U. S. Constitution The first three Articles of the U. S. Constitution provide the framework for our federal system. Article # I: Legislative Branch Article # II: Executive Branch Article # III: Judicial Branch
Article III Section 1: Judicial Powers Section 2: Trial by Jury; Original Jurisdiction; Jury Trials Section 3: Treason
Article III, Sec. 1 “The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”
The Supreme Court of the United States Currently there are 9 Justices on the Supreme Court. One Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. Justices are appointed by the President, with the Advice and Consent of the U.S. Senate. Justices serve for life, or until they voluntarily retire. Justices be impeached by Congress for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
What gives the Supreme Court the power to review actions of the other branches of government ? Nothing in the Constitution provides the Court with the power of review. In fact the Constitution is quite limiting in the Court’s Jurisdiction.
Marbury v. Madison5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803) Claim brought against the Secretary of State James Madison seeking a Writ of Mandamus ordering Madison to seat Marbury as a Justice of the Peace. Chief Justice John Marshall established that the Supreme Court has the power of “judicial review” Prior to Marbury, the Supreme Court had no power to review actions of the Executive or Legislative Branches.
Life after Marbury Marbury essentially changed how the Court operated. The Court was now the final arbiter of all things Constitutional. Essentially, the Court can now determine whether a statute or executive action is constitutional.
Structure of the Federal Courts
Structure of State Courts State’s Highest Court (usually called the State Supreme Court). Intermediate Courts of Appeal. Receives appeals from the Superior Court. Superior Court (Trial Court). Received appeals from the District Court. District Court (Trial court for misdemeanors, traffic violations, and small amount Civil Cases)
Trial Courts v. Appellate Courts Trial Courts Can be Bench or Jury Trials Receives evidence Witnesses Appellate Courts No Jury; a panel of judges makes the decision No witnesses or evidence Makes decisions based on the law Only attorneys are present