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Federal Court System Chapter 18. I. The National Judiciary A.The Creation of a National Judiciary 1. Federal court system established by Article III of.

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Presentation on theme: "Federal Court System Chapter 18. I. The National Judiciary A.The Creation of a National Judiciary 1. Federal court system established by Article III of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Federal Court System Chapter 18

2 I. The National Judiciary A.The Creation of a National Judiciary 1. Federal court system established by Article III of the Constitution.1. Federal court system established by Article III of the Constitution. 2. Two separate court systems in the United States.2. Two separate court systems in the United States. –a. Federal system of courts. –b. State courts (hear majority of cases). Magistrate, District, Appeals, SupremeMagistrate, District, Appeals, Supreme 3. Congress has created two types of federal courts.3. Congress has created two types of federal courts. –a. Constitutional courts 1. United States Supreme Court1. United States Supreme Court 2. Courts of appeals2. Courts of appeals 3. District courts3. District courts –b. Legislative courts: limited range of specialized cases. Legislative Oversight.

3 B. Jurisdiction in the Federal Courts 1. Interpretation and application of the Constitution or of any federal statute or treaty.1. Interpretation and application of the Constitution or of any federal statute or treaty. 2. Cases that arise on the high Seas or in navigable waters of the United States.2. Cases that arise on the high Seas or in navigable waters of the United States. 3. Cases that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the federal courts are within the jurisdiction of the State courts.3. Cases that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the federal courts are within the jurisdiction of the State courts. 4. Types of jurisdiction4. Types of jurisdiction –a. Exclusive jurisdiction: ONLY be heard in the federal courts. –b. Concurrent jurisdiction: share the power to hear cases (either the federal or state courts). –c. Original jurisdiction: the power to hear a case first (district court) –d. Appellate jurisdiction: the authority of a court to review decision of inferior (lower) courts on questions of law. 5. Independent judiciary: courts are to be free from outside influence.5. Independent judiciary: courts are to be free from outside influence.

4 C. Appointment of Judges 1. Federal judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.1. Federal judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. –a.CANNOT be removed from office by President –b.Removal through impeachment.

5 D. Terms and Pay of Judges 1. Federal constitutional judges, Article III judges, are appointed for LIFE1. Federal constitutional judges, Article III judges, are appointed for LIFE 2. Congress sets judicial salaries and benefits.2. Congress sets judicial salaries and benefits.

6 II. The Inferior Courts A. The United States District Courts 1. Created in 1879 as trial courts1. Created in 1879 as trial courts 2. There are 94 districts. Each state has at least one district court. (CA, NY, TX all have 4).2. There are 94 districts. Each state has at least one district court. (CA, NY, TX all have 4) percent of the federal cases that come before federal judges are tried in the federal district courts percent of the federal cases that come before federal judges are tried in the federal district courts. 4. U.S. District courts cover an assigned territory that is based primarily on geographic regions. Each judicial district has two judges4. U.S. District courts cover an assigned territory that is based primarily on geographic regions. Each judicial district has two judges 5. U.S. District Courts have original jurisdiction over most of the cases heard in the federal courts.5. U.S. District Courts have original jurisdiction over most of the cases heard in the federal courts. –a. U.S. District Courts hear both civil and criminal cases. –b. U.S. District Courts use both grand and petit juries. –Grand jury: people and hears charges against a person accused of committing a crime; if believes there is enough evidence to bring the person to trial then it issues an indictment. –petit jury: 6 or 12 people, it is a trial jury and it has the job of weighing the evidence presented at a trial in a criminal or civil case; in a criminal case it can pass a verdict of guilty or not guilty

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9 B. The United States Courts of Appeals 1. U.S. Court of appeals were created in 1891 as “Gatekeepers" to the Supreme Court.1. U.S. Court of appeals were created in 1891 as “Gatekeepers" to the Supreme Court. –a. Relieve the United States Supreme Court of hearing most appeals. –b. Only appellate jurisdiction, no original jurisdiction. 2. There are now 13 courts (12 judicial circuits or regions with one court each, one special appeals court with national jurisdiction.).2. There are now 13 courts (12 judicial circuits or regions with one court each, one special appeals court with national jurisdiction.). 3. Appellate courts are regional and usually hear appeals from courts within their circuits.3. Appellate courts are regional and usually hear appeals from courts within their circuits. 4. Cases brought before a panel of three judges usually hears the federal courts of appeals.4. Cases brought before a panel of three judges usually hears the federal courts of appeals. 5. Decided in 3 ways: uphold, reverse, or send case back to the lower court to be tired again5. Decided in 3 ways: uphold, reverse, or send case back to the lower court to be tired again 6. Decisions are final unless appealed to the SC6. Decisions are final unless appealed to the SC

10 C. Two Other Constitutional Courts 1. The International Trade Court1. The International Trade Court 2. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit2. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit –a.hear appeals from the International Trade Court, the Court of Veteran Appeals, the Merit Systems Protection Board.

11 III. The Supreme Court: “Court of Last Resort” A. Justices: 9 justices (Chief Justice and 8 associate justices). B. Judicial Review 1. decide the constitutionality of an act of government.1. decide the constitutionality of an act of government. 2. Marbury v. Madison, Marbury v. Madison, Ultimate authority on constitutionality3. Ultimate authority on constitutionality 4. Disputes between States and between States and the Federal4. Disputes between States and between States and the Federal

12 C. Jurisdiction 1. SC has both original and appellate jurisdiction1. SC has both original and appellate jurisdiction –a. Majority of its cases are appeals. –b. Original and exclusive jurisdiction over: i. Issues between Statesi. Issues between States ii. Cases against ambassadors, or other public ministers.ii. Cases against ambassadors, or other public ministers. 2. SC has almost complete control over its own caseload.2. SC has almost complete control over its own caseload.

13 D. How Cases Reach the Court 1. "The Rule of Four“: four judges must agree to hear case1. "The Rule of Four“: four judges must agree to hear case Then placed on Court's docket.Then placed on Court's docket. 2. Writ of certiorari —order made by SC to a lower court, requesting the records.2. Writ of certiorari —order made by SC to a lower court, requesting the records. –a. From State high courts and federal appellate courts. 3. Some sent to by certificate3. Some sent to by certificate –a. Request by a lower court that SC rule on a specific legal issue. –b. Extremely rare.

14 E. The Supreme Court at Work 1. Briefs are filed with the court (written documents supporting one side of a case)1. Briefs are filed with the court (written documents supporting one side of a case) –a. Statements and facts from "friends of the Court" (experts) –b. Statements and facts from Interest groups. Relevant cases pending before the court –c. Cite legal precedents 2. Oral Arguments are heard — lawyers address the justices, emphasizing the major points made in their written briefs.2. Oral Arguments are heard — lawyers address the justices, emphasizing the major points made in their written briefs. 3. Briefs are analyzed privately3. Briefs are analyzed privately

15 4. The Conference —justices meet in secret session to discuss in depth and vote on the cases they have heard.4. The Conference —justices meet in secret session to discuss in depth and vote on the cases they have heard. 5. Opinions—5. Opinions— –A. Majority Opinion: at least five justices write the Opinions of the Court Has immediate power of lawHas immediate power of law –B. Concurring opinion — an opinion written to make a point that was not made in the Opinion of the Court. –C. Dissenting opinion — an opinion disagreeing with the majority opinion of the Court. –All may have an influence on subsequent rulings.

16 Plessy vs. FergusonPlessy vs. Ferguson Justice John Harlan, wrote: Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law...In my opinion, the judgment this day rendered will, in time, prove to be quite as pernicious as the decision made by this tribunal in the Dred Scott case...The present decision, it may well be apprehended, will not only stimulate aggressions, more or less brutal and irritating, upon the admitted rights of colored citizens, but will encourage the belief that it is possible, by means of state enactments, to defeat the beneficent purposes which the people of the United States had in view when they adopted the recent amendments of the Constitution.Justice John Harlan, wrote: Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law...In my opinion, the judgment this day rendered will, in time, prove to be quite as pernicious as the decision made by this tribunal in the Dred Scott case...The present decision, it may well be apprehended, will not only stimulate aggressions, more or less brutal and irritating, upon the admitted rights of colored citizens, but will encourage the belief that it is possible, by means of state enactments, to defeat the beneficent purposes which the people of the United States had in view when they adopted the recent amendments of the Constitution.

17 IV.The Special Courts A.The United States Claims Court –1. The United States cannot be sued - by anyone, in any court, for any reason - without its consent. –2. The Claims Court hears cases from all over the country in which there are claims for damages against the Federal Government. B.The Territorial Courts 1. courts for the nation's territories.1. courts for the nation's territories. 2. At the current time, there are three (3) courts. The courts sit in the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marianas.2. At the current time, there are three (3) courts. The courts sit in the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marianas. 3. These courts operate much like local (state) trial courts.3. These courts operate much like local (state) trial courts.

18 C. The Courts of the District of Columbia 1. The District of Columbia has its own system of courts.1. The District of Columbia has its own system of courts. 2. This system was established by Congress.2. This system was established by Congress. D. The Court of Military Appeals 1. "GI Supreme Court"1. "GI Supreme Court" E. The Court of Veterans Appeals F. The United States Tax Court


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