Presentation on theme: "The Judicial Department"— Presentation transcript:
1The Judicial Department Article IIIThe Judicial Department
2Article I or Legislative Courts 1st Type –Article III Courts2nd Type –Article I or Legislative Courts-Magistrate CourtsFederal
3Article III Courts – Basics Derive power from ConstitutionAll Judges are appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the SenateHold Office during good behavior for LIFE
4Article III Courts – Basics Jurisdiction? Section 2 of US Constitution*Cases that arise under the Constitution*Laws of United States*Treaties made with authority of US*Civil Cases – residents of different States and amt > $75,000 (set by federal law)*Suits between States*Bankruptcy*Patent, copyright, and trademark cases*Securities and banking regulation*Cases involving ambassadors or other high-ranking public figures*Federal Crimes (treason, piracy, counterfeiting, crimes against the law of nations and crimes relating to the federal government’s authority to regulate interstate commerce)*most crimes are State matters
5Article I or Legislative Courts – Basics Created pursuant to the authority given to Congress in Article I, Section 8, Clause 9 - “to constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme CourtJudges are appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate*Hold office - SET NUMBER OF YEARS (15 yrs)
6Federal Courts (Type I) U.S. District Courts94 federal judicial districtsEvery State has at least 1PA – 3 DistrictsEastern – PhiladelphiaMiddle – Scranton, Harrisburg, Williamsport, and Wilkes-BarreWestern – Eire, Johnstown, and PittsburghTrial Courts (or courts of Original Jurisdiction)Hear CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASESJUDGE determines issues of law while the JURY (or JUDGE sitting without a jury) determines findings of factUS Post Office and Courthouse--Pittsburgh
7Federal Courts (Type 1) US Circuit Courts of Appeal 13 Courts in the USDivided into 12 regional circuits in various cities throughout the country13th – Washington D.C.Any party (except if found not guilty) who is dissatisfied with the judgment of the US District Court may appealPanel of 3 Judges
8Federal Courts (Type 1) Supreme Court Only 1 (Washington D.C.) Composed of 9 Judges (JUSTICES)Presided over by a CHIEF JUSTICEParties who are NOT satisfied with the decision of a US Circuit Court of Appeal (rare cases – US District Court) or a State Supreme Court* can petition the US Supreme Court to hear the caseKnown as WRIT OF CERTIORARI (CERT.)
9Federal Courts (Type 1) How decided? Supreme Court con’t Court can decide whether or not to accept the casesACCEPT of the some 7000 cases it is asked to hear for argument per yearHow decided?4 JUSTICES MUST AGREE TO HEAR THE CASEPrimarily an APPELLATE COURT- HOWEVER court does have originally jurisdiction over cases involving ambassadors and two or more statesKnown as GRANT CERT
10Supreme Court today(from left) Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer, Chief Justice John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
11NAMEAPPOINTED BYLEANING?Clarence ThomasGeorge HW Bush (91)Right
20How do you get to the Supreme Court? Qualifications? President USUALLY take the recommendation and evaluation of the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal JudiciaryNo constitutional requirementsHave to be experts on the Constitution, Constitutional law, and federal lawall past and present members of the Supreme Court have been attorneysInformal Qualifications:Good standing in the state bar (>5 yrs)Practicing trial attorney and/or trial judge (>12 yrs)Competent citizen of good character, integrity, reason, intelligence, and judgmentDistinguished accomplishments
21How do you get to the Supreme Court? Go to one of the major law schools.
22How do you get to the Supreme Court? Clerk for the Supreme Court
23How do you get to the Supreme Court? Be a judge, law professor, or a lawyer who has argued before the Supreme Court before.
24Supreme Court nominees are political appointments. Not easy…Sometimes they don’t get past the background checks or Senate questioning!.Anita Hill testified in 1991 about claims of sexual advances from then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas
25Bush nominated Harriet Miers (2005) Close But DENIED ExampleBush nominated Harriet Miers (2005)Miers was widely perceived as unqualified for the position- Later emerged that she had allowed her law license to lapse for a time. The nomination was immediately attacked by politicians and commentators (both sides)At Miers' request, Bush withdrew her nomination on October 274 days later, Bush nominated Samuel Alito to the seat.- was confirmed in 2006- a corporate attorney from Texas- Bush's private attorney- White House Counsel.apparently to avoid violating executive privilege by disclosing details of her work at the White House.
27Supreme Court hears Constitutional Issues that can affect the entire country Marbury v. MadisonQUIZ – WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER?
28Case Established Judicial Review Supreme Court hears Constitutional Issues that can affect the entire countryCase Established Judicial Reviewforever after the Supreme Court has had the power to rule laws unconstitutional (void acts of Congress)BEFORE – this power was NOT given in ConstitutionOnly Original and Appellate JurisdictionInterpret the ConstitutionMarbury v. Madison
29For Example – The Second Amendment A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
30“right of the people to keep and bear arms” - understood But what was meant by adding “well-regulated militia” and “necessary to the security of a free state”?Does it mean that you can only carry arms if you are in the militia?Can guns only be used for national defense, or does that mean self-defense?
31“right of the people to keep and bear arms” Is the militia in 2014 mean the same thing as it did in 1787?CENTRAL ARGUMENT!Whether people have a right to bear arms as INDIVIDUALS, rather than just as part of an official militia.
32Collective Rights v. Individual Rights: Some think the 2nd Amendment was designed ONLY to protect the rights of the states to have militias.NOT the right of individuals to bear arms for their own self-defense.“well-regulated militia” and “security of a free state” prove their point.Restrictions on hunting and self-defense.What happens if Congress passes a Federal Law concerning the Amendment and someone disagrees with it (or is charged under it)
33THEN Supreme Court steps in and does it thing! Abramski v. United States-report from the APA federal gun law on "straw purchases" has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, preventing buyers from purchasing a gun just to transfer it to someone else.In a 5-4 decision, the High Court determined that even if the ultimate recipient of the firearm is legally permitted to own a gun, federal laws intended to prevent sham transactions known as "straw purchases" are still valid
34Purchased a gun in Virginia using his police discount with the intention of transferring it to his uncle in Pennsylvania.Bruce AbramskiOn a form required by federal regulations, Abramski falsely answered that he was the "actual buyer" of the gun and was convicted for making false statements under this "straw purchaser" law (18 U.S.C. 922(a)(6)).
35Under the age of 18 for long guns Under the age of 21 for hand guns. An unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substance.Been committed to any mental institution for inpatient care and treatmentA person who is the subject of an active protection from abuse orderDischarged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditionsHas renounced his US citizenship.Ever been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violenceArgued that the federal law wasn't concerned with "straw purchasers" and even if it was, his uncle could legally purchase a gun for himself.Despite the fact that the federal law in question didn't contain the phrase "actual purchaser," the Supreme Court was convinced that Congress' intent of this federal gun law was to know who would eventually own them. In order to keep guns out of the hands of felons and prohibited buyers, it seems perfectly reasonable to prevent "straw purchasers" from concealing the actual purchaser, the Court explained.After all, what would be the point of a gun background check if the actual purchaser could just avoid it by having a "straw" buyer pick up the gun?
36Doesn't Matter If Actual Purchaser Is Legit OK...all lies on federal forms aside, what really matters is that the actual purchaser is legally allowed to own a gun.After all, the uncle could have purchased the gun legally on his own, but his nephew wanted to get him that sweet police discountThe statute establishes an elaborate system to verify a would-be gun purchaser’s identity and check on his background.It also requires that the information so gathered go into a dealer’s permanent records.Doesn't Matter If Actual Purchaser Is LegitI’m not buying it…Justice Kagan writing for the Court's majorityEven when the actual purchaser could legally own the gun, the straw purchaser is nonetheless preventing the gun dealer from complying with federal law which requires documenting the true owner and running a background check.
38Regarding straw purchases, Form 4473 is clear Regarding straw purchases, Form 4473 is clear. You can’t acquire a firearm “on behalf” of another person.On behalf implies you are standing in for another.As far as straw purchases go, you stand in for someone. You are the original buyer, yet you have no intent to own the gun. Your intent is to act as the agent. It is this intent that matters in straw purchase prosecutions.
39More details on the case Abramski had previously been a policeman but had been fired from the Roanoke, Va., police department for alleged theft.After he was cleared by the federal database, Abramski gave the gun to his uncle, deposited the uncle's $400 check, and gave him a receipt.Police later found the receipt after searching Abramski's home in connection with another crime (bank robbery)WHICH MEANS….NOT A GIFT
40There’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend that lives in your home state. Abramski v. United States, a recent Supreme Court decision involving a “straw purchase” of a firearm did not change the law regarding firearms as gifts.
41Why the law in the first place Why the law in the first place? Add to the more than 20,000 different gun laws on the booksATF found that straw purchasing was the most common channel of illegal gun trafficking, accounting for almost one-half (46%) of all investigations, and associated with nearly 26,000 illegally trafficked firearms.
42Target – Gun ShowsATF investigations at gun shows from 2004 – 2006 uncovered “widespread” straw purchasing at shows, where guns were diverted to “convicted felons and local and international gangsHowever - "gun show loophole," most states do not require background checks for firearms purchased at gun shows from private individuals -- federal law only requires licensed dealers to conduct checksViolations of dealer record keeping requirements are punishable by a penalty of up to $1000 and one year`s imprisonment
44Agreement with wisdom of a straw purchase ban BUT Wording of the LawThe purchaser at the time is the legal purchaserNothing in existing law that Congress enacted to support the majority’s straw purchase banWriting for the four dissenters, Justice Scalia accused the court majority of making it "a federal crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner."Joining his dissent were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
45Antique firearms and replicas are exempted from the restrictions. Antique firearms are defined as: any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898, and any replica of a firearm as designed above if the replica is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire ammunition, or uses fixed ammunition, which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels or commercial trade, any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition.
46Pennsylvania (and other States) Program… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYxmwhDkaaY
47Inter-family transfers Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even inter-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer.Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state.In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides
48Federal Courts (Type 1) Special Article III Courts US Court of Federal ClaimsWashington D.C.Cases AGAINST the GovernmentUS Court of International TradeNew YorkCases involving tariffs and international trade disputes
49Reduce the workload of federal courts Federal Courts (Type 2)Special Courts Created by CongressFEDERAL Magistrate JudgesHandle certain criminal and civil matters w/ consent of both partiesMagistrate judges are assigned duties by the district judges in the district in which they serve.May preside over most phases of federal proceedings, except for criminal felony trials.Reduce the workload of federal courtsOption 1 - Counsel questions witnesses and both parties makes arguments. The judge then makes the ultimate finding of probable cause.Option 2 - The grand jury hears only from the prosecutor. The grand jury may call their own witnesses and request that further investigations be performed. The grand jury then decides whether sufficient evidence has been presented to indict the defendant.Pre-Trial MotionsPre-trial motions are brought by both the prosecution and the defense in order to resolve final issues and establish what evidence and testimony will be admissible at trial.
50Federal Courts (Type 2)Ex: Initial Appearance – as soon as possible after arrest – advises of rights, financial ability to hire lawyer, bond Ex: Detention Hearing – Evidence about the accused’s risk of flight, danger to community (detained or released before trial) Ex: A preliminary hearing – Should Government bring criminal charges? Option 1 -. The judge (hearing from both parties and questions witnesses) then makes the ultimate finding of probable cause. Option 2 - The grand jury then decides whether sufficient evidence has been presented to indict the defendant. Ex: Pre-Trial Motions and petitions Suppression of evidence – guns or drugs seized in search, statements (confession) Ex: Arraignment – read the charges against the person, enter pleaOption 1 - Counsel questions witnesses and both parties makes arguments. The judge then makes the ultimate finding of probable cause.Option 2 - The grand jury hears only from the prosecutor. The grand jury may call their own witnesses and request that further investigations be performed. The grand jury then decides whether sufficient evidence has been presented to indict the defendant.Pre-Trial MotionsPre-trial motions are brought by both the prosecution and the defense in order to resolve final issues and establish what evidence and testimony will be admissible at trial.
51Federal Courts (Type 2) Special Courts Created by Congress FEDERAL Magistrate JudgesHandle certain criminal and civil matters w/ consent of both partiesMagistrate judges are assigned duties by the district judges in the district in which they serve.May preside over most phases of federal proceedings, except for criminal felony trials.Ex: Initial Appearance – as soon as practible after arrest – advises of rights, financial ability to hire lawyer, bondA preliminary hearing – Government brings criminal chargesOption 1 -. The judge then makes the ultimate finding of probable cause.Option 2 - The grand jury then decides whether sufficient evidence has been presented to indict the defendant.Ex: Pre-Trial Motions and petitionsEx: ArraignmentReduce the workload of federal courtsOption 1 - Counsel questions witnesses and both parties makes arguments. The judge then makes the ultimate finding of probable cause.Option 2 - The grand jury hears only from the prosecutor. The grand jury may call their own witnesses and request that further investigations be performed. The grand jury then decides whether sufficient evidence has been presented to indict the defendant.Pre-Trial MotionsPre-trial motions are brought by both the prosecution and the defense in order to resolve final issues and establish what evidence and testimony will be admissible at trial.
52A full-time magistrate judge serves a term of eight years Western DistrictU.S. MagistrateJudges- Appointed by majority vote of the active District Judges of the court.- A U.S. magistrate judge is appointed based upon the recommendations of a citizen's merit screening committee.A full-time magistrate judge serves a term of eight yearsMust be a member of the bar of the highest court of the state where he or she serves.Hon. Susan Paradise Baxter (Erie)Hon. Cynthia R. Eddy (Pgh)Hon. Maureen P. Kelly (Pgh)Hon. Lisa Pupo Lenihan (Pgh) Chief Magistrate JudgeHon. Robert C. Mitchell (Pgh)Hon. Keith A. Pesto (Johnstown)
53Federal Courts (Type 2) Special Courts Created by Congress Bankruptcy CourtsCases arising from Bankruptcy CodyUS Court of Military AppealsFinal Appellate Court for cases arising under the Uniform Code of Military JusticeUS Tax CourtCases arising over alleged tax deficienciesUS Court of Veterans’ AppealsCases arising from the denial of veterans’ benefits
54Intermediate Appellate Courts State CourtsMost are NOT appointed for lifeElected (or appointed) for a certain # of yearsNo two State courts areexactly the same but there are similaritiesHighest State Courts(aka Supreme Court, Court of Appeals)Intermediate Appellate Courts(aka Superior Court and Commonwealth Court)Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction(aka Circuit Courts, Superior Courts, Courts of Common Pleas)Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction(aka Minor Courts) Magistrates + others
55Butler County Magistrates Are the only judges that are notrequiredto havelaw degrees and be a member of the BarButler Magistrate Chicora Magistrate Cranberry Township Magistrate Evans City Magistrate Saxonburg Magistrate Slippery Rock MagistrateElected for six-year terms by the electors in the district that the magistrate judge serves
56In Pennsylvania Magistrate Handles… They conduct criminal arraignments and preliminary hearings Issue arrest warrants and search warrants in some cases Hear civil disputes involving $8, or less Landlord-Tenant disputes, except not matters involving title to real estate Issue temporary Protection from Abuse Act orders Decide traffic, game law, and fish and boat code cases Conduct marriages Administer oaths and affirmations, etc.
57Probate Court Family Court Traffic Court Trial Courts of Limited JurisdictionPA - Minor CourtsProbate CourtFamily CourtTraffic CourtProving a Will is valid; Distribution of assets according to provisions of the Will; What to to when no Will (State law decides distribution)Marriage, divorce, adoption, child custody, and support and domestic-relations issuesMinor violations of traffic laws
58Juvenile Court Small Claims Court Municipal Court Trial Courts of Limited JurisdictionPA - Minor CourtsJuvenile CourtSmall Claims CourtMunicipal CourtHandles cases involving delinquent children under a certain age (18 or 21))Handles cases between private persons of a low dollar amount (under $5,000)Handles cases involving offenses against city ordinances13 Judges - Pittsburgh
59Allegheny County Courthouse, Pittsburgh PA – Courts of Common PleasMain Trial Courts of the StatePA – organized into 60 Judicial districts (each district 1 – 93 judges)Major Civil (Tort and personal injury, Contract) and Criminal (murder, theft, breaking and entering, destruction of property, etc…)Allegheny County Courthouse, PittsburghTrial Courts of General JurisdictionJudges –10 year termsElectionsRetirement – age 70
60Butler County Courthouse, Butler PA – Courts of Common Pleas con’tAppeals from Minor Courts in Civil, Criminal, and traffic mattersHeard by 1 Judge (issues of law) (often with jury (issues of fact))Butler County Courthouse, ButlerTrial Courts of General Jurisdiction
61Intermediate Appellate Courts PA - Superior Court and Commonwealth Court Panels of 2 or 3 judgesCivil Cases brought by or against the StateAny party (except in a case where a defendant in a criminal trial is found not guilty) who is not satisfied with the judgment of a state trial court may appealHowever, these courts only address alleged procedural mistakes and errors of law made by the trial courtWon’t review the facts of the case (which were established during the trial)Won’t accept additional evidenceJudges –10 year termsElectionsRetirement – age 70
62Highest State Courts PA – Supreme Court 3,5, 7, or 9 member courtAll Death-penalty casesWill hear appeals about alleged mistake of law NOT factOriginal Jurisdiction concerning elections and reapportionment of legislative districts (gerrymandering – Congress Unit)
63Prosecutors Which court - Which attorney? Def: One who prosecutes another for a crime in the name of the government..State and county governments employ prosecutors to represent their local communities in complaints against criminal defendantsOn the federal level, the president appoints prosecutors to represent the United States in complaints against criminal defendants
64Federal Courts Eric Holder Attorney General of the United States In office since 2009.
65Federal Criminal Cases Prosecutor United States District AttorneysRepresent the United States Federal Government in:United States District CourtUnited States Court of AppealsLaw and Order Assistant District Attorneys
66United States District Attorneys There are 93 U.S. District Attorneys stationed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.One U.S. Attorney is assigned to each of the judicial districtsThey supervise district offices of as many as 350 assistant United States attorneys, with as many as 350 more support personnelEach U.S. Attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer within his or her particular jurisdiction
67United States District Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David J. Hickton was nominated for by President Barack Obama on May 20, 2010, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 5, 2010.The United States Attorney's Office in Pittsburgh currently consists of more than 100 employees, including more than 50 lawyers
68Judicial System of Pennsylvania At the Top Attorney GeneralMain legal advisor to the State government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement, public prosecutions or even ministerial responsibility for legal affairs generallyFOR PA Kathleen Kane
69District Attorney for: Richard A. Goldinger Butler County Allegheny The District Attorney is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the County.As such, he and his assistants represent the Commonwealth in the prosecution of all misdemeanor and felony criminal cases.Richard A. GoldingerStephen A. Zappala, Jr