Chapter 12

  1. Case
    A controversy to be decided by a court
  2. Criminal case
    Judicial proceedings the government begins against individuals following commission of a crime
  3. Crime
    A public wrong; an offense, such as murder, against society at large—even though it may have been committed against only a single individual
  4. Civil case
    Noncriminal legal action, such as divorces or attempts to recover damages following an automobile accident
  5. State courts
    Courts of the 50 states, as opposed to the federal or national courts
  6. Federal courts
    The courts of the United States, as distinguished from the courts of the 50 states
  7. Jurisdiction
    Authority of a court or other agency to act
  8. Courts of limited jurisdiction
    The lowers-level court in a state’s judicial system that hears particular kinds of case involving small claims, traffic violations, and minor criminal infractions
  9. Courts of general jurisdiction
    The basic unit of a court system, receiving appeals from courts of limited jurisdiction and serving as trial courts for serious criminal offenses and civil suits involving substantial amounts of money
  10. Intermediate appellate courts
    Courts between courts of general jurisdiction and the court of last resort; in the federal court system, the courts of appeals
  11. Court of last resort
    The highest court within a particular judicial system, such as a state supreme court, to which a litigant may appeal a case
  12. Missouri Plan
    Method of selecting state judges, involving appointment from a list of recommended nominees and a later retention vote by the electorate
  13. United States
    Trial courts in the federal court system in which almost al federal cases begin; courts of general jurisdiction
  14. United States courts of appeals
    Intermediate appellate courts in the federal court system, just below the Supreme Court
  15. Appellate jurisdiction
    Includes cases a court receives from lower courts—Congress defines the appellate jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court
  16. Federal question
    An issue that involves the interpretation of the Constitution or a statue or a treaty of the United States
  17. Rule of four
    Procedure of the U.S. Supreme Court by which the affirmative votes of four justices are needed to accept a case for decision
  18. Original jurisdiction
    Authority of a court over cases that begin in that court, such as courts of general jurisdiction have original jurisdiction over most criminal offenses—the original jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court is very small
  19. 11th Amendment
    The first reversal of a Supreme Court decision (Chisholm vs. Georgia) by constitutional amendment, denying federal courts jurisdiction in suits against a state brought by citizens of another state or foreign country
  20. Senatorial courtesy
    Custom in the Senate to reject, for federal office, a nominee who is unacceptable to a senator from the nominee’s state when the senator and president are of the same party
  21. Judicial review
    The authority of courts to set aside a legislative act as being in violation of the Constitution
  22. Legislative intent
    A legislature’s understanding of the meaning of a law and what it is designed to accomplish
  23. Trial court
    A court of limited or general jurisdiction in which the disputed facts of a case are heard and decided
  24. Briefs
    Documents filed with a court containing the argument of the parties to a case
  25. Amici curiae
    Latin for “friend of the court,” referring to persons, government agencies, or groups that are not parties to a case but nonetheless have an interest in its outcome and that make their views known by filing an amicus curiae brief with the court hearing the case
  26. Solicitor General of the United States
    In the Supreme Court the lawyer for the United States who decides which cases the government will appeal to the Supreme Court
  27. Oral argument
    Stage in which which opposing counsel verbally present their views to the court during the decision-making process of a court
  28. Opinion of the court
    Statement representing the views of a majority of the judges of a court
  29. Concurring opinion
    A statement issued separately by a judge voting with the majority
  30. Dissenting opinion
    A statement issues by a judge explaining his or her disagreement with the majority position
  31. United States Reports
    The officially published decisions of the United States Supreme Court
  32. Judicial activists
    Judges who are least hesitant to invoke judicial review to strike down an act of Congress or of a state legislature
  33. Judicial restraintists
    Judges who are reluctant to invoke judicial review to strike down an act of Congress or of a state legislature
  34. Precedents
    Prior decisions of courts; cited as authority by other courts
  35. Stare decisis
    A legal doctrine that suggests courts should follow precedent as a general rule, breaking with previously legal principles only on rare occasions
Card Set
Chapter 12
govt 2305 chapter 12 words