The Judicial Branch Question #1-The Judicial Branch was establishedin which article of the Constitution?
Federalism once again• Just like there’s an executive branch in the national government and in PA., and just like there’s Congress in Washington and the General Assembly in (2)_____________ there are also two court systems, one state system and the federal system.
PA. State Court System• PA’s court system is similar to the federal system in that the State Supreme Court sits at the top. But the lower courts have different names and different jurisdiction.
One big difference• In PA. judges run for election like politicians whereas in the federal system the judges are selected by the president and then voted up or down by the U.S. (3)_____________. If they are approved they get a lifetime term (unless they are impeached and convicted).
The Federal Court System• Pyramid Power!-The federal and state court systems are like a pyramid with a top down structure. There are two types of federal courts- special or legislative courts and constitutional courts.• We will look at the constitutional courts.
District Courts• At the bottom of the pyramid are 91 district courts with 632 justices. They handle 80% of the federal caseload. They handle criminal and civil cases.• PA has three district courts with the closest in Philadelphia.
Circuit or Appeals Courts• Above the district courts are the appeals courts. They were created by Congress in 1891. They are the “gatekeepers” to the Supreme Court. There are 12 Appellate Courts, they only hear a case on appeal from lower courts.
Notice the Greco-Roman look• The architecture is designed to emulate the Romans who were respected for their system of laws.
The Supreme Court• This building is in what city? (5) _____• How many justices are on the Supreme Court? (6)_________
Most cases are heard on appeal• The Supreme Court takes very few cases each year, about 100 out of 5,000-6,000 petitions.• This is Clarence Thomas. He does not say much.
Why so few cases ask inquiring minds?• They will only take a case that is compelling and has not been sufficiently addressed by the lower courts.• Name one of the two lower federal courts(7)_____________• This is Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Granting Cert• The Supreme Court will hear a case if it grants a writ of certiorari. That means that four of the nine justices have agreed to hear the case.• Justice Stephen Breyer
The Court Calendar• The Supreme Court recesses for the summer. It reconvenes the first Monday in October. It hears cases three days a week, 5 hours a day.• Antonin Scalia goes duck hunting with the ex-veep. He’s brave.
The hearing• The petitioner’s lawyer gets one half an hour as does the respondent’s. The justices will interrupt for questions. In the spring they will render their decision.• Justice Sonia Sotomayor at her confirmation hearing.
Decisions are read first by the majority• The court likes to have 9-0 decisions because it means the case has been clearly decided. A 5-4 opinion means it was contentious. The minority would be the dissenters. He is the 3rd newest justice- Samuel Alito.
The ultimate power• The Supreme Courts power to declare a law unconstitutional is not written anywhere in the constitution. It came about as a result of an 1803 case called Marbury v.(8)__________.• John Roberts-the Chief Justice appointed by George Bush.
Other Cases• The Supreme Court will also hear cases involving states suing states, federal officials and American citizens suing foreign nations.• This is the newest justice, Elena Kagan. She was appointed by President Obama.
The Conference• Between hearing the case and rendering their opinion the justices consider their decision. They and their clerks research and the justices lobby one another. They meet weekly to consider the cases presented that week. Sometimes they can dispose of a case quickly (9-0) or sometimes things get heated (5-4).
The highest court in the land• On the top floor of the court is a basketball court. The younger clerks play here.
Question #9• True or false-The power to declare federal and state laws unconstitutional is written in Article 3.
Question 10• Yes or No-Does each state have their own court system separate from the national system?
Question #11• How many justices of the federal Supreme Court have to agree to hear a case ?
Question #12• Once on the federal bench how long a term does a justice get?• A. lifetime• B. faces election every ten years• C. unlimited terms• D. Is popularly elected the first time, then faces retention every four years
13-In what building does the Supreme Court meet? BA
14-Who below is not a justice of the Supreme Court? A B B B
Question 15• 15. In the case Tinker v. DesMoines Public Schools (1969) which party is the petitioner?
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