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Federal Judiciary Keynote

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  • 1816 - loyalist land in n neck of va - state ruled us treaty concerning loyalist property confiscated during Am Rev meant va could supercede treaty and keep land - sc said no - reprimmanded back to va -they said sc couldn’t review state law- sc said yes they could
  • 1816 - loyalist land in n neck of va - state ruled us treaty concerning loyalist property confiscated during Am Rev meant va could supercede treaty and keep land - sc said no - reprimmanded back to va -they said sc couldn’t review state law- sc said yes they could
  • SC - SC - A-SC-SC-A
  • 5th protects citizen’s life liberty property w due process from fed gov’t
    14th extends 5th by ensuring “equal protection under the law”
    due process- guards indiv rights from infringement by state or fed gov
    substantive asks if law itself is fair

  • real harm- someone must have been “wronged” in order for there to b a case i.e. Plessy V Furgerson- Plessy got on the train to B segregated
    not a matter of arguing ideologies though that may come into play

  • criminal - warrants a punishment b/c crime was committed (murder, burglery)
    civil- no charge of criminality- no law violated (divorce)
  • explain admiralty
    Snipers - both, why state of Va? death penalty
    OK city bombers - that was in a federal building. Tried in Co.
  • *concurrent also consider snipers
    original - power to hear/decide case for the first time
    appellate - power of higher court to correct decision of lower court
  • Provide note page/diagram here
    specialized courts - claims of $ damages against US gov’t, unlawful seizure of private propety by gov’t
  • indictments -formal accusation of a crime (no guilt or innocence). Enough evidence to have a trial b/c possib of committed crime exists
    verdict- guilt or innocent


  • “riding the circuit” justices visiting circuit courts
    considers gay marriage cases (Ca, Vt, Ma)


  • for federal court - only 12 impeachments
    * Senatorial courtesy
    ABA influence - send message support/opposition
    Harriet Miers

  • lower fed court judges are also chosen for life, hear more cases than SC b/c most cases are decided at the lower level

  • when on circuit they don’t usually sit on courts but can stay executions, grant bail, etc

  • Alito - generally views restrictions on Pres power as unconstitutional, narrow view of defendants rts, church state restrictions, AS LAWYER IN 3rd Dist Ct Appeals -in Planned Phood v Casey upheld prov of Pa law req spousal notification - SC overruled this decisin in ’91, citing it as undue burden

  • most SC cases are heard on appeal
  • writ of certiorari must come from “US Court of Appeals” or state court of last resort. Must involve a federal question
  • see diagram
  • show amicus curiae





  • Transcript

    • 1. THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY
    • 2. JUDICIAL REVIEW Which case established federal judicial review for national gov’t? Which case established judicial review for state law?
    • 3. JUDICIAL REVIEW Which case established federal judicial review for national gov’t? Marbury v Madison Which case established judicial review for state law?
    • 4. JUDICIAL REVIEW Which case established federal judicial review for national gov’t? Marbury v Madison Which case established judicial review for state law? Martin v Hunter’s Lessee
    • 5. PRINCIPLES OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM Strict Constructionalist or Judicial Activist Allow the decisions of other branches to stand Use their power broadly to further justice http://thevoiceforschoolchoice.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/judicial-activism.jpg http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f327/jackgreen7/stahler0626.gif
    • 6. PRINCIPLES OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM Equal Justice Under The Law -everyone receives equal treatment Due Process -application of the law in a fair manner (5th and 14th amendments) - types of due process procedural= certain procedures must be followed so that individual freedom is guaranteed substantive= content of the law must be reasonable
    • 7. PRINCIPLES OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM Adversary System J = judge/jury who are passive decision makers P/D = prosecutor or plaintiff/defense who are advocates for their “cause.”
    • 8. PRINCIPLES OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM Presumption of Innocence - not mentioned in the Constitution - rooted in English Common Law - Burden of proof is on the Prosecution Justiciable Disputes - there must be “real harm” - case must be able to be settled as a matter of law
    • 9. FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM
    • 10. FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Types of cases criminal law - the gov’t charges an individual with violating a specific law civil law - the court resolves a dispute b/w 2 or more people and defines the relationship b/w them
    • 11. FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Federal Jurisdiction 1. Subject matter - interpretation of the Constitution/fed laws - federal law or foreign treaty - admiralty or maritime law - bankruptcy 2. Parties involved - foreign ambassadors, diplomats - two or more state gov’ts - US gov’t or agency - citizens of different states - state (citizen) & foreign country (citizen)
    • 12. FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Federal Jurisdiction 3. Concurrent Jurisdiction - cases that may be tried in either a state (they hear the majority of cases w/in the U.S.) or federal court such as when state and federal laws are broken 4. Original Jurisdiction - the court where a case is first tried (in criminal cases will one judge and jury) 5. Appellate Jurisdiction - may uphold, reverse, or modify lower court rulings (will have multiple judges)
    • 13. THE STRUCTURE OF THE FEDERAL JUDICIAL SYSTEM either state or as usual - appellate appellate courts courts of original jurisdiction state courts
    • 14. FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Federal Court Structure - (original) District Courts (94) - does 90% of cases -trial courts of original jurisdiction for criminal & civil cases - grand jury (16-23) hears charges & issues indictments in cases with enough evidence - trial of original jurisdiction is before a petit jury (12) which renders a verdict
    • 15. FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Court of International Trade - civil cases involving foreign business and imports U.S. Claims Court damages/unlawful seizure - claims against US govt or its officials of private property U.S. Tax Court - disputes between citizens and the IRS Territorial Courts - for Virgin Islands, N. Mariana and Guam Court of the District of Columbia Superior Court - trial court Military Courts - courts of services, courts of military review, court of veteran appeals
    • 16. FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Federal Court Structure (Appellate) each contains q # of Federal Court of Appeals (12) districts courts (at least 1 in each state - trial - divided into 12 circuits courts) 90% of cases begin here - each circuit has from 5-27 judges & a SC justice assigned to it - only have appellate jurisdiction - can review cases and Independent Regulatory Agencies (FCC, SEC, etc.)
    • 17. FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Virginia is the 4th Circuit
    • 18. FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit - hears cases from Claims Court, Court of International Trade, and U.S. Patent - appellate jurisdiction Court of Military Appeals - reviews decisions of military courts Courts of the District of Columbia - Court of Appeals - appellate jurisdiction
    • 19. FEDERAL COURT JUDGES
    • 20. FEDERAL COURT JUDGES Constitutional Provisions - Article II: appointed by President with consent of Senate for life terms - Removal by impeachment for bribery, treason, or high crime complete list at http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/topics_ji_bdy Selection Process - President makes list (same judicial philosophy) - ABA & interest groups try to influence - Senate Judiciary Comm. holds hearings & recommends to Senate for full vote - very partisan process (very apparent with Roberts/Alito/Sotomayor nominations)
    • 21. FEDERAL COURT JUDGES
    • 22. FEDERAL COURT JUDGES Politics of Selection - selection for lower federal courts has a long term effect on the judicial process - lower courts selection often gives broader influence for President than SC choices Supreme Court Justice Selection - same selection process as lower courts - more political pressure and media - Chief Justice can be from current Court or new to the SC
    • 23. SUPREME COURT ROLES
    • 24. SUPREME COURT ROLES Chief Justice -does not have to be current member of the Supreme Court - Nominated by President, confirmed by Senate - Serves for life as long as on “good behavior” - Vote weighs the same - Ultimately decides which cases are heard (in a sense, this makes he makes the discuss list) Associate Justices (8) - sit and speak according to rank (seniority) - most junior justice is on the far right - in charge of a circuit
    • 25. Ginsburg Breyer Roberts Scalia Alito Sotomayor Kennedy Thomas Stevens
    • 26. TODAY’S COURT Stevens: Senior most (Ford, ’75) liberal Scalia (Reagan, ’86) Conservative Kennedy: (Reagan, ’86) swing bloc, Republican Thomas (Bush, ’91) Conservative Ginsburg: (Clinton, ’93) Liberal Breyer: (Clinton, ’94) Liberal Roberts: Chief Justice (Bush, ’05) Conservative Sotomayor: junior most (Obama, ’09) Liberal Alito: (Bush, ’06) Conservative
    • 27. THE SUPREME COURT
    • 28. THE SUPREME COURT Types of cases Restriction on cases - must be live between 2 adversaries - must involve real harm - must be substantial federal question - no political questions - go back to Ex and Legisl. - use only cases sent - no enforcement power Original Jurisdiction (less than 1%) - involve a state or diplomatic question
    • 29. THE SUPREME COURT Appellate Jurisdiction 1) cases on appeal where lower court has ruled on a constitutional question - accepted under the “rule of four” - most are dismissed (not accepted) 2) - writ of certiorari is the main route to SC and is an order from a lower court asking for a case to be handed up for review - certification appeals heard from Dist Ct b/c of importance they skip middle tier (U.S. v Nixon)
    • 30. THE SUPREME COURT Selection of cases Discuss list made up of: - Chief Justice’s suggested cases from cert. requests and added to by other justices - made up first by justices’ law clerks - rejected require no reason for refusal - just say cert “denied” - rule of four for discussion - final cases selected by justices becomes the Orders list or docket
    • 31. THE SUPREME COURT Decision Process Per Curiam these cases are decided w/o oral arguments Full Consideration -briefs are filed by lawyers involved as well as amicus curiae or friends of the court (interested parties) - oral arguments allow each side 30 minutes w/ questioning by the judges - Friday Conferences discussion of cases & vote where only a simple majority (5-4) is necessary - votes based on precedent & rule of law
    • 32. THE SUPREME COURT Writing the Opinion Written announcement of the Court’s opinion (delivered in the spring) Types - unanimous (9-0) - majority: expresses the views of the majority when the Court is divided -concurring: agree with the majority but for different legal reasons - dissenting: those not in agreement with majority state why
    • 33. THE SUPREME COURT Writers - Chief Justice writes if he is in majority or may assign to another Justice - Chief Justice writes is he is in the minority or may assign - Writers circulate drafts which are commented on with much compromising - occasionally justices will change sides which might change final decision
    • 34. THE SUPREME COURT Factors that influence decisions and policy - the law and the Constitution - Judicial Philosophy of the justices - activism - should make bold policy decisions and use the cases to chart new constitutional ground - restraint - play a minimal policymaking role and leave policy to the legislative branch -Relationships among the Justices (can be seen in number of concurring & dissenting opinions)
    • 35. THE SUPREME COURT Factors that influence decisions and policy (cont) - Role of the Chief Justice - Social Forces: courts are influenced by values and beliefs of the times - Other branches of gov’t: through Presidential appointments and Congressional legislation aimed at repealing court decisions (i.e. Flag Protection Act after Texas v Johnson)
    • 36. THE SUPREME COURT Reading of the Opinion - Read in Court on special days - usually from April to June or July - Majority opinion writers delivers summary as do dissenters - Opinions released to the media - Usually save the most controversial for the last

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