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Chapter 18 Notes The Federal Court System

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1 Chapter 18 Notes The Federal Court System
American Government Chapter 18 Notes The Federal Court System

2 Section 1 The National Judiciary

3 Creation of a National Judiciary
Framers of Constitution created a national judiciary A Dual Court System There are two separate court systems in the United States National Judiciary that has nearly 120 courts across the U.S. Each of the 50 States have their own court systems, which numbers in the thousands Most Cases heard in State Courts

4 Creation of a National Judiciary (Con’t)
Two Kinds of Federal Courts Constitution creates the Supreme Court and leaves Congress to create the inferior courts lower federal courts, those beneath the Supreme Court Congress has created two distinct types of federal courts Constitutional Courts Courts of Appeals, District Courts, and U.S. Court of International Trade Special Courts Hear cases arising out of some of the expressed powers to Congress

5 Federal Court Jurisdiction
The Constitutional Courts hear most of the cases tried in the federal courts Those courts have jurisdiction over most federal cases The authority of a court to hear a case Subject Matter of the Case Interpretation and application of Constitution, federal statute or treaty Admiralty law (On the seas)

6 Federal Court Jurisdiction (Con’t)
The Parties Involved in the Case United States or agencies Ambassador Interstate or foreign affairs Ultimately though, if not heard by the federal courts, it is the jurisdiction of the state’s courts

7 Types of Jurisdiction Exclusive and Concurrent Jurisdiction
Exclusive Jurisdiction Those cases can be heard only in the federal courts Concurrent Jurisdiction Cases that can be tried in either federal or state courts Any diverse citizenship case over $75,000 Plaintiff the person who files a suit Defendant the person whom the complaint is against

8 Types of Jurisdiction (Con’t)
Original and Appellate Jurisdiction Original Jurisdiction a court in which a case is first heard Appellate Jurisdiction a court that hears a case on appeal from a lower court has the right to uphold, overrule, or modify the decision held by the lower court Federal court system, district courts have only jurisdiction and courts of appeals have only appellate jurisdiction Supreme Court has both appellate and original jurisdiction

9 Appointment of Judges The President “Shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… judges of the Supreme Court.” Article II, Section II, Clause 2 Including other federal judges who sit in the nations 94 district courts President tends to select judges on certain criteria’s: One suggested by Senator from that state Law specialist Agrees with their individual political party

10 Appointment of Judges (Con’t)
Two types of federal judges Judicial activist believe that a judge should use his or her position to promote desirable social ends judicial restraint judges should defer to the actions of the executive and legislative branches, except in cases where actions are clearly unconstitutional

11 Terms and Pay of Judges Judges of the constitutional courts are appointed for life Until they resign, retire, or die in office May be removed through impeachment Special court judges are not appointed for life Congress sets the salaries of all federal judges Can retire at age of 70 If served for at least 10 years, they get full salary for the rest of their lives

12 Court Officers Federal judges have little involvement in the day-to-day administrative operations Usually done by clerks and reporters Each of the 94 district courts have appointed magistrates that take care of legal matters Warrants of arrest Set bail in federal criminal cases Etc.

13 Court Officers (Con’t)
Each federal judicial district has at least one bankruptcy judge President and Senate appoint a U.S. attorney for each federal judicial district Bring federal charges against individuals Also represent the U.S. in all civil actions brought against the government in their districts Also appoint Marshalls

14 Section 2 The Inferior Courts

15 The District Courts Federal Judicial Districts
There are 89 federal judicial districts, and 4 other courts in D.C. and provinces Each State forms at least one judicial district At least two judges per district

16 The District Courts (Con’t)
District Court Jurisdiction Have original jurisdiction over most cases that are heard in the federal courts They hear a wide range of both criminal cases and civil cases Criminal cases are ones in which a defendant is tried for committing some action that Congress has declared by law to be a federal crime Civil cases involves some noncriminal matter such as a dispute over the terms of a contract

17 The District Courts (Con’t)
They hear a wide range of both criminal cases and civil cases (Con’t) Only federal courts that regularly use grand juries to indict defendants Only a few are ever appealed to higher courts

18 The Courts of Appeal Established by Congress in 1891 in order to alleviate the docket of the Supreme Court Its list of cases to be heard There are now currently 12 Judicial Courts Appellate Court Judges There are currently 179 circuit judges Supreme Court judge heads a court of appeals

19 The Courts of Appeal (Con’t)
Appellate Court Jurisdiction Only have appellate jurisdiction generally only from the district courts within their circuits

20 Other Constitutional Courts
The Court of International Trade Originally created in 1890 Contains 9 judges, with one as chief judge hears civil cases arising out of tariff and other trade-related laws

21 Other Constitutional Courts (Con’t)
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Created in 1982 for the Federal Circuit to speed up appeals in certain kinds of civil cases Has federal jurisdiction and deals with patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.

22 Section 3 The Supreme Court

23 Judicial Review Headed by the Chief Justice, and have the final authority in any case involving the laws of the United States The power to decide the constitutionality of an act of government, whether executive, legislative, or judicial Marbury V. Madison John Adams packed the courts with federalist judges

24 Judicial Review (Con’t)
Marshall ruled that the Judiciary Act of 1789 was void due to conflict with Constitution Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land All acts of Government are subordinate Enforce provision of Constitution The Effects of Marbury Laid foundations for the Judicial Branch

25 Supreme Court Jurisdiction
Has both original and appellate jurisdiction Most cases though come on appeal from lower federal and high state courts

26 How Cases Reach The Court
Most cases appealed to the Supreme Court are not actually heard because of multiple reasons Supreme Court agrees with lower courts decisions Less than four justices want to hear the case Most cases reach Supreme Court by writ of certiorari An order by a higher court directing a lower court to send up the record in a given case for review

27 How Cases Reach The Court (Con’t)
Rarely cases reach the Supreme Court by certificate Lower courts unsure of decision and ask Supreme Court to make the decision instead

28 How The Court Operates Operates from the first Monday in October to June or July Oral Arguments Where the lawyers make their case to be heard by the Court Briefs Detailed statements support one side of a case, which are filed with the court before oral arguments begin

29 How The Court Operates (Con’t)
The Court In Conference Headed by Chief Justice, Justice discuss their point of view on the case Discussed by seniority 1/3 of cases decisions are unanimous Most decisions are split decisions

30 How The Court Operates (Con’t)
Opinions The court’s opinion on a case is called a majority opinion Announces the court’s decision in a case and sets out the reasoning on which it is based The majority opinion stands as precedents Examples to be followed in similar cases as they arise in the lower courts or reach the Supreme Court

31 How The Court Operates (Con’t)
Opinions (Con’t) One of the justices who agree with the Court’s decision may write a concurring opinion add or emphasize a point that was not made in the majority opinion One or more dissenting opinions are often written by those justices who do not agree with the court’s majority decision

32 Section 4 The Special Courts

33 The Court of Federal Claims
No one can sue the United States unless they have gone through the Court of Federal Claims Composed of 16 judges If U.S. found in guilt, the individual can not be paid until Congress appropriates the money Can be appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

34 The Territorial Courts
Courts that work in Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Marianas

35 The District of Columbia Courts
Constitution allows there to be courts setup in the District of Columbia

36 The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
Congress has created a system of military courts for each branch of the nation’s armed forces Court Martial Serve the special disciplinary needs of the armed forces and are not part of the federal court system All court personnel are military personnel A court that has a civilian tribunal to deal with serious court-martial convictions A court operating as part of the judicial branch, that is appointed by the President and Senate

37 Military Tribunals Used to try terrorist individuals captured throughout the world A special system of justice designed to meet the needs of national security and the continuing threat posed by alien terrorists here and abroad President Obama has called for the closure of these military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay detention center Done multiple times throughout U.S. history

38 The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
Has power to hear appeals from the decisions of an administrative agency in the Department of Veterans Affairs

39 The United States Tax Court
Hears cases involving disputes over the application of the tax laws Most cases generated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

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