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32 terms

Chapter 15

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Judicial Review
The process for deciding whether a law is contrary to the mandates of the Constitution
Common Law
Judge-made law that originated in England from decisions shaped according to prevailing custom. Decisions were apllied to similar situations and gradually became common to the nation
Precedent
A court rule bearing on subsquent legal desicions in similar cases. Judges rely on precedents in deciding cases
Stare Decisis
To stand on decided cases; the judicial policy of following precedents established by past decisions
Case Law
Judicial interpretations of common-law principles and doctrines, as well as interpretations of constitutional law, statutory law, and administrative law
Jurisdiction
The authority of a court to decide certain cases. Not all courts have the authority to decide all cases. Two jurisdictional issues are where a case arises as well as its subject matter
Federal Question
A question that has to do with the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, or treaties. A federal question provides a basis for federal jurisdiction
Diversity of Citizenship
The condition that exists when the parties to a lawsuit are citizens of different states, or when the parties are citizens of a U.S. state and citizens or the government of a foreign country. Diversity of citizenship can provide a basis for federeal jurisdiction
Trial Court
The court in which most cases begin
General Jurisdiction
Exists when a court's authority to hear cases is not significantly restricted. A court of general jurisdiction normally can hear a broad range of cases
Limited Jurisdiction
Exists when a court's authority to hear cases is restricted to certain types of claims, such as tax claims or bankruptcy petitions
Appellate Court
A court having jurisdiction to review cases and issues that were originally tried in lower courts
Litigate
To engage in a legal proceeding or seek relief in a court of law; to carry on a lawsuit
Class-Action Suit
A lawsuit filed by an individual seeking damage for "all persons similarly situated"
Writ of Certiorari
An order issued by a higher court to a lower court to send up the record of a case for review
Rule of Four
A United States Supreme Court procedure by which four justices must vote to grant a petition for review if a case is to come before the full court
Oral Arguments
The verbal arguments presented in person by attorneys to an appellate court. Each attorney presents reasons to the court why the court should rule in her or his client's favor
Opinion
The statement by a judge or a court of the decision reached in case. The opinion sets forth the applicable law and details the reasoning on which the ruling was based
Affirm
To declare that a court ruling is valid and must stand
Reverse
To annual or make void a court ruling on account of some error or irregularity
Remand
To send a case back to the court that originally heard it
Unanimous Opinion
A court opinion or determination on which all judges agree
Majority Opinion
A court opinion reflecting the views of the majority of the judges
Concurring Opinion
A seperate opinion prepared by a judge who supports the decision of the majority of the court but who wants to make or clarify a particular point or to voice disapproval of the grounds on which the decision was made
Dissenting Opinion
A seperate opinion in which a judge dissents from (disagrees with) the conclusion reached by the majority on the court and expounds his or her own views about the case
Senatorial Courtesy
In federal district court judgeship nominations, a tradition allowing a senator to veto a judicial appointment in his or her state
Judicial Activism
A doctrine holding that the Supreme Court should take an active role by using its power to check the activities of governmental bodies when those bodies exceed their authority
Judicial Restraint
A doctrine holding that the Supreme Court should defer to the decisions made by the elected representatives of the people in the legislative and executive branch
Strict Construction
A judicial philosophy that looks to the "letter of the law" when interpreting the Constitution or a particular statute
Broad Construction
A judicial philosophy that looks to the context and purpose of a law when making an interpretation
Judicial Implementation
The way in which court decisions are translated into action
Political Question
An issue that a court believes should be decided by the executive or legislative branch