POLS 207: Ch 11
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. What would you like to do?
Which courts are most important - federal or state/local?
State and local courts are most important because most activity occurs there.
What types of cases do state and local courts most frequently prosecute?
Name and define the 2 types of criminal cases.
- Felonies: series violations
- Misdemeanors: less serious crimes
What types of cases do state and local courts adjudicate?
In what court do we have the "bill of rights" protections from the U.S. Constitution?
Criminal trial courts
What are the 3 parts of Amendment V?
- - trial by jury
- - double jeopardy
- - cannot be a witness against himself
What are the 3 parts of Amendment VI?
- - speedy and public trial
- - informed of nature and cause of accusation; confronted with witnesses
- - assistanc of counsel for his defense
What are the 3 parts of Amendment VIII?
- - no excessive bail
- - no excessive fines
- - no cruel and unusual punishment
In what court are appeals heard? And what are appeals?
Intermediate appellate court; appeals argue that, absent these errors, a result more favorable to the loser would have occurred.
What do appellate courts do?
Review procedural decisions made during trials and decide whether to uphold or overrule those decisions.
What is the court of last resort at the state level?
The final appellate court or state supreme court.
What is an amicus curiae brief, and what court are they used in?
Documents to the court that give advice about issues in the case used at the state supreme court level.
Which party is the most likely to seek appeals?
What is the most common reason state cases may go to the federal Supreme Court?
The belief that state law or legal procedure is in conflict with the Constitution.
What is the relationship between states' discretionary appellate court activity and their reputation for being liberal or conservative?
There is no correspondence/relationship.
What does judicial activism refer to?
Decisions that find government laws or behavior unconstitutional; also refers to decisions that do not follow legal precedents set by previous courts as they decided earlier cases.
Define judicial restraint.
The limited role for the courts as interpreters of the law rather than makers of the law; associated with honoring majority preferences.
What does Thomas Keck argue about judicial activity since 1995?
They have been more active in finding federal statutes and executive procedures nconstitutional when a majority of justices were conservative.
What is the relationship between state court activism and state liberalism or liberal decisions?
There is no strong relationship.
Define judicial review.
Allows courts to invalidate the actions of the other banches of government inconsistent with state or federal constitutions.
What are majority rule and minority rights?
The majority is listened to when making decisions, but those decisions cannot infringe on the rights of the minority.
Mapp v. Ohio
Established the basis of "exclusionary rule", which excludes illegally seized evidence from being presented in trials.
Gideon v. Wainwright
Those convicted of a crime are to be offered and attorney to provide for their defense.
Miranda v. Arizona
Established the right to be informed: right to remain silent, anything he said might be used against him, and he had the right to an attorney. (Right to legal counsel)
Kennedy v. Louisiana
The Court struck down as unconstiuttional a Louisiana statute that allowed the death penalty for the rape of a child where the victim did not die.
Historically, what group of people is more likely to be convicted of capital crimes and more likely to be executed?
Upon what reasoning would the death penalty most likely be abolished?
That the administration and implementation of the death penalty violates equal protection standards.
How has equal protection under civil law been advanced?
- Voiding criminal laws
- Limiting state activity to civil laws
- Guaranteeing equal protection as a civil right under federal and state constitutions
Why can equal protection under the law not be withheld?
Because of individuals or groups based on sex, race, national origin, religion, age, or disability.
Brown v. Board of Education
Declared that "separate but equal" public schools were inherently unequal and impermissible under the constitution.
Loving v. Virginia
Declared that racial limitations on marriage violated the due process guarantees of the 14th amendment.
Lawrence v. Texas
State laws could not make private sexual practices between consenting adults of the same sex criminal. Also, established privacy rights for heterosexual couples.
Upon what grounds is the Defense of Marriage Act being challenged?
The full faith and credit clause of the Constitution.
What are the 5 basic methods for selecting judges?
- 1. appointment with state senate advice and consent
- 2. legislative appointment
- 3. partisan elections
- 4. nonpartisan elections
- 5. merit system or Missouri plan
What method does Texas use for selecting judges?
What is the relationship between incumbency and the judicial branch elections?
Very few incumbents lose these elections.
What is the typical term of office for state judges?
It varies greatly from state to state.
What are the typical characteristics of state/local judges?
Overwhelmingly male, white, middle class, better educated, and wealthier.
What has been the shift in focus by judicial selection reformers?
Ending judicial elections altogether.
Which state judges receive the highest salary?
Supreme court state judges
What is the relationship between population and crime?
As the national population has grown, both the numbers and rates of crime have increased. The same can be said for the states.
What is the relationship between state population and crime, arrests, criminal cases, convictions, people in prison, and judges' salaries?
The higher the population the higher these things are. There is a direct relationship.
When someone accussed of a criminal offense agrees to plead "guilty", no trial needs to be held.
Bell v. Cone
Addressed the issue of how effective the counsel guaranteed by the 6th Amendment must be.
Name 3 problems found in the state court system.
- wealthy probably get better justice
- justice is not uniform across the country
Cockrell v. Burdine
Established that an attorney sleeping throughout trial proceedings was an example of absense of legal representation.
What evidence is there that most trials do not have an impartial jury of his/her peers?
Because of biasing influences that occur when people are called for juries.
What are the two types of state courts?
Trial courts and appellate courts.
Judicial activism is most associated with which political ideation?
Niether conservative or liberal. There is no relationship.
What new system of selecting judges is being pushed in this modern era?
The merit system.
What is the most important determinant of the character of a state judicial system and the caseload on it?
What has been the solution to the pressure of too many criminal and civil cases?
What would you like to do?
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