The Supremes


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The Supremes

  1. 1. Judicial review is the right of the Supreme Court to determine a law or action unconstitutional. Judicial review has been used about 160 times against national (federal) laws.
  2. 2. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was found to be unconstitutional on 2nd Amendment grounds.
  3. 3. The national Violence Against Women Act was found unconstitutional on federalism grounds. (Of course, states can still prosecute.)
  4. 4. The Supreme Court recently ruled in the Citizens United case that corporations can donate to campaigns directly.
  5. 5. So… if the Supreme Court has the “final say,” who or what checks the Courts? How is their power limited?
  6. 6. Congress can delay confirmation of judicial nominees Ex: Judiciary Committee wouldn’t pass Bush’s first Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers. I’D LIKE TO SEE YOU IN A (JUDICIAL) ROBE.
  7. 7. Limiting the courts ability to hear certain kinds of cases (topics) Proposing amendments: reason for the 16th Amendment!
  8. 8. Precedent means judges use past cases to help make their decision. Remember: “pre” is what comes before
  9. 9. Judges can interpret the Constitution two main ways… Judicial restraint → consider what the  original meaning of the Constitution is. •Example: free speech Judicial activism  → using current  values to make law. •Example: segregation, slavery
  10. 10. Congress can decide how many Justices Currently 9 on the court… 1 African-American 2 Hispanics 2 women oldest (Stevens) is 89, youngest (Roberts) is 53
  11. 11. Cases come from two sources: Original Jurisdiction – very rare “all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party.” Article III, Section 2 For example, if there is insufficient river water in Western Kansas, Kansas will bring suit against Colorado.
  12. 12. Cases come from two sources: Appellate Jurisdiction cases must show it raises a federal question & have exhausted appeals most appeals are denied (they decide less than 100 out of 8,000 appeals a year)
  13. 13. 1. Rule of 4: 4 Justices must agree to hear the case 2. Case placed on docket (schedule) 3. Briefs are submitted 4. Oral Arguments 30 minutes per side – Justices can question at any time 5. Conference Super-secret meetings on Wednesdays and Fridays Chief presents each case and each justice announces his/her vote. The judgment remains a secret until the opinions are published (often months later).
  14. 14. Majority opinion of court states decisions explains reasons Concurring opinion agrees with the majority, but for different reasons Dissenting opinion disagrees with majority