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  1. 1. Judiciary<br />
  2. 2. The Constitution<br />Vague in regards to the courts<br />Only the Supreme Court is mentioned<br />“The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”<br />How did we get federal courts?<br />
  3. 3. Basic Structure<br />District Courts<br />Appellate Courts<br />Supreme Court<br />
  4. 4. Specialty Court<br />“Legislative Courts”<br />Highly specialized<br />US Claims Court<br />US Court of International Trade<br />US Court of Military Appeals<br />
  5. 5. District Courts<br />94 Total<br />Only federal court with a jury<br />Original jurisdiction<br />Criminal and Civil Cases<br />~80% are civil cases<br />
  6. 6. Codes<br />Civil<br />Criminal<br />What is the difference?<br />
  7. 7. Civil Law<br />Copyright 2006 Prentice Hall<br />
  8. 8. http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2010/924.html<br />
  9. 9. Criminal Law<br />
  10. 10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1147246.stm<br />
  11. 11. Circuit Court of Appeals<br />Jurisdiction?<br />Question of legality, not fact<br />3-Judge panel receives briefs, hears oral arguments<br />Decision usually binding<br />
  12. 12. Appellate Courts<br />The 11 Numbered U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals<br />
  13. 13. Procedures<br />Panel reviews evidence<br />Decisions lead to precedent<br />A judicial decision that serves as a rule for settling subsequent cases of a similar nature<br />
  14. 14. Stare Decisis<br />“stand by decisions”<br />The foundation of our legal system<br />Allows citizens to know what is expected, without a law for every possible activity<br />
  15. 15. Supreme Court<br />
  16. 16. United States Supreme Court<br />The Supreme Court is the final arbitrator for matters concerning federal laws and the U.S. Constitution<br />
  17. 17. Supreme Court<br />Currently 9 Justices<br />Set by Congress<br />8 Associate Justices, 1 Chief Justice<br />
  18. 18. Jurisdiction<br />Congress determines appellate jurisdiction<br />Once forced by law to review all necessary cases<br />27 million criminal and civil cases per year in US; Supreme Court hears ~80<br />
  19. 19. Writ of Certiorari<br />“Certs” for short<br />An order from the Court to lower courts demanding they send a case’s records<br />The court has agreed to CONSIDER the case<br />8000-9000 cert petitions per year<br />
  20. 20. Granting a Cert<br />“Rule of Four”<br />4 Justices must rule in favor of a cert<br />If denied, the lower court’s ruling stands<br />More likely to be granted if 2 lower courts have reached opposite conclusions<br />
  21. 21. After the Cert<br />Legal briefs are invited and submitted<br />Amicus Curiae<br />“friends of the court”<br />Plenary Session<br />Open to the public<br />
  22. 22. Plenary Session<br />All 9 Justices Present<br />Oral arguments (30 min. each side)<br />Justice William O. Douglas<br />“This lawyer was done twenty minutes ago, but he didn’t know it.”<br />
  23. 23. Deliberation<br />Justices discuss the case<br />Closed doors<br />Each side states position<br />Position is not final until it is made public<br />
  24. 24. Written Opinion<br />“Majority Opinion” or “Opinion of the Court”<br />Gives legal reasoning for the decision<br />Senior Member or Chief Justice assigns a member to write<br />
  25. 25. Concurring Opinion<br />Provides an alternative legal reasoning, even if a Justice voted in the majority<br />Sometimes all will write their own opinion<br />
  26. 26. Dissenting Opinion<br />The Reasoning of the Minority<br />
  27. 27. Remanding<br />Decision sent to the lower court<br />The lower court carries out the decision<br />
  28. 28. Eligibility<br />Nominated by the President<br />Confirmed by the Senate<br />Qualifications<br />Constitution is vague<br />Hold office “during good behavior”<br />Retirement, death, impeachment<br />
  29. 29. Politics<br />Politics often influences nomination and confirmation<br />Harriet Miers<br />
  30. 30. The Constitutional Court<br />Article III<br />Nothing on qualifications<br />Vague on Powers<br />Vague on Duties<br />Judicial Review is implicit<br />
  31. 31. Judicial Review<br />The power of the Court to rule on the constitutionality of state, federal, and executive actions<br />THE role of the Court<br />Was this intended???<br />
  32. 32. Judicial Review???<br />Jefferson & Madison<br />Congress and the President knew the intent of their laws; they should decide<br />Hamilton<br />Judicial Review needed as a check<br />Do not assume leaders will act constitutionally<br />Judiciary free from political, popular pressures; know the document best<br />
  33. 33. Marbury v. Madison (1803)<br />THE MOST IMPORTANT SUPREME COURT DECISION<br />EVER!<br />
  34. 34. Background<br />Adams loses to Jefferson in election of 1800<br />Federalists also lose both Houses<br />Federalists stacked the courts<br />Appointments were never delivered<br />
  35. 35. Jefferson takes Over<br />Finds appointments, refuses to deliver commissions<br />William Marbury, a would-be appointee, sues<br />Requested a Writ of Mandamus<br />
  36. 36. Writ of Mandamus<br />A court order compelling a public official to act<br />
  37. 37. Marshall<br />Was Secretary of State under President Adams<br />Was now the Chief Justice under Jefferson<br />James Madison was the current Secretary of State<br />
  38. 38. Marshall’s Dilemma<br />The Court would surely favor Marbury<br />What if Madison refused to comply?<br />Court would have impotence precedent<br />If it favored Madison, it would be disregarding the law<br />
  39. 39. Marshall’s Solution<br />Sided with Jefferson/Madison<br />Marbury was entitled to his commission<br />Madison broke the law in not delivering<br />How pro-Jefferson?<br />The court ruled Writs of Mandamus violated the Constitution<br />Had no power to compel Madison, and did not have jurisdiction on the case<br />
  40. 40. Reasoning<br />Marbury was entitled to his commission<br />Court did not have power to issue a Writ of Mandamus to the Secretary of State<br />
  41. 41. The Court Wins<br />Court seen as benevolent<br />Judicial Review is established<br />
  42. 42. Judicial Review<br />Not used often<br />~100 times total<br />Over 1000 local and states laws have been overturned<br />
  43. 43. Democratic?<br />The Court is not accountable to the people, but can void the actions of those who are<br />Acts as a check for minority rights<br />
  44. 44. Federal Judges’ Protected Tenure<br />Federal judges can only be removed from office by impeachment by Congress if they commit a crime<br />How does this lack of accountability shape their decisions?<br />
  45. 45. Judicial Selection in the States<br />Partisan elections<br />Nonpartisan elections<br />Merit selection<br />Gubernatorial or legislative appointment<br />