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Supreme court

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Bio of SC Justices, judicial branch background

Bio of SC Justices, judicial branch background

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  • If you said all yesses, agrees- conservative half. Clarence ThomasKennedy- swingMost Nos- JP Stevens- liberal
  • Separated executive, judicialM v. M- most important case in SC history?Can Congress expand the original jurisdiction of the SC?William Marbury- appointed as justice of the peace by John Adams in his final days. Signed, but never deliviered. Jefferson tells Madison not to deliver them. Marbury complains, to the SC. (didn’t get commission)Marbury- petitions the supreme court to force new sec of state Madison to deliver docs!Court finds that Madison’s refusal to deliver commission- illegal.Even so, holds to Judiciary act of 1789- marbury’s petition to the SC was unconstituional- extended court’s original jurisdiction. Petition denied. By extending the court’s original jurisdiction to include this case, Congress had exceeded its authority. An act of Congress conflicted with the Consgistution- the court must uphold the constitution. Court- review acts of congress. Before this case- not so much judicial review. Federalist Paper no. 79- fed courts would have power, and power to examine constitutionality. (even though said they were by far the weakest).
  • Very esteemed, has been a lawyer and then a judge for a very long time, edited Harvard Law Review, argued in front of the supreme courtNominated 2005 to fill Day O’Connor (had been 11 years since a new judge). CHIEF JUSTICE Rehnquist died a few weeks later, while his confirmation was pending- Bush withdraws nom and redirects it to Rehnquist’s spot. Asked Senate to speed up his hearings to fill the vacancy before the beinning of the first sessionHearings- related udges to baseball umpires- call balls and strikes, not pitch or bat. Showed an INCREDIBLE knowledge of SC precedent without notes. Senate Judiciary Committee approved (5 dissenters, including Biden), then confirmed by the full senate. Wore plain black robes instead of the gold sleeve-bars added by Rehnquist. Youngest member of the court at the timeHe is pretty consistenty conservative, traditional, Notable
  • Obama voted against Roberts’s confirmation to the SC (first time a pres was sworn in by someone whose confirmation he opposed)- didn’t go well. One of 13 Catholic justices out of 111 totalHas had seizures, but federal judges are not required to release info about healthMillionareHad to sell stock in Pfizer (so he could participate in pending cases- justices must do this)I have full access because of UM to every brief and argument he’s done if anyone wants themSnyder- picketed funeral of homosexual military victim
  • Conservative with liberatarian streak. One of the only ones who dissented in Snyder v. Phelps- protesting at funerals infringed on rights of greivingACLU opposed this formally. Thought he would nt uphold civil liberties. John kerry attempted to filibuster. Ended up barely confirming. 2nditalianamerican.
  • Longest serving. Intellectual anchor, coourt’s conservative wing. Unanimously confirmed. Strong supporter of executive branch. Asks most questionscomments, also provokes most laughter. Tight with Ginsburg- go to the opera together. Originalist.
  • Unanimous confirmation, individual cases instead of ideology. Often determines the outcome of a case. (2008- majority 92% of the time)Conservative but pro-gay, pro-choice.
  • 2ndafricanamericanConfirmations were tricky- alleged sexual assaultKnown for africanamericans being disappointed in his conservatismLikes free speech
  • 2nd female, first jewish femaleHearings- would not testify on abortion, gay rights, etc. – ginsburgprecendent
  • Consensus builder, liberal, writes in plain terms, easier to understand
  • Firsthispanic justice, from the bronxWise latina woman- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/politics/15judge.text.html?pagewanted=all
  • Reference:Court’s 5-4 decision, Citizens United v. FEC- removed legal barriers preventing corps form spending unlimited money to influence voters in political campaigns. Gives GOP a new advantage when traditionally pro-business. Obama- with all due deference to separation of powers, last week they reversed a law…will open the floodgates for special interests to spend without limits in our elections. Most agree- Obama was a bit over the top, but Aliot shouldn’t have reacted either. John Paul Stevens never attended SOTU, wanted to be impartial
  • Amici curia- voluntter to offer information to assist a court before they make a decision
  • JPS- retired, 10- now KaganSouter- retired (now Sotomayor)- turned out being left leaning, but appointed by G. Bush
  • Transcript

    • 1. IN GENERAL, DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE THAT ANINDIVIDUAL SHOULD HAVE A RIGHT TO HAVE A REGISTEREDHANDGUN AT HOME?  If you agree-  If you disagree…
    • 2. WOULD YOU FAVOR OR OPPOSE A BAN IN YOURSTATE ON ABORTIONS PERFORMED LATE IN THETERM OF A PREGNANCY (PARTIAL-BIRTH)? If you favor- If you oppose-
    • 3. DO YOU AGREE THAT CORPORATIONS SHOULD BE ABLE TO SPEND THEIR PROFITS ON TV ADS INFLUENCING VOTERS IN ELECTIONS? If you agree…If you disagree-
    • 4. SHOULD NONCITIZENS SUSPECTED OF TERRORISM ANDDETAINED IN U.S. MILITARY PRISONS BE ABLE TO CHALLENGETHEIR DETENTIONS IN THE U.S. CIVILIAN COURT SYSTEM?YES…NO…
    • 5. SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT APPLY THE DEATH PENALTY FOR A PERSON CONVICTED OF RAPING A CHILD? YES… NO....
    • 6. SHOULD A STATE BE ALLOWED TO SENTENCE TO LIFE INPRISON A PERSON UNDER 18 CONVICTED OF BURGLARY?  Yes…  No…
    • 7. THE JUDICIAL BRANCH
    • 8.  Sesame Street
    • 9. SOURCES OF AMERICAN LAW Common Law  As a way to unite the country under Norman rule, 11th century English Kings established courts.  Courts used Year Books as a way to record important decisions from year to year.  Judges used these Year Books as a guide for similar cases  This judicial process has evolved over time but is essentially the same today and is known as “common law”.
    • 10. CIVIL LAW VS. CRIMINAL LAW Laws can be classified in two ways:  Civil Law  Cases between persons or between citizens and their government  ex: business contracts  The object of these cases is to obtain compensation – usually money  Criminal Law  Deals with crimes committed against the public as a whole.  The government seeks to impose a penalty on a person suspected of violating a criminal law.  Ex: robbery of a gas station or murder
    • 11. ESTABLISHMENT OF JUDICIAL BRANCH Article III of the Constitution Marbury v. Madison  1sttime the Supreme Court declared something "unconstitutional”  Established the concept of judicial review in the U.S.  Idea that courts may oversee and nullify the actions of another branch of government  Helped define the “checks and balances of the American form of government.
    • 12. STRUCTURE OF FEDERAL COURTSYSTEM 3 Tiered  U.S. district courts  Trial courts  Testimony by each side, Jury or Judges decide on result  U.S. courts of appeals  Appellate courts (aka: circuit court of appeals)  13 appellate courts located in judicial circuits throughout the country  Do not hear testimony or examine evidence. Instead, they review the lower courts decision and determine if mistakes were made.  U.S. Supreme Court
    • 13. SUPREMECOURT Top of the Judicial Branch in the Federal Government. Final say in all matters dealing with the United States Constitution. 9 Justices on Supreme Court Justices hold office during good behavior  On the court until they die or retire
    • 14. SUPREME COURT Generally Supreme Court hears fewer than 100 cases per year How do you bring a case before the Supreme Court?  Writ of Certiorari  Order sent by Supreme to a lower court requesting record of the case in question  Remember Gideon?
    • 15. SUPREME COURT Opinions Written on Case:  Unanimous Opinion:  All of the judges agree and one opinion for court is written  Majority Opinion:  Opinion written when only most judges are in agreement  Concurring Opinion:  Written when justice wants to emphasize specific point  Dissenting Opinion:  Written when one justice disagrees with majority decision
    • 16. JOHN ROBERTS Chief Justice Appointed by George W. Bush. Took his seat on High Court on 9/25/05. Graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law Born 1/27/55 Right leaning….
    • 17. CHIEF JUSTICE DUTIES ROBERTS COURT Chancellor of the  Pretty conservative Smithsonian  Non-judicial Non-judicial  Generally seen as pro- Leads the Judicial free speech Conference of the US-  Recently challenged makes court rules  “protects speech that it likes, Gives Oath of Office at allows regulation of speech it disfavors” Presidential inaugurations  Snyder v. Phelps- ruled in favor of Westboro, Phelps (2010)
    • 18. SAMUEL ANTHONY ALITO JR. Associate Justice. Appointed by George W. Bush Took his seat on the High Court on 1/31/06. Graduate of Princeton and Yale Law. Born 4/1/50 Right leaning…
    • 19. ANTONIN SCALIA Associate Justice Appointed by Ronald Reagan. Took his seat on the High Court on 9/26/86. Graduate of Georgetown and Harvard Law. Born 3/11/36. RIGHT leaning….
    • 20. ANTHONY KENNEDY Associate Justice Appointed by Ronald Reagan. Took his seat on the High Court on 2/18/88. Graduated from Stanford and Harvard Law. Born 7/23/36. Moderate….
    • 21. CLARENCE THOMAS Associate Justice Appointed by George HW Bush. Took his seat on the High Court on 10/23/91. Graduate of Holy Cross and Yale Law Born 6/23/48. RIGHT leaning….
    • 22. RUTH BADER GINSBURG Associate Justice Appointed by William Clinton. Took her seat on the High Court on 8/10/93. Graduate of Cornell and Columbia Law. Born 3/15/33. LEFT leaning….
    • 23. STEPHEN BREYER Associate Justice. Appointed by William Clinton. Took his seat on the High Court on 8/3/94 Graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law. Born 8/15/38. LEFT leaning….
    • 24. ELENA KAGAN Associate Justice. Appointed By BarackObama. Took her seat on the High Court on 8/7/10. Graduate of Princeton, Oxford and Harvard Law. Born 4/28/60. Left leaning….
    • 25. SONIA SOTOMAYOR Associate Justice Appointed by Barack Obama Took her seat on the High Court on 9/08/2009. Graduate of Princeton and Yale Law Born 6/25/1954. Left leaning….
    • 26. RELATIONS WITH THE EXECUTIVE Obama’s 2010 SOTU  Criticized the Supreme Court  Alito seen frowning, mouthing “not true”  Roberts commented- “one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court…while the court, according to the requirements of protocal, has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling.
    • 27. AVERAGE DEMOGRAPHICS Wealthy, upper class  Not Sotomayor, Thomas Highly educated, experienced No age limit Religious differences Usually white males
    • 28. MORSE V. FREDERICK, 2007 2002: Olympic Torch Relay Alaskan 18 y.o. Joseph Frederick- BONG HITS 4 JESUS banner across the street from his high school.  HS Principal Morse suspended him 10 days Frederick- sues a civil rights lawsuit- constitutional right of free speech violated. 1. Suit dismissed by federal district court  Tinker precedent- defined student rights 2. 9th Court of Appeals reverses- said his speech rights WERE violated.  Can school regulate off-school speech? No!
    • 29.  Several groups filed amici curiae in support of Frederick (the student)  ACLU  Center for Individual Rights, National Coalition against Censorhip, Students for Sensible Drug Policy  Also some Christian right groups (if schools banned “offensive” speech they could ban religious speech if administrators disagree)
    • 30.  School board petitioned to the Supreme Court- 3. SC decides to hear the case in 2006. The school board-  School message is anti-drug Student argues-  Torch relay not school sponsored  Did not step on school property before unrolling the banner  The message was purely humorous  Did not disrupt anything.
    • 31.  Supreme Court- School officials did NOT violate 1st Amendment.  School speech should apply- his speech was at a school event  Speech promoted illegal drug use  A principal can legally restrict this speech (based on other precedents) Ruling: First Amendment does not prevent educators from suppressing student speech ad a school-supervised event that promotes illegal drug usage Lawyer: This is a case about free speech. Roberts: This is a case about money. Your client wants money from the principal personally.
    • 32.  Dissent-  Justices John Paul Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg-  Violence to the 1st Amendment  Cannot regulate speech because it refers to drugs  Cannot use censorship  Brought up legalizing marijuana  “surely our national experience with alcohol should…suggest that it would be better to tax and regulate marijuana than to persevere in a futile effort to ban its use entirely.”