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Judicial branch


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Judicial branch

  1. 1. Judicial Branch Chapter 7
  2. 2. Focus
  3. 3. Agenda What does justice mean and how do the courts secure it for US citizens? Sources of law The three levels of the federal court system Key Supreme Court cases impacting US history.
  4. 4. •The Judicial Branch Equal Justice Under the Law - Laws exist to protect people and promote the common good for all. The Three P’s 1.– Person 2.– Property 3.– Privacy
  5. 5. Criminal law - refers to a group of laws that define what acts are crimes 1. Crime is any behavior that is illegal. a.Murder b.Assault c.Drunk Driving d.– _____________ e.– _____________
  6. 6. CIVIL LAW - refers to disputes between two people – Think 7th Amendment from BILL OF RIGHTS Contract disputes Property boundaries Divorce
  7. 7. Sources of Law Statutory Law - Laws passed by Lawmaking Bodies - Congress, State Government, Local Governments, etc. - Common Law – Laws based on previously decided court cases (These serve as PRECEDENT and the judge uses those prior ruling to help decide his case), traditions, and common sense - Administrative Law – Laws created by government agencies for businesses and corporations to follow – Think REGULATORY COMMISSIONS from last chapter 1.FDA 2.CPSA 3.EPA - Constitutional Law – Laws outlined in the Constitution **** THIS IS THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND****
  8. 8. Rights of Citizens - Regardless of what type of law is broken, the accused is guaranteed rights afforded in the Constitution 1.DUE Process 2.JURY Trial 3.SPEEDY AND FAIR Trial 4.Representation or right to an attorney 5.If found guilty - Freedom from Cruel and UNUSUAL punishment 6.Etc.
  9. 9. Federal Court System – There are 3 levels. US District Courts •District Courts are the lowest court but they have ORIGINAL JURISDICTION or the authority to hear and decide a case for the first time. •There are 94 District Courts in the US w/ at least 1 in every state and D.C. (Pittsburgh, Scranton, Philadelphia) •Run by District Judges who are trial judges for both criminal and civil cases. They are appointed by the PRESIDENT for LIFE.
  10. 10. US Court of APPEALS •If the losing side in the US District Court appeals or challenges the results, the case is taken to the court of appeals. They have APPELLATE JURISDICTION - authority to hear appeals. •The 94 District Courts are divided into 13 sections or CIRCUITS (PA, NJ, DE). Each circuit has its own Appellate Court (3rd Circuit Court is in Philadelphia) •Judges are appointed for LIFE, but they do not hear trials. Rather, they examine case and rule if the original ruling was CONSTITUTIONAL OR NOT. •Majority vote says ruling upheld (no change) or they can send it back to District Court for a new trial.
  11. 11. US Supreme Court -The HIGHEST Court in the land. •Located in Washington D.C., it is mainly an appeals court for both individuals and states. It also rules on the constitutionality of acts of CONGRESS and the PRESIDENT. •The decision of the ****9***** Justices is final. The head or lead justice is called the CHIEF Justice. •JUDICIAL REVIEW - Ruling on whether laws are constitutional or not * Established through MARBURY VS. MADISON i. History – Outgoing president John Adams tried to appoint as many judges as possible before being replaced by Thomas Jefferson. New Sec. of State Madison refused this. Marbury, a newly appointed judge, sued saying the Judiciary Act of 1789 gave the Supreme Court the power to force Madison to give him the job. Chief Justice Marshall ruled that the Judiciary Act (an act of Congress) was unconstitutional and Marbury could not get is appointment.
  12. 12. •Choosing cases. a. Although over 7000 cases are filed with the Supreme Court each year only 150 +/ or so are actually heard. b. FOUR OUT OF NINE or 4/9 Justices must vote to hear a case. (Rule of Four) c. They can refuse altogether or remand – return the case to a lower court.
  13. 13. •Hearing and deciding cases a. Only ORAL arguments are presented. b. Lawyers have 30 minutes to present c. Decisions are made by simple majority d. OPINIONS are given to explain why the court has deliberated or decided the way it has i. MAJORITY OPINION - One justice writes as to why the majority agreed ii. Concurring opinion written if a justice votes with majority but for a different reason. iii. DISSENTING OPINION - Why the minority disagreed with the majority iv. Neither has any real effect but it can later be used if court rehears the case.
  14. 14. *** Dissenting opinion in Plessey v. Ferguson impacting concurring opinion in Brown v. Board of Ed. •Why important 1.As a whole the actions of the Supreme Court are used to strengthen the rights of citizens. a.Brown v. Board of Education