Presentation on theme: "UNIT 6 – THE FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Power point 2 – The Supreme Court and Special Courts."— Presentation transcript:
UNIT 6 – THE FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Power point 2 – The Supreme Court and Special Courts
Judicial Review Marbury v. Madison – Established judicial review which is the ability of the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of law.
How cases reach the court… Most cases reach the court through a writ of certiorari (literally to call up or make more certain) An order by the court directly a lower court to send up the record in a given case for its review. Supreme Court can deny (not grant cert) or not issue a writ. In that case, the decision of the lower court stands.
How the court operates… At least once a week, the nine justices meet in conference. Agenda – justices rely heavily on law clerks to help screen cases. If four justices agree to grant review of a case (“rule of four”) it can be scheduled for an oral argument or decided on the basis of the written record already on file with the Court.
Oral Arguments Lawyers may have 30 minutes to address the court. Conference room – the chief justice raises a particular case and invites discussion, turning first to the senior associate justice. If votes are not clear fro the individual discussions, the CJ may ask each justice to vote. Once a vote has been reached, it is necessary to write an opinion, a statement of legal reasoning behind the decision. Votes can be gained or lost by the content of the opinion.
Briefs Amicus curiae briefs have an important role: the government under the solicitor general, may submit them in cases in which it has an interest. Briefs files by persons or groups who are not actual parties to a case but who nonetheless have a substantial interest in its outcome.
Court’s Opinions Dissenting Opinions – those written by justices opposed to all or part of the majority’s decision. Concurring Opinions – those written not only to support a majority decision but also to stress a different constitutional or legal basis for the judgment. When the opinions are written and the final vote is taken, the decision is announced.
Special Courts Military and Veterans Claims Courts Courts-martial Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (civilian tribune) Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Military Commisions
Other Special Courts The Court of Federal Claims Territorial Courts The District of Columbia Courts United States Tax Court