Govt Ch 16

  1. Describe the judicial system of the United States.
    one in which courts provide an arena for 2 parties to bring their conflic before an impartial arbiter; justice will emerge out of the struggle
  2. What are the two types of cases?
    • criminal law case
    • civil law case
  3. Criminal Law Cases
    Government charges an individual who violated specific laws
  4. Civil Law Case
    no charge that law has been violated; involves a dispute between 2 parties
  5. Statutes
    laws passed by legislatures
  6. Common Law
    accumulation of judicial decisions
  7. Who are the three participants in the judicial system?
    • litigants
    • groups
    • attorneys
  8. Who are the 3 litigants of the judicial system?
    • plaintiff
    • defendent
    • jury
  9. Standing to Sue
    legitimate reason to go to court
  10. Class Action Suits
    lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of others similarly situated
  11. Justiciable Disputes
    issues capable of bieng settled by legal means
  12. Constitutional Courts
    established by the Constitution
  13. Legislative Courts
    specialized courts
  14. Original Jurisdiction
    first court to hear a case; determine facts about that case
  15. Appellate Jurisdiction
    hear cases brought by appeal from a lower court
  16. District Courts
    91 federal courts of original jurisdiction
  17. Diversity of Citizenship Cases
    involved civil suits between citizens of different states or nations
  18. Courts of Appeal
    courts empowered to review all final decisions of district courts (12 judicial circuits)
  19. Supreme Court
    resolves conflicts among states; maintains national supremacy in the law; ensures uniformity in the interpretation of national laws
  20. Senatorial Courtesy
    nominations for state-level federal judicial posts aren't confirmed if opposed by a Senator from the state in which the nominee will serve
  21. Appointments to federal courts/Supreme Court are made and confirmed by who?
    Made by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
  22. Describe the typical judge/justice.
    White, male, 50s-60s, Protestant
  23. Name 2 important judicial figures.
    Thurgood Marshall (first African American) and Sandra Day O'Connor (first woman).
  24. Describe the 4 step process of getting an appeal to the Supreme Court.
    • federal or state request for court review
    • appeals discussed (98% denied)
    • obtain 4 votes
    • placed on docket
  25. Writ of Certiorari
    formal document that calls up a case
  26. Per Curiam Decision
    a decision made without explanation
  27. Solicitor General
    in charge of the appellate court litigation of the federal government
  28. Describe the 6 step Supreme Court decision making process.
    • on docket
    • briefs submitted
    • argument
    • votes taken
    • opinions drafted
    • decision announced
  29. Opinion
    statement of the legal reasoning behind the decision (dissenting or concurring)
  30. State Decisis
    "let the decision stand" (of a decision on a case previously made)
  31. Precedent
    the way similar cases were handled in the past
  32. What portion of the decisions made in the Supreme Court are unanimous?
  33. Original Intent
    view that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the original intent of the framers
  34. Judicial Implementation
    how and whether court decisions are translated into actual policy thereby affcting the behavior of others
  35. What 3 elements does implementation include?
    • interpreting population (lawyers, judges)
    • implementing population (govt agencies, law enforcement)
    • consumer population
  36. Judicial Review
    established in Marbury v. Madison under John Marshall
  37. What are the 5 eras of the Supreme Court?
    • John Marshall & judicial review
    • FDR & the Nine Old Men + "court packing scheme"
    • Warren Court & desegregation
    • Burger Court & United States v. Nixon; Roe v. Wade
    • Rehnquist Court & conservatism
  38. Courts tend to follow and reflect what?
    the popular majority
  39. What are the 2 views on the power of the judiciary?
    • judicial restraint
    • judicial activism
  40. Judicial Restraint
    judges adhere closely to precedent and play minimum policymakng roles
  41. Judicial Activism
    judges make bolder policy decisions; they correct pressing needs unmet by majoritarian political process
  42. Political Questions
    doctrine developed by the federal courts and used as a means to avoid deciding some cases, especially those involving conflicts between the president & Congress
  43. Statutory Construction
    judicial interpretation of an act of Congress
Card Set
Govt Ch 16
The Federal Courts