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PS 101 The Federal Judiciary Summer 2008


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PS 101 The Federal Judiciary Summer 2008

  1. 1. The Federal Judiciary Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  2. 2. How Does One Become a Federal Judge?
  3. 3. Judiciary Act of 1789
  4. 4. U.S. Supreme Court (1) Appellate Courts or U.S. Courts of Appeals (13) Trial Courts or U.S. District Courts (94)
  5. 5. “Specialty Courts”
  6. 6. Jurisdiction A court’s authority to hear cases of a particular type.
  7. 7. US Federal Courts may hear cases involving:  Cases involving the  Disputes between a state Constitution, federal statutes and citizens of another and treaties. state.  Ambassadors, other public  Disputes between citizens ministers and consuls. of different states.  Admiralty and maritime  Disputes between states issues. (or their citizens) and  Controversies to which the foreign states (or their US government is a party. citizens).  Disputes between two or more states.
  8. 8. Trial (District) Courts
  9. 9. Original Jurisdiction the authority to be the first court to hear a case.
  10. 10. Criminal Law Deals with offenses against society as a whole.
  11. 11. Civil Law Regulates obligations between individuals, individuals and government, & individuals and corporations.
  12. 12. Appellate Courts
  13. 13. Appellate Jurisdiction the authority to hear cases on appeal from lower courts.
  14. 14. Appellate Courts vs. Trial Courts • Appellate courts do not hear new cases, just cases on appeal from federal trial courts. • Appeals are based on legal issues rather than questions of factual material. • Do not accept new evidence or hear additional witnesses. • Restrict their review to points of law under dispute.
  15. 15. Most appeals courts decisions are final.
  16. 16. Precedent A judicial decision that serves as a rule for settling subsequent cases of a similar nature.
  17. 17. Stare Decisis Doctrine of closely following precedent as the basis for legal reasoning.
  18. 18. Supreme Court of the United States
  19. 19. Congress and the Supreme Court
  20. 20. “I’m going to take this all the way to the Supreme Court!”
  21. 21. Writ of Certiorari Order from the Court to lower courts demanding that they send up a complete record of a case.
  22. 22. The “Rule of Four”
  23. 23. Oral Arguments
  24. 24. Amicus Curiae briefs “Friend of the Court”
  25. 25. Written Opinions
  26. 26. Majority Opinion (aka the “opinion of the court”) Statement of the legal reasoning that supports the decision of the majority of the court.
  27. 27. Concurring Opinion Opinion of a justice or justices who support the majority decision but have different legal reasons for doing so.
  28. 28. Dissenting Opinion The reasoning of the minority, explaining their dissent.
  29. 29. Remanding to a lower court
  30. 30. Judicial Review the power of the Court to rule on the constitutionality of state, federal laws and executive actions.
  31. 31. Marbury v. Madison (1803)