Section 3:  Getting to the Supreme Court
<ul><li>The Supreme Court does not have to hear any appeal that it does not want to hear </li></ul><ul><li>STEP 1:  If fou...
<ul><li>Writ of Certiorari </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>an order by a higher court directing a lower court to send up a case ...
<ul><li>Often a writ is granted when </li></ul><ul><ul><li>two or more federal circuit courts of appeal have have decided ...
<ul><li>Court workload and Acceptance: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Court rejects over 96% of applicants for certiorari </li>...
<ul><li>Step 2:  MONEY!!! </li></ul><ul><li>To apply for cert it costs $300 plus 40 copies of petition </li></ul><ul><li>l...
<ul><li>In forma pauperis -  </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A method whereby a poor person can have his or her case heard in fe...
<ul><li>Interest groups can also pay for lawyers fees...think ACLU or NAACP </li></ul>
<ul><li>Step 3:  You must have STANDING </li></ul><ul><li>a legal rule stating who is authorized to start a lawsuit </li><...
<ul><li>Must show that you have been harmed by the law or practice about which you are complaining </li></ul><ul><li>Merel...
<ul><li>Sovereign Immunity </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A citizen cannot sue the government without the government’s consent ...
<ul><li>Class Action Suits </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a citizen can benefit directly from a court’s decision even if he did...
<ul><li>In session 36 weeks out of the year, from early October until end of June </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyers from each subm...
<ul><li>gives the arguments for the side represented by the lawyer who wrote the brief </li></ul><ul><li>discusses the oth...
<ul><li>They present their oral arguments to the court, summarize brief points and are limited to a 1/2 hour </li></ul><ul...
<ul><li>Amicus Curiae </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A brief submitted from an interested party not directly involved in the su...
<ul><li>Fridays are debate days - in the conference room - VERY SECRET </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chief Justice speaks firs...
<ul><li>Opinion of the Court </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Explaining the decision can be brief and unsigned (per curium) or l...
<ul><li>Concurring Opinion </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A signed opinion in which one or more members agrees with the majorit...
<ul><li>Dissenting Opinion </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A signed opinion where one or more members disagree with the majority...
<ul><li>Each justice has 3 or 4 law clerks that help him/her to review, study or write decisions </li></ul><ul><li>2/5 dec...
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Section 3 of the Judicial Branch

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Section 3 of the Judicial Branch

  1. 1. Section 3: Getting to the Supreme Court
  2. 2. <ul><li>The Supreme Court does not have to hear any appeal that it does not want to hear </li></ul><ul><li>STEP 1: If four justices agree to hear the case a writ is issued and the case is scheduled for hearing... </li></ul><ul><li>Called the Rule of 4 </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Writ of Certiorari </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>an order by a higher court directing a lower court to send up a case for review </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Often a writ is granted when </li></ul><ul><ul><li>two or more federal circuit courts of appeal have have decided on the same issue in different ways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The highest court in the state has held a federal law or a state law to be in violation of the Constitution or has upheld a state law against the claim that it violates the Constitution </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Court workload and Acceptance: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Court rejects over 96% of applicants for certiorari </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Step 2: MONEY!!! </li></ul><ul><li>To apply for cert it costs $300 plus 40 copies of petition </li></ul><ul><li>lawyers fees </li></ul><ul><li>copies for lower court records </li></ul><ul><li>can be very time consuming, time=money </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>In forma pauperis - </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A method whereby a poor person can have his or her case heard in federal court without charge. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Interest groups can also pay for lawyers fees...think ACLU or NAACP </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Step 3: You must have STANDING </li></ul><ul><li>a legal rule stating who is authorized to start a lawsuit </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>has to be an actual controversy between real adversaries </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Must show that you have been harmed by the law or practice about which you are complaining </li></ul><ul><li>Merely being a taxpayer does not ordinarily entitle you to challenge the Constitutionality of a federal or government action </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Sovereign Immunity </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A citizen cannot sue the government without the government’s consent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can sue an individual if they act contrary to law </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Class Action Suits </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a citizen can benefit directly from a court’s decision even if he did not go to court </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brought by someone to help him or her and all others who are similarly situated. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Brown v Board -- all schools, not just Linda Brown’s </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>In session 36 weeks out of the year, from early October until end of June </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyers from each submit a brief - a document that sets forth the facts of the case, </li></ul><ul><li>summarizes the lower court’s decision, </li></ul>The Supreme Court in Action
  14. 14. <ul><li>gives the arguments for the side represented by the lawyer who wrote the brief </li></ul><ul><li>discusses the other cases that the Court has decided that bear on the issue </li></ul><ul><li>if the US is a party then the Solicitor General represents her </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>They present their oral arguments to the court, summarize brief points and are limited to a 1/2 hour </li></ul><ul><li>give justices a chance to question lawyers, sometimes searchingly </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Amicus Curiae </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A brief submitted from an interested party not directly involved in the suit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>means “friend of the court” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Fridays are debate days - in the conference room - VERY SECRET </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chief Justice speaks first, followed by the others in order of seniority </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>After the arguments they vote, traditionally in reverse order </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A majority of the justices must be in agreement to decide a case, if there is a tie then the lower court’s decision is left standing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Opinion of the Court </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Explaining the decision can be brief and unsigned (per curium) or long and signed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If Chief Justice is in the majority he will write or assign someone </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If Chief Justice is in the minority then the senior justice in the majority will figure out who will write it </li></ul></ul></ul>Opinion’s Issued
  19. 19. <ul><li>Concurring Opinion </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A signed opinion in which one or more members agrees with the majority but for a different reason </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Dissenting Opinion </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A signed opinion where one or more members disagree with the majority opinion and the decision </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Each justice has 3 or 4 law clerks that help him/her to review, study or write decisions </li></ul><ul><li>2/5 decisions made are unanimous </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Important to look at reasons behind the opinion, not the decision itself </li></ul></ul></ul>

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