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CHAPTER 8: THE JUDICIARY AND THE LAW Text: Cubbage et al., 1992.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 8: THE JUDICIARY AND THE LAW Text: Cubbage et al., 1992."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 8: THE JUDICIARY AND THE LAW Text: Cubbage et al., 1992

2  Courts: increasing role in shaping resource policies  Judicial powers (Const., Article III, Section 2) Hear cases regarding public lawHear cases regarding public law Authority to settle controversies between individualsAuthority to settle controversies between individuals Review legislative acts to determine if constitutionalReview legislative acts to determine if constitutional  3 tiers of judicial system district courts - lowest leveldistrict courts - lowest level appellate courtsappellate courts supreme courtsupreme court CHAPTER 8

3  Laws according to origin (source) From ConstitutionFrom Constitution Enacted by CongressEnacted by Congress Developed by administrative agenciesDeveloped by administrative agencies Courts (precedents)Courts (precedents)  Laws also classified as: Civil cases - between private partiesCivil cases - between private parties Criminal sanctionsCriminal sanctions  Law means of social controlmeans of social control instrument of public policyinstrument of public policy means of seeking justicemeans of seeking justice CHAPTER 8

4  Legal Citations – –Example: P.L (Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972) –P.L.  Public Law –92nd Congress –500th act passed Citations, Acts

5  Acts  passed by both Houses –numbered according to congressional session and chronological order in which the bill was passed. –Ex: P.L (National Forest Management Act of 1976) means Public Law, 94th Congress, 588th act passed  Administrative law – regulations developed by agencies to implement congressional laws; after a review period, regulations become administrative law. Citations, Acts

6 Types of Laws Other arbitrary classifications of laws Public and private lawPublic and private law Substantive and procedural lawsSubstantive and procedural laws Civil and criminal sanctionsCivil and criminal sanctions Civil suits ($ damages, compensations) Civil suits ($ damages, compensations) Criminal law (guilty/not guilty, no-contest) Criminal law (guilty/not guilty, no-contest)

7 1. Judicial Review –Principle of judicial review established in 1803 –Integral component of checks and balances –Supreme Court began reviewing congressional legislations after Civil War 2. Facts versus Values –Courts rule on matters of fact to determine if law has been violated. –Jury trials: jury decides issues of fact, judge rules on points of law. –Judiciary will not decide on whether statute is sound or unwise  it decides on whether it is within legislature’s constitutional power to enact. Judicial Review

8  Judges base conclusions on facts, legislators base decisions on preponderance of votes for or against an issue.  Judges determine facts from evidence, conclude based on proof presented  Legislators base decisions on openly declared opinions or biases Judge vs. Legislator

9 1. District Courts (or trial courts) 2. Appellate Courts (circuit courts) -- Focus on whether the law was correctly applied by the trial court 3.Supreme Court – 9 justices “Standing to sue” “Standing to sue” others Special Courts – ex. Claims, Customs & Patent Appeals, Customs, and US Tax Court 5. State Courts Judicial Structure

10  Standing granted to interest groups to sue on behalf of natural objects that cannot bring suit  Concerns legal rights of natural objects (trees, wildlife, other inanimate objects) Standing to Sue

11  Ex case: Sierra Club v. Morton –involving a proposed ski resort in CA’s Mineral King Valley –Sierra Club opposed, sued USDI Sec. Rodgers Morton –To have standing to sue, court asked Sierra Club to demonstrate they would suffer personal injury or loss due to the development. –Sierra Club denied “standing” because it failed to prove personal injury or loss –Sierra Club appealed case to Supreme Court, rejected –Dissenting Justice William O. Douglas suggested that since trees and other inanimate objects cannot bring suit, groups should be allowed to sue on their behalf without demonstrating personal injury. --> these laid the legal and philosophical arguments in favor of legal rights for inanimate objects. Standing to Sue: Example Case

12  Criminal trials –innocent/guilty, –“no contest” verdicts and penalties  Civil cases –litigants seek money compensation or other actions Judicial Actions

13  Participants: –a judge, 2 parties, prosecutor and defendant, lawyers, witnesses, and a jury  Standard proof: –civil case: based on “preponderance of evidence” –criminal cases: “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” Judicial Decision Process

14  In natural resources arena: –Courts may use the equity remedy for procedural failings (failure to follow due process or prescribed procedures). –Ex: The president’s Council on Environmental Quality examined 114 NEPA procedural-based EIS lawsuits filed in –The top 4 departments (65% of all lawsuits) targeted by the lawsuits were: Defense, Transportation, Interior, and Agriculture. –Plaintiffs were environmental groups, followed by individuals and citizen groups –52 cases were brought due to agency failure to prepare an EIS –58 suits claimed inadequate statements JUDICIAL DECISION PROCESS

15 Advantages   Courts offer access to decision-making arena for those unsuccessful at changing agency practices, or for those with unpopular causes & modest resources   Courts provide forum for those who may have just claims, based on law, but no policy-making authority   Courts offer opportunity to secure fairly rapid consideration of an issue, esp. when temporary injunction is sought   Issues are reduced to concrete matters of substance in courts, dismissing those that lack specificity   Courts offer an opportunity for relatively independent action on issues Court Involvement in Natural Resource Matters: Advantages & Criticisms

16 Criticisms  Courts represent least democratic branch, represent fewer interests than legislatures. (Trials look at 2 parties only, but implications may affect more.)  Courts often criticized for their role in deciding technical issues. Ex. Should judges tell foresters how to manage forest resources?  Standing to sue: environmentalists want broad standing to protect environment; development interests want specific or narrower standing strictures – who is right?  Too much judicial involvement through appeals --> can drain resources and slow down work (solved by HFRA?) Court Involvement in Natural Resource Matters: Advantages & Criticisms


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