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Describe the judicial system of the United States.
one in which courts provide an arena for 2 parties to bring their conflic before an impartial arbiter; justice will emerge out of the struggle
What are the two types of cases?
- criminal law case
- civil law case
Criminal Law Cases
Government charges an individual who violated specific laws
Civil Law Case
no charge that law has been violated; involves a dispute between 2 parties
laws passed by legislatures
accumulation of judicial decisions
Who are the three participants in the judicial system?
Who are the 3 litigants of the judicial system?
Standing to Sue
legitimate reason to go to court
Class Action Suits
lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of others similarly situated
issues capable of bieng settled by legal means
established by the Constitution
first court to hear a case; determine facts about that case
hear cases brought by appeal from a lower court
91 federal courts of original jurisdiction
Diversity of Citizenship Cases
involved civil suits between citizens of different states or nations
Courts of Appeal
courts empowered to review all final decisions of district courts (12 judicial circuits)
resolves conflicts among states; maintains national supremacy in the law; ensures uniformity in the interpretation of national laws
nominations for state-level federal judicial posts aren't confirmed if opposed by a Senator from the state in which the nominee will serve
Appointments to federal courts/Supreme Court are made and confirmed by who?
Made by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
Describe the typical judge/justice.
White, male, 50s-60s, Protestant
Name 2 important judicial figures.
Thurgood Marshall (first African American) and Sandra Day O'Connor (first woman).
Describe the 4 step process of getting an appeal to the Supreme Court.
- federal or state request for court review
- appeals discussed (98% denied)
- obtain 4 votes
- placed on docket
Writ of Certiorari
formal document that calls up a case
Per Curiam Decision
a decision made without explanation
in charge of the appellate court litigation of the federal government
Describe the 6 step Supreme Court decision making process.
- on docket
- briefs submitted
- votes taken
- opinions drafted
- decision announced
statement of the legal reasoning behind the decision (dissenting or concurring)
"let the decision stand" (of a decision on a case previously made)
the way similar cases were handled in the past
What portion of the decisions made in the Supreme Court are unanimous?
view that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the original intent of the framers
how and whether court decisions are translated into actual policy thereby affcting the behavior of others
What 3 elements does implementation include?
- interpreting population (lawyers, judges)
- implementing population (govt agencies, law enforcement)
- consumer population
established in Marbury v. Madison under John Marshall
What are the 5 eras of the Supreme Court?
- John Marshall & judicial review
- FDR & the Nine Old Men + "court packing scheme"
- Warren Court & desegregation
- Burger Court & United States v. Nixon; Roe v. Wade
- Rehnquist Court & conservatism
Courts tend to follow and reflect what?
the popular majority
What are the 2 views on the power of the judiciary?
- judicial restraint
- judicial activism
judges adhere closely to precedent and play minimum policymakng roles
judges make bolder policy decisions; they correct pressing needs unmet by majoritarian political process
doctrine developed by the federal courts and used as a means to avoid deciding some cases, especially those involving conflicts between the president & Congress
judicial interpretation of an act of Congress