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Article III: The Judicial Branch.   Make up the 3 rd branch of the federal government  Use the law to settle civil disputes (between people, companies.

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Presentation on theme: "Article III: The Judicial Branch.   Make up the 3 rd branch of the federal government  Use the law to settle civil disputes (between people, companies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Article III: The Judicial Branch

2   Make up the 3 rd branch of the federal government  Use the law to settle civil disputes (between people, companies or organizations)  Applies the law to the facts presented to determine the guilt or innocence (Criminal) Role of the Courts

3   Means that all the laws are applied equally to every person  Constitution guarantees trial by jury, presumption of innocence, right to council, right to appeal  Why is equal justice hard to achieve? Equal Justice Under the Law

4   Under the Articles of Confederation there were no federal courts  Each State had its own system  What does this mean for equal justice under the law?  Supreme Court only court mentioned in the Constitution  Article III Gives Congress the power to establish “inferior courts” Federal Courts

5   District or Circuit Courts- federal cases start here  Appeals Court-when either party questions the ruling of the lower court or (district court)  Supreme Court- has final authority over legal matters Federal Court System

6 Criminal Cases

7 Civil Cases

8   Constitutional issues  Breaking Federal laws (tax evasion, kidnapping)  Disputes between states ex: water rights  Disputes between citizens of different state  Federal Government ex: when the Feds bring a case against someone or entity What type of cases go to a federal court?

9   Foreign governments and treaties ex: When any foreign government is involved in a dispute with a US citizen, company or government  Admiralty or Maritime Laws – crimes on the open seas  US Diplomats: Example Ambassadors breaking laws What type of cases go to a federal court?

10   Exclusive Jurisdiction: only feds hear the case  Concurrent Jurisdiction: feds and state courts may hear case Types of Jurisdiction

11   Where all federal trials and lawsuits begin-known as “original jurisdiction”  Witnesses testify and juries hear cases  HOW MANY DISTRICTS? WHAT DISTRICT IS NM IN? US District Courts

12   Other names: Appellate Courts, Circuit Courts  Reviews the decisions of the lower courts which is “appellate jurisdiction”  No jury a panel of 3 judges reviews and makes a decision  12 US courts of appeals has jurisdiction over a specific region  Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has nationwide authority US Court of Appeals

13   Upholding the findings of a lower court  Reversing the findings of a lower court  Remanding to send the case back to a lower court for a retrial  Rulings are only on whether any of the defendants rights have been violated  Opinion of the Court is an explanation of the ruling  Opinion often based on Precedent -prior rulings Decisions of the Court of Appeals 3 Options

14   The President along with the advise and consent of the Senate appoints federal judges  It’s a political thing/usually the same party and like philosophy of the Prez  A job for life! So You Want to be a Judge

15   Magistrates take care of the minor judicial duties (issue warrants, determine whether a case should go to trial, set bail)  US Attorneys: Each district court has 1 US Attorney and several deputies-they prosecute people who are accused of breaking federal laws  US Marshalls: Collect fines, make arrests, serve legal papers Other Jobs

16   Can preside over disputes between states and cases involving foreign countries  Otherwise it hears cases on appeal from lower courts  Gets to choose the cases it hears  Refusal to hear a case means the decisions of the lower court stand Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court

17   8 Associate and 1 Chief Justice  Main duty is to decide on cases/ but also make policy indirectly  President nominates a justice and the individual must be confirmed by the Senate  Appointed for life  No constitutional requirements to be a justice About the Court

18   Executive and Legislative Branches must follow the decisions of the court  Judicial Review: The court can review any federal, state or local law or action to make sure it is constitutional  Judicial Review was established in the case of Marbury v. Madison in 1803 (page 260) Powers of the Court

19   Court relies on the executive branch and local officials to carry out its decisions (think desegregation)  Congress can change or tweek laws deemed unconstitutional Limits to Power

20   Meets from the first Monday in October- until the business of the court is complete usually late June/early July  4 of the 9 Justices must agree to hear a case before it is placed on the court docket  Many cases are appealed to the Supreme Court only a small fraction are heard and even a smaller percentage get full hearings The Workings of the Court

21   Major constitutional issues  Cases must deal with real people and events  Legal rather than political issues  Writ of Certiorari- “make more certain” directs a lower court to send its case records to the Supreme Court How do they decide what to hear?

22   Written Arguments: Briefs explain each sides position in a case  Lawyers present oral arguments (30 min) justices then ask questions  Conferences in secret to discuss the merits of the case- 5 need a majority of justices  Opinions  Announcement of Opinions The Process to Deciding a Case

23   Majority Opinion: written by one justice presents the view of the majority of justices  Concurrent Opinion: Justices may agree with the majority but have different legal reasons for doing so  Dissenting Opinion: Justices who oppose the majority opinion  Unanimous Opinion: All Agree Types of Opinions

24   The Law based on the concept of “stare decisis” let the decision stand  Precedent matters  Social and Political Conditions- while mostly immune from these pressures, court reinterprets laws based on social norms think Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education  Differing Legal Views: Activist v. Constitutionalist  Personal Beliefs Influences on the Justices’ Opinions


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