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    Ch03 Ch03 Presentation Transcript

    • Authority or the Supreme Court   The law that is set forth from the Supreme Court is the law of the land, and no other judicial or political body can overrule its decisions However, the Supreme Court can overrule itself  When it reverses old case decisions  The death penalty
    • Authority or the Supreme Court   Article III of the Constitution established the Federal judiciary 1789-the Federal Judiciary Act established the Supreme Court   The number of justices have varied Since 1869 the number of justices has been set at 9
    • Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court  Has jurisdiction over 2 general types of cases:  Cases that reach it on appeal  Where the case begins in the state or federal system, the path to appeal a case is the same  Cases over which the Court has original jurisdiction (meaning that it can start at the Supreme Court)   State v. State  A state court could not remain unbiased if its state was a party to the suit Cases dealing with foreign dignitaries
    • Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court   Can hear appeals from lower state and federal courts on issues involving interpretation of the law or the applicability of the Constitution Can also hear appeals on cases dealing with treaties the US has entered into, admiralty and maritime cases or those involving public officials and political entities
    • Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court    Federal Courts do not have c a rte bla nc he Congress can limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts Congress can affect the jurisdictional authority of the federal courts by determining the types of cases they can hear
    • Judicial Review    “the power of a court to analyze decisions of other government entities and lower courts” The Supreme Court can decide which laws and lower court decisions are constitutional The Supreme Court has effectively created most of its own power and authority through the process of judicial review
    • Judicial Review  M rbury v. M d is o n (1803) a a   Fle tc he r v . Pe c k (1810)   First time the Supreme Court nullified a provision of federal law or an act of Congress, and can do so to any law that in their view (judges) violated the Constitution The Supreme Court extended its review authority beyond federal law to state laws M rtin v. Hunte r’s Le s s e e (1816) a  The Supreme Court determined that it can review and reverse state court decisions that involved federal law and constitutional issues and can review pending
    • Controversy over Judicial Review     Some say that judges have too much power They propose alternatives to judicial review Proponents of judicial review argue that there needs to be a watchdog to maintain the constitutionality of law Debate is ongoing as to who should have the final say as to what law is constitutional
    • Certiorari    The Supreme Court’s decision to review a case is almost entirely discretionary May review a case if federal appeals court request the Courts to “certify” or clarify a legal point Obligated to hear certain cases meeting the requirements for an “appeal of right”   They occur infrequently Cases heard occur through the writ of certiorari“to be informed” which cases are worthy of review on the basis of their national importance
    • Certiorari   Any case that doesn't not have at least one justice expressing interest in it is summarily denied This accounts for 70% of cases submitted    Current dockets show 10,000 petitions filed every year Formal written opinions are delivered by the Supreme Court in approximately 80-90 cases each year 4 out of the 9 justices must vote in favor of granting certiorari for a case to be accepted for review
    • Supreme Court Justices    1 chief justice and 8 associate justices Nominated by the President (big responsibility) and confirmed by the Senate Lifetime appointment   Their jobs can never be held over their head Can be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors  Complex process and has only happened once in history (Samuel Chase)
    • Supreme Court Justices  Can be either Liberal or Conservative   Liberal- decision are pro-person accused or convicted of a crime, pro-civil liberties or civil rights, pro-Native American and antigovernment Conservative- favor governments interest in prosecuting and punishing offenders over recognition or expansion of rights for individuals
    • The Current Supreme Court  The Warren Court   The Burger Court   1969-1986, also considered liberal The Rehnquist Court   1953-1969, Liberal by majority 1986-2005, more conservative stance The Roberts’ Court  2005-present, conservative in makeup but will see how the justices rule on important issues   Affordable Health Care Act Affirmative Action programs
    • Politics and the Supreme Court     The Supreme Court is a political body This is why the Constitution gives the power of appointing justices to the President But once appointed, the justices are not accountable to anyone Politics may have helped them get their job but this is where it ends
    • Public Attitudes Toward the Supreme Court  For the past 30 years the public has had a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court
    • Public Attitudes Toward the Supreme Court  They have also expressed a confidence in the Court over the past decades
    • Traditions and Procedures    Court conduct business on a traditional manner Begins on the 1st Monday of October, continuing until June of July Terms are made up of sittings, when cases are heard, and recesses, considers administrative matters at hand and justices write their opinions
    • Opinions  “A written statement by a judge providing a description of the facts; a statement of the legal issues presented for decision, the relevant rules of law, the holding and the policies and reasons that support the holding.”
    • Opinions  Chief justice assigns the writing of an opinion if voting with the majority   Otherwise it is the most senior member of the majority vote who assigns this This opinion can be either:    Concurring opinion- agreeing with the majority Dissenting opinion- disagreeing with the majority and the reasons underlying the disagreement Any justice is free to write an opinion even if not assigned
    • Interpretations  By rendering decisions the Justices are interpreting the Constitution  Strict Construction A rigid interpretation of a law not likely to expand the specifically set forth law of the particular statute, particularly in expanding the intent of the law
    • Where Supreme Court Decisions May Be Found   The news media provides information about Supreme Court decisions because few people actually read full decisions Full decisions can be found in:      Newspapers Newscasts ABA Internet Westlaw
    • The Power of the Supreme Court     The Supreme Court is tremendously powerful It has been permitted to actually create much of its own immense authority Interpretation, application and review of the law gives the Supreme Court tremendous power Ultimately the policies and procedures by which the Supreme Court operates reflects how the legal system all comes together
    • The Power of the Supreme Court   The Supreme Court does not posses total control over the American legal system Congress still promulgates law   President can still veto The power of the President can appoint Justices  Congress must endorse