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Judicial Branch Intro.
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Judicial Branch Intro.



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  • 1. JUDICIAL BRANCH a.k.a. The National Judiciary
    • The Articles of Confederation did not address the issue of a national judicial system.
    • Because of this States interpreted and applied the laws how they saw fit or not at all.
    • States often ignored other States court system.
    • Constitutional Courts
    • Supreme Court – Highest
    • Appeals Court – Medium
    • District Courts – Lowest
    • Special Courts
    • These courts were created by Congress.
    • They are also known as the Legislative courts
    • Article III of the Constitution:
    • Section 1: “The judicial Power of the Unites States shall be vest in one supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as Congress from time to time ordain and establish.”
    • Therefore, the Supreme Court is the only court in Article III. BUT… Article III also calls for Inferior Courts. These “Inferior Courts” are the Constitutional Courts from the previous slide.
  • 5. SO… WHAT’S THE 2 ND TYPE?
    • The Special Courts
      • Article I of the Constitution said Congress could create these courts.
      • These are courts Congress has created.
      • These courts are also known as the Legislative Courts.
  • 6. 2 COURTS SIMPLIFIED CONGRESS + COURTS = SPECIAL COURTS CONSTITUIONAL COURTS Supreme Court – Highest Court of Appeals – Medium District Courts - Lowest
  • 7. JURISDICTION Jurisdiction: The court who hears the case. Cases heard by the Judicial Branch deal with National Issues. Types: Original - the first to hear a case Appellate - hears cases that have already been decided and the losing party wants another chance to prove their point. Exclusive – the only court that can hear the case. Concurrent – the case is heard at the state level first and then at the national level.
    • Constitutionality !!!
      • This means that the purpose of the Judicial Branch is to make sure that the laws don’t violate the Constitution.
      • Judicial Review —
      • This is the Judicial Branch’s check on the other branches.
      • If Congress writes a law that goes against the Constitution, the Judicial Branch can get rid of it.
      • If the President does something unconstitutional, such as an executive order, the Judicial Branch can overturn it.
  • 9. CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS Supreme Court – a.k.a The highest court in the land. District Courts Lower of the Inferior Courts. There are only 94 of District Courts. These rulings are normally the final say. Every case heard by the Supreme Court had to start here. Appellate Courts Decide if a case should be passed onto the Supreme Court.
  • 10. CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS THE SUPREME COURT Court of Appeals District Courts Known as the Inferior Courts:
    • Called the Inferior Courts because they are below the Supreme Court.
  • 11. District Courts
    • The first step at the national court (judiciary) would be the district courts.
    • Before being heard at the Supreme Court level a case must be heard at a District Court and can work it’s way through the appeals court until it reaches the Supreme Court.
    • Most Cases stop here.
  • 12. The 94 District Courts The lower courts of the Judicial Branch
    • 50 States / 89 federal judicial districts + 1 federal judicial district for D.C. Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands = 94 Federal District Courts
  • 13.   “ Gatekeepers” to the Supreme Court.   Relieve the Supreme Court of much of the burden of hearing appeals from the District Courts Court of Appeals decides: 1. If the case should be overturned. 2. If the case will be passed on to the Supreme Court. The Appeals Court does NOT hear cases. There are NO defendants, NO Persecutors, NO Lawyers. 12 Appellate Courts
  • 14. SUPREME COURT a.k.a. The Highest Court in the Land. Hear Constitutional Cases. Cases must have gone through the Inferior Courts. Majority Vote needed to win. (5)
  • 15. Convenes: When: The first Monday in October Length of session: Approximately 9 Months Hear Cases: Monday through Thursday Decisions: Announced the following Monday Justices: Who: Judges on the Supreme Court Term: Life or until reassignment Appointment: Nominated by the President, Confirmed by Senate Number: 9 Justices 1 Chief Justice 8 Assistant Justices
    • Opinions of the Court:
    • Majority Opinion – 5 out of 9 Justices
    • Concurring Opinion – This is written by Justice(s) who agree with the ruling.
    • Dissenting Opinion – This is written by the Justice(s) who disagrees with the ruling.
    • Rulings are Final:
    • Unless, a later Supreme Court case overturns it.