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I: Federal Courts A: Article III of the Constitution lays the foundation for the Judicial Branch. 1. The Judiciary Act (1789) established federal district.

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Presentation on theme: "I: Federal Courts A: Article III of the Constitution lays the foundation for the Judicial Branch. 1. The Judiciary Act (1789) established federal district."— Presentation transcript:

1 I: Federal Courts A: Article III of the Constitution lays the foundation for the Judicial Branch. 1. The Judiciary Act (1789) established federal district courts. 2. In 1891, Congress created federal appeals courts and circuits, or districts the courts serve. B: Federal Court Jurisdiction : Jurisdiction=the authority to hear and decide cases to Federal Court. Jurisdiction=the authority to hear and decide cases to Federal Court. 1.Federal District Courts hear all cases related to the Constitution i.e. civil rights violations, voting rights etc. 1.Federal District Courts hear all cases related to the Constitution i.e. civil rights violations, voting rights etc. 2.Federal Crimes ( kidnapping, tax evasion, bank robbery, counterfeiting…etc 2.Federal Crimes ( kidnapping, tax evasion, bank robbery, counterfeiting…etc

2 II: Types of Jurisdiction A: Exclusive jurisdiction: Federal courts only hear cases that effect Federal Laws. They do not intercede on laws pertaining to state laws that are broken. A: Exclusive jurisdiction: Federal courts only hear cases that effect Federal Laws. They do not intercede on laws pertaining to state laws that are broken. B: Concurrent jurisdiction: Either Federal or State Courts can try the case. Some appeals can even reach the US Supreme Court. B: Concurrent jurisdiction: Either Federal or State Courts can try the case. Some appeals can even reach the US Supreme Court.

3 III: How are the Federal Courts organized A: US District Court: Trials are held and large lawsuits are tried. US District Courts have original jurisdiction meaning all federal cases start in District Court. A: US District Court: Trials are held and large lawsuits are tried. US District Courts have original jurisdiction meaning all federal cases start in District Court. Witnesses testify Witnesses testify Juries decide verdict Juries decide verdict Judge passes sentence Judge passes sentence B: There are 94 district courts. B: There are 94 district courts.

4 Federal Courts continued C: US Court of Appeals: Reviews decisions from lower District Courts C: US Court of Appeals: Reviews decisions from lower District Courts Referred to as Appellate jurisdiction Referred to as Appellate jurisdiction Lawyers argue that rights were violated, new evidence is obtained and could impact the verdict. Lawyers argue that rights were violated, new evidence is obtained and could impact the verdict. There are 12 United States courts of appeals. Have jurisdiction over circuits (geographic areas) There are 12 United States courts of appeals. Have jurisdiction over circuits (geographic areas) Our (NC) Court of Appeals is in the 4 th Circuit, Richmond, VA. Our (NC) Court of Appeals is in the 4 th Circuit, Richmond, VA. Judges but no juries Judges but no juries

5 2: Making a Decision Court of Appeals does not hold trial. Court of Appeals does not hold trial. A panel of 3 or more judges review the case and listens to arguments. A panel of 3 or more judges review the case and listens to arguments. They may uphold the lower courts original decision, reverse the decision, or remand the case (send the case back to the lower court to be tried again.) They may uphold the lower courts original decision, reverse the decision, or remand the case (send the case back to the lower court to be tried again.)

6 The US SUPREME COURT I: Judicial Branch: Interprets the law A: United States Supreme Court Highest court in the landHighest court in the land Limited original jurisdictionLimited original jurisdiction Judges hear both sides, asks constitutional questions.Judges hear both sides, asks constitutional questions. No juries or witnesses.No juries or witnesses.

7 C: Two Kinds of Cases heard in the Supreme Court. Original jurisdiction means the Supreme Court is the first to hear the case, acting as a trial court. The only cases currently heard under original jurisdiction involve disputes between the states, and account for only a tiny percent of the Court's work each year. Original jurisdiction means the Supreme Court is the first to hear the case, acting as a trial court. The only cases currently heard under original jurisdiction involve disputes between the states, and account for only a tiny percent of the Court's work each year. Example; South Carolina v. Georgia suing one another over nuclear waste dump. Example; South Carolina v. Georgia suing one another over nuclear waste dump.

8 Supreme Court cases. Under appellate jurisdiction: The Supreme Court hears appeals of cases that raise important "federal questions" involving the US Constitution, Federal laws and US Treaties. The Supreme Court may hear cases from both federal and state court systems under the following general classes: A: Cases involving the constitutionality of the laws passed by the Legislative Branch- Supreme Court Under appellate jurisdiction: The Supreme Court hears appeals of cases that raise important "federal questions" involving the US Constitution, Federal laws and US Treaties. The Supreme Court may hear cases from both federal and state court systems under the following general classes: A: Cases involving the constitutionality of the laws passed by the Legislative Branch- Supreme Court B: Citizens from different states B: Citizens from different states C: The Govt vs. a private business or a private citizen can sue the Federal govt for grievances broken C: The Govt vs. a private business or a private citizen can sue the Federal govt for grievances broken D: Foreign Govt. and Treaties D: Foreign Govt. and Treaties E: Admiralty and Maritime Law E: Admiralty and Maritime Law F: US Diplomats- Diplomats overseas who break an American law are tried in Supreme Court F: US Diplomats- Diplomats overseas who break an American law are tried in Supreme Court

9 Supreme Court 8 Justices- Head Justice is called Chief Justice 8 Justices- Head Justice is called Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall – first African American Justice- Appointed by John F. Kennedy in 1967 Thurgood Marshall – first African American Justice- Appointed by John F. Kennedy in 1967 Sandra Day O’Conner- first female Justice appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981 Sandra Day O’Conner- first female Justice appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981 Sonia Sotomayor- first Hispanic to serve as Justice- appointed by Barack Obama in 2010 Sonia Sotomayor- first Hispanic to serve as Justice- appointed by Barack Obama in 2010

10 Other Court Officials Federal Magistrates Federal Magistrates Issue court orders, hear evidence, may hear cases US Attorneys: gov’t lawyers who prosecute people accused of federal crimes U.S. Marshalls: make arrests, order in courts, serve subpoenas

11 Duties of the Court Hear and rule on cases Hear and rule on cases Choose cases to be heard among thousands submitted Choose cases to be heard among thousands submitted Decide cases and submit written explanation for the decision called the Court’s opinion. Decide cases and submit written explanation for the decision called the Court’s opinion. President appoints Justice President appoints Justice Vacancies open up due to the resignation or death of a justice. Vacancies open up due to the resignation or death of a justice. Most justices are lawyers but there is no legal requirement that they must be lawyers. Most justices are lawyers but there is no legal requirement that they must be lawyers.

12 Powers and Limitations Holds power of Judicial Review –check on the Legislative Branch Holds power of Judicial Review –check on the Legislative Branch Depends on Executive Branch to enforce its decisions Depends on Executive Branch to enforce its decisions Most presidents follow the court although there have been exceptions. Andrew Jackson refused to obey the John Marshall court when they ruled in favor of the Cherokee Nation in Because the public favored Jackson there was not public pressure for Jackson to uphold the Court’s decision. Most presidents follow the court although there have been exceptions. Andrew Jackson refused to obey the John Marshall court when they ruled in favor of the Cherokee Nation in Because the public favored Jackson there was not public pressure for Jackson to uphold the Court’s decision. The Legislative Branch can check the Court by passing a new law ruled unconstitutional by court or by passing an amendment to the Constitution. The Legislative Branch can check the Court by passing a new law ruled unconstitutional by court or by passing an amendment to the Constitution. Stays out of political questions-but had to decide the 2000 presidential election because of election results. Bush v. Gore was decided based on voting rights. Stays out of political questions-but had to decide the 2000 presidential election because of election results. Bush v. Gore was decided based on voting rights.


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