The Judicial Branch | The US Supreme Court

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  • Welcome
  • The Judicial Branch | The US Supreme Court

    1. 1. GOV4AThe Government of the USScott Thomas | May 2013
    2. 2. Exam success isnot a lottery!Know yourtermsKnow theArticlesKnow theExamples
    3. 3. Session 2The Judicial Branch ofthe US
    4. 4. The Judicial BranchConstitutional RolePower of Judicial ReviewAppointmentsPolitical SignificanceProtection of Citizen’s RightsRelationship with OtherBranches
    5. 5. Supreme Court & The ConstitutionJudicial Branch is Article ThreeSection 1 sets theSupreme Court out asthe only Judicial PowerNo provision for numberof Supreme Court justicesNo mention of JudicialActivismCongress can ‘ordain andestablish’ new courtsJudges shall hold theiroffice for life in ‘goodbehaviour’
    6. 6. Structure of Federal CourtsSupreme Court sits at thetop of the Federal CourtsystemCourt rejects 96% of theCases brought to itLower courts hearmajority of casesUnited States Supreme CourtUS Court of AppealsUS Court of Appeals1 Court – 9 Justices1 in each of 11 circuits1 in DC1 Federal Circuit1 in each 94 districts
    7. 7. Membership of the Supreme Court8 Associate Justices1 Chief JusticeAll have an ideological stanceNumber is set by CongressFDR threatened to ‘pack the court’ when theycontinually struck down New Deal legislationLife tenure in good behaviour
    8. 8. Justice Date Appointed Sitting President Ideological BalanceChief JusticeJohn Roberts2005 George W Bush (R) Right LeaningAssociate JusticesAntonin Scalia 1986 Ronald Reagan (R) Right LeaningAnthony Kennedy 1988 Ronald Reagan (R) Swing VoteClarence Thomas 1991 George H W Bush (R) Right LeaningRuth Bader Ginsburg 1993 William J Clinton (D) Left LeaningStephen Breyer 1994 William J Clinton (D) Left LeaningSamuel Alito 2005 George W Bush (R) Right LeaningSonia Sotomayor 2009 Barack H Obama (D) Left LeaningElena Kagan 2010 Barack H Obama (D) Left LeaningMembership of the Supreme Court
    9. 9. The Roberts CourtJohn RobertsAntonin Scalia AnthonyKennedyClarenceThomasRuth BaderGinsburgStephenBreyerSamuel Alito SoniaSotomayorElena Kagan
    10. 10. Left RightThe Ideology of the Roberts CourtJohn RobertsAntonin ScaliaAnthonyKennedyClarenceThomasRuth BaderGinsburgStephenBreyerSamuel AlitoSoniaSotomayor Elena KaganSWING VOTE
    11. 11. Judicial PhilosophyPresident’s often want to appoint Justices thatfit their own ideological imageReagan: Bork, ScaliaObama: Sotomayor, KaganJustices are often seen as ‘conservatives’ or‘liberals’There are more classifications
    12. 12. ConstructionistStrict ConstructionistInterprets the Constitution in a literal or ‘strict’ way, look atthe original intent of the Founding Fathers. Favour Statesrights over Federal Government. Tend to be labelled as‘conservatives’Loose ConstructionistInterprets the Constitution in a loose way, in which they‘read between the lines’. They look at the context of theissue and the constitution. Favour federal government powerover that of states power and rights. Tend be labelled as‘liberals’
    13. 13. Activism and RestraintJudicial ActivismJustices should use their position to promote desirable socialends. Activist courts have a large docketJudicial RestraintJustices should not ‘legislate’ from the bench, leaving this tothe legislature and executive. Greater stress should beplaced upon the precedent set by previous courts.Restrained courts have a smaller docket
    14. 14. Appointments ProcessVacancyOccursSearch isInstigatedFBIBackgroundChecksSenatehearings andconfirmationDeath, Retirement or ImpeachmentAdvice sought from:• Advisors• Congress• Professional BodiesNominees can comefrom:• Lower Courts• Executive BranchLegislative Branch• AcademiaFBI Checks andinterview with thePresident. ABA givesan informal ratingClarence Thomas isthe last nominee toreceive lower thanperfectSJC holds hearings forthe candidateSometimes candidateswithdraw if hearing isbadVote on the floor. Ifcommittee rulesagainst, Senatetypically will
    15. 15. Notable AppointmentsEarl WarrenAppointed byEisenhower whosaid it was thebiggest god dammistake of his lifeRobert BorkReagan’scontroversialnomination, thesubject of anegative adcampaign. Failedto confirmDavid SouterAppointed byGeorge H W Bushhe has turned outto be one of themost liberalmembers of theCourt
    16. 16. Why is this important?Presidents seek to leave alegacy in the courtOne of their ideologicalpersuasionThe Court will outlive thePresidencyExamples:Reagan & George H W Bushplaced right leaning judges onthe Court – Bush v Gore 2000?
    17. 17. Judicial ReviewNo constitutional basis for this powerFound in Marbury v Madison 1803Allowed the Court to rule:• Acts of Congress• Executive Actions• State LawUNCOSTITUTIONAL
    18. 18. The Courts you Need to KnowYear Court Year Court Year Court Year Court1953WarrenCourt1968WarrenCourt1983BurgerCourt1998RehnquistCourt1954 1969 1984 19991955 1970BurgerCourt1985 20001956 1971 1986RehnquistCourt20011957 1972 1987 20021958 1973 1988 20031959 1974 1989 20041960 1975 1990 2005RobertsCourt1961 1976 1991 20061962 1977 1992 20071963 1978 1993 20081964 1979 1994 20091965 1980 1995 20101966 1981 1996 20111967 1982 1997 2012
    19. 19. Plessy v Ferguson 1856Upheld segregation asconstitutional with thereference to separate butequalArose from the LouisianaSeparate Car Act for Railcarriages
    20. 20. Brown v Board of Education 1953This case overturns Plessy v Ferguson1896Established that separate wasinherently unequal in the provisionof facilitiesPaved the way for integrationRuled on through the EqualProtection Clause of the 14thAmendmentWARREN
    21. 21. Mapp v Ohio 1961Ruled that evidence obtained in the violation ofthe Fourth Amendment cannot be used in courtArose from a dispute in Ohio which police didn’thave a warrant and found large amounts ofpornographyWARREN
    22. 22. Engel v Vitale 1962Ruled that it is unconstitutionalfor school prayers in publicschoolsThis violates the FirstAmendmentThis was the basis for more casessuch as Wallace v Jaffree whichbanned meditation in AlabamaWARREN
    23. 23. Gideon v Wainwright 1963Under the Sixth Amendmentright to counsel is afundamental rightStates must provide defencecounsel should the defendantbe unable to afford itWARREN
    24. 24. Griswold v Connecticut 1965Protected the right to PrivacyConnecticut law prohibited theuse of contraceptionSupreme court ruled that itviolated the right to maritalprivacyDoes the constitution provide for aright to privacy specifically?WARREN
    25. 25. Miranda v Arizona 1966Ruled that the accused mustbe read their legal rights priorto questioning by the policeBasis is the fifth amendmentwhich protects against SelfIncriminationWARREN
    26. 26. Roe v Wade 1973Ruled that abortion was legalin the first trimesterFound on the right to Privacyunder the due process clauseof the 14th AmendmentTexas law made it illegal toassist a woman to get anabortionIs this legislating from the Bench?BURGER
    27. 27. United States v Nixon 1974Ruled that no person not eventhe President is completelyabove the lawAlso ruled that the Presidentcannot use executive privilegeas an excuse to withholdevidence in criminal trialsStarted the ball rolling on NixonImpeachmentBURGER
    28. 28. Planned Parenthood v Casey 1992Rules on abortion inPennsylvania were challengedThe court upheld the right toan abortion but ruled that 1out of 5 restrictions wasunconstitutionalPennsylvania State made patients go through many‘hoops’ before an abortionREHNQUIST
    29. 29. Clinton v City of New York 1998Ruled that the Line Item Vetofrom the Line Item Veto Act of1996 was unconstitutional as itgave the President power toamend legislation duly passedby Congress43 States give Governorsthe power of Line Item VetoLine Item Bill appeared in theHouse in Feb 2012REHNQUIST
    30. 30. George W Bush v Albert Gore 2000Votes in Florida were closeSupreme Court ruled thatmanually recounting a precinctwas wrong and the entire statemust be recountedProper recounting by deadlineof Dec 12 would beunconstitutionalDecision handed down on Dec 11REHNQUIST
    31. 31. Gonzales v Carhart 2007Court upheld the Partial-BirthAbortion Ban of 2003It did not impose a burden onthe ability to have an abortionas presented under Roe VWade and Planned Parenthoodv CaseyShown as a turning in theconservatism of the Roberts CourtROBERTS
    32. 32. National Federation of IndependentBusiness v Sebelius 2012Court upheld Affordable CareAct requiring Americans topurchase Health Insurance by2014Roberts ruled that a mandateto buy insurance was anexercise of Congress’ power tocollect taxesROBERTS
    33. 33. Case VisualisationYear Case Year Case Year Case Year Case1953 Brown v BoE 1968 1983 1998 Clinton v NY1954 1969 1984 19991955 1970 1985 2000 Bush V Gore1956 1971 1986 20011957 1972 1987 20021958 1973 Roe v Wade 1988 20031959 1974 US v Nixon 1989 20041960 1975 1990 20051961 Mapp v Ohio 1976 1991 20061962 Engel v Vitale 1977 1992 PP v Casey 2007 Gonzales v Car1963 Gideon v Wain 1978 1993 20081964 1979 1994 20091965 Griswold v CT 1980 1995 20101966 Miranda v AZ 1981 1996 20111967 1982 1997 2012 NFIB v Sebelius
    34. 34. Hollingsworth v Perry 2013California’s Prop 8 Case:CSC ruled Same Sex Marriagelegal in 2008Prop 8 Banned themOpponents are seeking a courtordered expansion oftraditional marriage Case is on-going – May appearbefore the CourtROBERTS
    35. 35. Judicial Synoptic Links UK Judiciary are far less partisan and far less powerful Appointments go through Judicial AppointmentsCommission rather than Senate or ParliamentaryHearings Parliamentary Sovereignty undermines UKs judicialpower Can’t rule on constitutionality but only make adeclaration of incompatibility Judges must retire at aged 70
    36. 36. Exam success isnot a lottery!Know yourtermsKnow theArticlesKnow theExamples
    37. 37. Answer the question, the wholequestion and nothing but thequestion

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