Ch 18

  1. the lower federal courts beneath the Supreme Court
    Inferior Courts
  2. the authority of a court to try and decide a case
  3. when federal and state courts both have the power to hear a case
    Concurrent Jurisdiction
  4. the person who files a lawsuit
  5. the person against whom a legal complaint is made
  6. the power held by the first court to hear a case
    Original Jurisdiction
  7. the power to hear a case on appeal from the court with original jurisdiction
    Appellate Jurisdiction
  8. the philosophy that judges should decide cases based on the original intent of the lawmakers and on precedent
    Judicial Restraint
  9. prior judicial decisions that guide rulings on similar cases
  10. the philosophy that judges should also take to current social conditions into account when deciding cases
    Judicial Activism
  11. What are the structure and function of the national judiciary?
    • -made up of the Supreme Court and the inferior courts, which include special courts and the more numerous constitutional courts
    • -hears cases involving federal law and interstate caes, also interprets the constitutionality of laws
  12. Origins of the Judiciary
    • -constitution created the Supreme Court
    • -Article III gives Congress the power to create the rest of the federal court system, which it did in 1789
    • -states each have their own court systems that exist side-by-side with the federal courtsmost cases tried each year are heard by state courts
  13. Types of Federal Courts
    • Congress Created the inferior courts
    • -Constitutional Courts
    • -Special Courts
  14. exercise the judicial power of the United States and hear a wide range of cases dealing with federal laws
    Constitutional Courts
  15. hear specific types of cases related to the expressed powers of Congress
    Special Courts
  16. Federal Courts
    • -hear cases based upon subject matter or the parties involved in the cases (usually try cases that only they have authority to hear)
    • -can hear any case whose subject matter involves the interpretation and application of provisions in the Constitution or in a federal law or treaty
  17. What parties must bring their cases to federal court?
    • -the United States or its officers and agencies
    • -an official representative of a foreign government
    • -one of the 50 states suing another state, a resident of another state, or a foreign government
    • - a U.S. citizen suing a citizen of another state or a foreign government or citizen
  18. Types of Jurisdiction
    • -cases with concurrent jurisdiction can be tried in either a federal or state court
    • -the court in which a case is first heard has original jurisdiction for that case
    • -a court with appellate jurisdiction rules on cases that were first tried in other courts (appellate courts review these cases to ensure that the law was correctly applied. they can uphold or overturn earlier decisions)
  19. Scenario: Citizen M robs a bank in California
  20. Scenario: Citizen X of MIchigan sues Citizen Y of Massachusetts for $80,000 in damages caused as the result of a car accident
  21. Scenario: Citizen Y of Ohio has her car repaired at AJ's, the local repair shop. Her car breaks down on her way home. She sues the repair shop for breach of contract
  22. Federal Judges
    • -president appoints federal judges and the Senate confirms or rejects them
    • -judges on the constitutional courts appointed for life and can be removed only through impeachment
    • -no constitutional qualifications for being a federal judge (customary to have legal background, prior judicial experiences, and to belong to same party as the president)
  23. Judicial Restraint
    • -judges made decisions that shape public policy
    • -argues that the courts should defer to the policy decisions of the legislative and executive branches
    • -supporters believe that judges should decide cases based upon (1) the intent of the Framers and Congress when the law was originally written and (2) Precedents set by rulings in similar cases
  24. Judicial Activism
    • -argues that judges should take into account how social values and conditions may have changed over time when they interpret the law
    • -supporters of this principle believe that judges can and should make independent decisions when their interpretation of law differs from that of legislative and executive branches
  25. How a Judge Decides
    • -Facts of the case
    • -relevant Precedent
    • -text of the Constitution
    • -judicial Philosophy
  26. a court case in which a defendant is tried for committing a federal crime
    Criminal Case
  27. a court case dealing with a non criminal dispute
    Civil Case
  28. a list of cases to be heard by a court
  29. the transcript of the proceedings from a trial court
  30. What are the structure and jurisdiction of the inferior courts?
    • -district courts are federal trial courts; divided into judicial districts and handle about 80% of federal cases
    • -there are 13 courts of appeals that hear appeals from the disctics courts and special courts
    • -the court of international trade tries civil cases related to the nation's trade laws
  31. Judicial Districts
    • -each state forms at least one, with at least 2 judges
    • -94 district courts, serving 50 states as well as US territories
    • -most district cases are heard by a single judge
  32. Court of Appeals: Structure
    • -congress created the courts of appeals in 1891 to ease the burden on the Supreme Court
    • -13 courts of appeals-nations divided into 12 circuits, each with its own court of appeals
    • -each court of appeals hears cases on appeal from one of the district courts within its circuit-court of appeals for the federal circuit has nationwide jurisdiction
  33. Court of International Trade
    • -created in 1890 by congress and made it a constitutional court in 1980
    • -nine judges sit in panels of three and often hold jury trials in major ports
    • -has original jurisdiction over all civil cases involving the nation's international trade and customs laws
  34. an order by the Supreme Court telling a lower court to send it a specific case to review
    Writ of Certiorari
  35. a request by a lower court for the Supreme Court to certify the answer to a question about proper procedure or rule of law in a case
  36. detailed written statements about a case that are filed with the court
  37. the official ruling of the Supreme Court on a case, explaining how the majority decision was reached
    Majority Opinion
  38. a separate opinion that agrees with the majority opinion but offeres a different reason for making that ruling
    Concurring Opinion
  39. an opinion written by a justice who disagrees with the ruling of the majority in a case
    Dissenting Opinion
  40. Deciding Cases
    • -after hearing oral arguments, the justices recess to consider the cases-then they meet in conference to discuss the cases
    • -each justice presents their own views and conclusions in conference
    • -a majority must decide which party wins or loses a case-the justices are often divided in their views of a case
Card Set
Ch 18
ch 18