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  • 1. Unit 5 - Judicial Branch Academic
  • 2. I. Basic Structure
    • Established by Article III.
    • Meant to hear civil (lawsuits) and criminal law.
    • State courts have judicial system.
    • Cases flow in hierarchical system (top to bottom).
    • Some cases are heard by Supreme Court directly when they have jurisdiction.
    • Federal and state courts sometimes have concurrent jurisdiction.
  • 3. G. Cases flow in hierarchical system (top to bottom).
    • Federal district judges are in major cities throughout the USA in what are called inferior courts.
    • Cases may be appealed or re-heard by a US Court of appeals.
    • Cases may then be heard by the Supreme Court.
  • 4. The Structure of the Federal Judicial System Figure 16.1
  • 5. The Structure of the Federal Judicial System
    • The Organization and Jurisdiction of the Courts
  • 6. H. Supreme Court
    • Located in D.C.
    • 8 associate justices and 1 Chief Justice sit on the court.
    • Justices are appointed by the president and approved by the Senate.
    • Justices sit on the bench until resignation or death.
    • It has the final say whether the law is followed or if laws are constitutional.
  • 7. 6. Making Policy
      • “ Rule of four” – four justices must agree to hear case
      • Writ of Certiorari – request case from lower court
      • Few cases are heard by the Supreme Court
    Figure 16.4
  • 8.
      • Lawyers may make oral argument
      • Court debates case
      • Whichever way the court votes will be expressed in a majority opinion.
      • Losing side will write a minority or dissenting opinion.
    Figure 16.5
  • 9.
      • Those that agree write concurring opinions.
      • If decision of inferior court stands it is Stare decisis .
      • Court uses past cases or precedents to determine outcome.
      • Strict Constructionist (original intent) vs. liberal or loose constructionist.
  • 10. II. Cases and Justices
  • 11. A. Jay, Rutledge & Ellsworth 1790-1800
    • High turnover rate for justices.
    • Had to act as Supreme, Appeals, and District court.
    • Congress was slow to organize the judicial branch.
    • Some power was taken away with 11 th amendment (SCOTUS could not hear lawsuits against states).
  • 12. B. Marshall Court (1801-1835)
    • Chief Justice John Marshall
    • Federalist (loose constructionist)– strong central gov’t loosely based on constitution.
    • Marbury v. Madison established judicial review (court can declare laws unconstitutional).
    • Federal law is greater than state law.
    • Contracts must be honored.
  • 13. C. Taney Court (1836-1864)
    • Passive court, believed Congress and the White House instituted policy and little interference occurred.
    • Strict constructionist (only do what the constitution says) dominated the Court.
    • Dredd Scott v. Sanford =
      • President Buchanan thought the case would solve slavery.
      • Justices were slaveholders, few were not.
      • Blacks could not sue for freedom, especially slaves.
      • Missouri Compromise unconstitutional because it took away citizens in the territories right to own property.
      • Property rights cannot be taken away according to the Constitution.
  • 14. D. Chase, Waite 1864-1888
    • Chief Justice Chase oversaw Johnson’s impeachment trial.
    • Civil Rights laws ruled unconstitutional because discrimination is a protected individual right.
    • Laws regulating business that impacted the public ruled constitutional.
  • 15. E. Fuller 1888-1910
    • Plessey v. Ferguson
      • Over segregation
      • Plessey sues because he is not allowed to ride in white passenger car by rail.
      • Court declares segregation is okay as long as it is “separate yet equal.”
    • Jim Crow laws would stay for another 60 years.
    • Ignorance of 14 th and 15 th amendments continued.
  • 16. F. White and Taft Courts 1910 - 1930
    • Pro-business, just like many politicians of the time.
    • Former President Taft becomes Chief Justice for awhile.
    • Opposed to FDR’s New Deal because it interferes with property and business rights of the Constitution.
    • Rules many laws unconstitutional…
      • Minimum wage.
      • Limiting hours.
      • Child labor laws.
  • 17. G. Hughes, Stone and Vinson Courts 1930-1953
    • Court filled with Democrats during FDR’s term.
    • FDR tries to speed up the process by adding more justices, Congress refuses.
    • Two justices switch to vote for New Deal, “Just in time to save the nine.”
    • Japanese sue to get out of internment – Korematsu v. USA
    • Court rules in times of war gov’t can do things for “safety and security.
  • 18. H. Warren Court (1953-68)
    • Gov. Earl Warren of CA becomes new Chief Justice as informal reward for getting CA to vote for Eisenhower
    • Brown v. Board of Education.
      • Brown had to walk to inferior colored school.
      • Divided 4-4 at first until Warren convinces them to desegregate.
      • Order to desegregate has no timeline, takes twenty years.
    • Rights of the accused.
    • Counsel
      • Speedy Trial
      • Jury
      • Cross-examination
      • Your own witnesses
      • Habeas Corpus
      • Reaffirmed under Miranda v. Arizona.
    • Many conservatives want to impeach Warren
    • Griswold v. Connecticut
        • State has aging population.
        • They make birth control illegal.
        • Court decides that is a private matter between doctor and woman.
  • 19. I. Burger Court (1969-86)
    • Nixon attempts to make court conservative with Burger’s appointment.
    • Too many Democrats are still on court including Thurgood Marshall, first black.
    • Court had determined there is a loose right to privacy because the gov’t has to…
      • Get a warrant to search
      • Pay to seize property
      • Acknowledge right to ownership
    • Reproductive Rights
      • Roe v. Wade
        • Abortion illegal in most states
        • Another private matter according to court (1973).
  • 20. J. Rehnquist Court (1986-2001)
    • Despite a 7-2 Republican advantage, the court remains “activist.”
    • Conservatives believe legislature should make laws, we should not rely on courts.
    • Texas v. Johnson clears way for flag burning under freedom of speech.
    • Sodomy laws unconstitutional under right to privacy.
    • Separation of church and state continued, even in cases where prayer is voluntary.
    • Parts of Internet Safety Law are ruled unconstitutional because it blocks free speech.
    • Hustler v. Farewell clears even vulgar speech if it is political.
    • Limitations are allowed on the last tri-semester of abortion
  • 21. J. Roberts Court
    • John Roberts assumes court under Bush.
    • Obama appoints first Latina woman, Justice Sotomayor
    • Future cases include the right to privacy
  • 22.
      • Judicial restraint: judges should not make radical and sweeping decisions and should not attempt to change the law
      • Judicial activism: judges should influence policy and culture based on their interpretation of the law.
      • Both in extreme forms are avoided by presidents and screened by the Senate.
  • 23. III. Crimes, Sources and Protections of Law
  • 24. A. Crime and Criminal Law
    • Violating the law.
    • Ignorant of the law.
    • Punishable.
    • Misdemeanors – minor crime punishable by…
      • Fine
      • Short prison term
    • Felony
      • Serious Crime
      • Prison for at least 1 year
      • Death
  • 25. B. Civil Law (suing)
    • Your responsibilities to others.
    • Just compensation is due.
    • Commercial/contract:
      • Buyer does not pay
      • Seller does not provide
    • Negligence: Suffered a loss due to someone else’s carelessness and not your own.
    • Libel (write)/slander (say): maliciously and knowingly state something.
    • Titles to land: eminent domain : right of a governing body to take property for public use with just compensation
    • family matters (children or marriage)
  • 26. C. Sources of Law (where we get it)
    • Constitution – Supreme law of the land.
    • Statutory – law made by legislature
    • Case – Set by precedents or traditions of courts.
    • Common – cultural traits, accepted behavior.
    • Administrative – laws made by agencies of the government.
  • 27. D. Civil Rights and Liberties
    • Civil Rights = positive acts the government protects
      • 1 st amendment
        • Speech
        • Press
          • Libel – written, malicious lie
          • Slander – spoken, malicious lie
          • Sedition – crime of attempting to overthrow the government.
          • Symbolic speech protected.
        • Assembly – guarantee of association.
        • Petition
        • Religion – Free exercise clause and establishment clause.
      • 2 nd amendment
      • 14 th amendment = due process for people of all races
        • De jure segregation is unconstitutional
        • Affirmative action is used, quotas are illegal
        • Rights apply if you are jus soli or jus sanguinis
    • Liberties = protections against government acts
      • 4 th amendment – warrants
      • 8 th amendment – cruel and unusual punishment
    • Discrimination
      • Exists for a wide variety of groups
      • Constitutional rights ignored until mid-20 th century
      • De jure segregation existed
      • De facto segregation still exists.
      • Sexual discrimination limited under Title IX, 14 amendment applies to all.
  • 28. E. Examples
    • Due Process (14 th )
      • Gideon v. Wainwright
      • Miranda v. Arizona
    • Equal Protection, Civil Rights, & Affirmative Action
      • Plessy v. Ferguson
      • Brown v. Board
      • Bob Jones University v. USA (1983)– interracial marriage – tax exempt status, no
    • Free Speech
      • Schneck v. USA (1919)– urged men to avoid the draft, yes
      • Texas v. Johnson – symbolic speech, flag burning protected.
    • Privacy
      • Griswold v. Connecticut
      • Roe v. Wade
      • Lawrence v. Texas
    • Freedom of Religion
      • Engel v. Vitale (1962) – recite non-denominational prayer, no
      • Abington School District v. Schempp (1963) – Bible readings, no
      • Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) – public funding for religious schools, -no…if used to sponsor or spread religion
    • Freedom of Press
      • NY Times v. USA (1971) – publication of Pentagon Papers, yes
      • Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964) – R rated move banned, no “I’ll know it when I see it.” Potter Stewart
      • Tinker v. Demoines (1969)- Armbands to protest Vietnam, yes
      • Miller v. California (1973)- advertisements for adult books, no. Cannot offend average individual, contain vulgar references, no political or artistic nature.
    • Search and Seizure – Mapp v. Ohio
  • 29. IV. Investigation and Trial Procedure
  • 30. A. Investigation
    • Police search for evidence, research suspects.
    • Evidence
      • Fingerprinting
      • Palm printing
      • DNA
      • Voiceprints
      • CSI – expensive and not always available
    • Suspects
      • Closest friends, families statistically best bet.
      • Questioning – cannot hold without warrant for more than 24 hours.
      • May refuse to answer questions.
      • Polygraph – unreliable in court.
    • Due process must be followed.
    • Procedural due process are methods used (how).
    • Substantive due process are the policies they follow (what).
    • Evidence gained illegally falls under the exclusionary rule, it cannot be used.
  • 31. B. Accused and Rights
    • Must know reason for being arrested (habeas corpus).
    • Must be arrested using warrant or probable cause.
    • Ex post facto laws are illegal (making past crimes illegal)
    • People cannot be punished without a trail for previous actions (Bill of Attainder)
    • The prosecutor can being an indictment before a grand jury (16-23 people) which will decide if you can be charged with a serious crime.
    • You cannot be tried twice (double jeopardy)
    • You may waive your right to jury trial and have a bench trial instead.
  • 32. C. Opening Statement
    • Suspect is arrested, Miranda Rights are read.
    • Arraigned, and bail is set.
    • Right to jury can be waived for bench trial.
    • Summary of position at beginning.
    • First statement is given by those that initiate the case.
      • Criminal
        • Government (district attorney or prosecutor) makes indictment.
        • Must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
      • Civil
        • Plaintiff
        • Must provide a preponderance of evidence (greater amount).
    • Defense or defendant then presents.
  • 33. D. Examination
    • First the initiator presents evidence.
    • Evidence can be…
      • Direct – witness, forensics, confession, weapon.
      • Circumstantial – opinion, connection between defendant and crime with no physical proof.
    • They are not allowed to ask leading questions (guide the witness).
    • Defense can issue an objection and stop the question.
    • Judge can sustain (agree) or overrule (disagree).
    • Defense may cross-examine.
  • 34. E. Examination continued
    • Defense may treat witnesses as hostile (treat them harshly to break them).
    • Moral turpitude may be questioned (if the person is honest and decent enough).
    • The gov’t/plaintiff may then rest and the defense calls their witnesses or evidence.
  • 35. F. Conclusion
    • Both sides give closing arguments.
    • Judge gives the jury a charge or reminder of their duties.
    • Jury deliberates until there is a unanimous (criminal) or majority (civil) verdict.
    • They may be sequestered (asked to stay in hotel until decision is made).
    • If no decision is made, then there is a hung jury.
    • A mistrial is declared and the case has to be retried.