Chapter 11

  1. Judicial Review
    The power of a court to refuse to enforce a law or govt. regulation that in the opinion of the judges conflicts with the U.S. Constitution or, in a state court, the state constitution.
  2. Adversary System
    A judicial system in which the court of law is a neutral arena where two parties argue their differences.
  3. Criminal Law
    A law that defines crimes against the public order.
  4. Civil Law
    A law that governs relationships between individuals and defines their legal rights.
  5. Defendant
    Ina criminal action, the person or party accused of an offense.
  6. Plea Bargain
    An agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser offense to avoid having to stand trial for a more serious offense.
  7. Justiciable Dispute
    A dispute growing out of an actual case or controversy that is capable of settlement by legal methods.
  8. Plaintiff
    The party instigating a civil lawsuit.
  9. Solicitor General
    The third-ranking official in the Department of Justice who is responsible for representing the United States in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  10. Public Defender System
    An arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys.
  11. Original Jurisdiction
    The authority of a court to hear a case "in the first instance."
  12. Appellate Jurisdiction
    The authority of a court to review decisions made by lower courts.
  13. Court of Appeals
    A court with appellate jurisdiction that heats appeals from the decisions of lower courts.
  14. Precedent
    A decision made by a higher court such as a circuit court of appeals or the Supreme Court that is binding on all other federal courts.
  15. Senatorial Courtesy
    The presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
  16. Judicial Activism
    A philosophy proposing that judges should strike down laws that are inconsistent with norms and values stated or implied in the Constitution.
  17. Judicial Restraint
    A philosophy proposing that judges should strike down the actions of the elected branches only if they clearly violate the literal meaning of the Constitution.
  18. Writ of Certiorari
    A formal writ used to bring a case before the Supreme Court.
  19. In Forma Pauperis
    A petition that allows a party to file "as a pauper" and avoid paying court fees.
  20. Docket
    The list of potential cases that reach the Supreme Court.
  21. Amicus Curiae Brief
    Literally, a "friend of the court" brief, filed by an individual or organization to present arguments in addition to those presented by the immediate parties to a case.
  22. Opinion of the Court
    An explanation of a decision of the Supreme Court or any other appellate court.
  23. Dissenting Opinion
    An opinion disagreeing with the majority in a Supreme Court ruling.
  24. Concurring Opinion
    An opinion that agrees with the majority in a Supreme Court ruling but differs on the reasoning.
  25. Stare Decisis
    The rule of precedent, whereby a rule or law contained in a judicial decision is commonly viewed as binding on judges whenever the same question is presented.
Card Set
Chapter 11