.
bringing the same type of suit into multiple circuits, hoping that a contradiction in rulings will bring about a Supreme Court review.
shopping around for the district where the likelihood of a favorable decision is highest.
filing multiple friend of the court briefs, in the hope of influencing the legal arguments of the Supreme Court.
filling cases in different courts on the same subject.
The case Baker v. Carr concerns
desegregation of schools.
apportionment of legislative seats.
unwarranted searches and seizures.
the separation of church and state.
state restrictions on carrying handguns in public.
Which of the following is not a traditional limitation on the power of the federal courts?
strict rules of standing
the ability of Congress to reduce federal judges' salaries
the inability of the court to offer relief to whole classes of people
the inability of the courts to enforce their own decisions
the inability of the courts to act on their own initiative
What is the most frequent and best-known action of Supreme Court justices in their role as circuit justices?
vetting cases for the Supreme Court
hearing challenges to state laws
writing writs of habeas corpus
reviewing requests for stays of execution
overturning laws passed by Congress
Prisoners who are challenging their conviction are most likely to file a writ of
When the Supreme Court declared that the legislative veto was unconstitutional, in Immigration and Naturalization Services v. Chada, what was the response?
While disagreeing with it, Congress and the president complied with the decision.
Congress promptly passed legislation making the legislative veto legal, rendering the decision moot.
Congress and presidents have continued the practice; they just call it something different.
Subsequent presidents have used signing statements as an alternative to the legislative veto.
Congress and the president began using executive orders instead.
Andrew Jackson reputedly said, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." What did he mean by this statement?
The federal courts depend on Congress to fund the judicial police force.
The Supreme Court is unable to enforce its decisions without the aid of the executive branch.
It was time for Marshall to become an attorney general.
Jackson wasn't going to let Marshall serve him a subpoena.
The federal courts depend on Congress to pass laws to enforce their decisions.
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court was required to rule on the issue of ______, due to the fact that the pregnancy had already come to term.
In recent years, federal court appointments have
been characterized by strict neutrality on the part of Congress.
attracted very little attention from the media and special interest groups.
been characterized by intense partisan and ideological efforts to support or defeat the candidate.
been unaffected by ideological concerns.
been confirmed very quickly.
Approximately what percentage of all court cases in the United States are heard in federal courts?
A "certiorari pool" describes the
computerized lottery system by which the Supreme Court selects its cases each year.
practice by which Supreme Court law clerks work together to evaluate each petition.
the method used to appoint the chief justice.
the nickname for the water fountain in the courtyard of the Supreme Court building.
the pool of applicants seeking appointment to the federal judiciary.
The doctrine of ______ requires courts to follow authoritative prior decisions when ruling on a case.
ex post facto
Why did many Republicans oppose President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court?
She supported affirmative action.
She supported upholding Roe v. Wade.
She was the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court.
She had never served as a judge in any capacity prior to nomination.
She supported overturning Roe v. Wade
Cases between two or more states are originally heard by
both state supreme courts simultaneously.
the federal district court in the state that initiates the lawsuit.
the federal circuit court of appeals.
the Supreme Court.
the federal district court in the state that serves as the defendant in the lawsuit.
Trial courts in the federal judicial system are called
What is the main function of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
The chief justice decides what cases will be heard by the full Court each term.
The chief justice always writes the Court's majority opinions.
The chief justice presides over the Court's public sessions and private conferences.
The chief justice is also the constitutional adviser to the president.
The chief justice is the constitutional adviser to Congress.
Why has partisan conflict surrounded federal judicial appointments in recent years?
Members of Congress do not want the president to have so much power that he can place anyone he wants on the federal bench.
The people recent presidents have chosen to nominate are often unqualified to be federal judges.
Public opinion has not been favorable to most of the people recent presidents have chosen to nominate.
There have not been enough minority nominees, including women.
The federal courts play an important role in shaping American law and politics.
When all of the justices on the Supreme Court are hearing a case, they are said to be sitting
in full jurisdiction.
in the round.
A writ of habeas corpus declares that
the government must show a legal cause for holding someone in detention.
the government cannot send a defendant to stand trial in a geographically distant jurisdiction.
a defendant in a felony trial must receive assistance from legal council.
capital punishment can be neither cruel nor unusual.
the government cannot search premises without a warrant issues by a judge.
Prior cases whose principles are used by judges to decide current cases are called
en blanc decisions.
ex post facto cases.
The written document in which attorneys explain why the court should rule in favor of their client is called a(n)
writ of certiorari.
writ of habeas corpus.
What is the significance of dissenting opinions?
They are made to appeal to a justice's constituency groups.
They have as much weight of law as the majority's opinion does.
Dissents are signs that the Court is in disagreement on an issue and could change its ruling.
Dissents are meant to confuse lawyers and government officials as to the true meaning of a decided case.
They are meant to appease the losing side in a case.
Original jurisdiction refers to
the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.
the court with the authority to hear a case first.
the highest court with the power to overrule other courts.
Congress's power to determine what cases the federal courts will hear.
the president's power to appoint federal judges.
Why was the Supreme Court's decision in Ricci v. DeStefano important?
It overturned a prior decision by Sonia Sotomayor, who, a few months later, joined the Supreme Court.
It held that employment tests for promotion could not discriminate based on gender or race.
It held that, in order to seek damages, employees must show that employment tests for promotion are clearly defective, rather than that they produce unequal outcomes based on race or gender.
It held that, in order to seek damages, employees must show that employment tests for promotion clearly create unequal outcomes based on race or gender.
It held that employment tests for promotion were allowed to discriminate based on gender or race if the employer could show that the position would be better performed by a person with a particular race or gender.
What did the framers call the "least dangerous branch"?
the Supreme Court
the system of state courts
What was the basis of Justice John Marshall's assertion that the federal courts have the power of judicial review?
The Constitution grants the courts that power.
It is the duty of the courts to say what the law is, therefore it is necessary for the courts to interpret and expound upon the law.
Congress would have to ask the courts for permission to pass laws.
The president should not be able to "get around" Congress by issuing executive orders on any issue he or she would like.
The federal courts, since they are the least political branch of government, should have the power to review the actions of the political branches.
The area of authority possessed by a court, in terms of either subject area or geography, is called its
President Obama's first appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court was
What was known as the court-packing plan?
the decision in the early nineteenth century that all federal courts should be guarded by members of the armed forces
the attempt by the Republican-dominated Senate of the 1990s to confirm as many conservative judges as possible
the attempt by Franklin Roosevelt to add sympathetic justices to the Supreme Court in order to get New Deal laws upheld as constitutional
the desire in Congress during the 1890s to expand the number of federal courts to ease the workload of the Supreme Court
the attempt by the Democratic-dominated Senate of the 1980s to confirm as many liberal judges as possible
Which of the following was not part of the Supreme Court's ruling in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld?
A U.S. citizen could be declared an enemy combatant.
All persons accused of being terrorists had the right to a lawyer.
Persons the president designates as enemy combatants do not have to be granted an opportunity to rebut those charges.
The president could order that an enemy combatant be held in federal detention.
Presidential actions were subject to judicial scrutiny.