Presentation on theme: "THE JUDICIAL BRANCH For what reasons was the national court system established? States were ignoring each others laws States were interpreting laws differently."— Presentation transcript:
THE JUDICIAL BRANCH For what reasons was the national court system established? States were ignoring each others laws States were interpreting laws differently To settle disputes between individuals from different states
On what two bases can the federal courts hear and decide cases? Subject matter Parties involved How are federal judges selected Nomination by the President and approval by Senate
Who helps federal judges and Supreme Court justices do their job? Court clerks and other court officers U.S. magistrates U.S. attorneys U.S. marshals Other judges
Crime— something one does or fails to do that is in violation of the law, or an action for which the state has set a punishment or penalty. Civil Action— also known as a “tort”; wrongful actions committed by one person against another.
Felony— a crime punishable by one year or more in jail, and/or $1,000 or more in fines. Misdemeanor— a crime punishable by one year or less in jail, and/or $1,000 or less in fines.
FEDERAL CASES AND FEDERAL COURTS A person is accused of disobeying the U.S. Constitution A person is accused of violating a U.S. treaty A person is accused of breaking a federal law passed by Congress.
A person is accused of committing a crime on U.S. federal property. A citizen of one state brings a lawsuit against a citizen of another state. A person is accused of an offense by a foreign nation A person is accused of committing a crime on a U.S. ship at sea
FEDERAL COURTS Federal District Courts 90+ Federal District Courts map, p. 513 Federal Circuit Court of Appeals 12 circuits judges sit in groups of 3 can travel to court of original jurisdiction
OTHER FEDERAL COURTS Inferior Courts Special Courts
INFERIOR COURTS Federal District Courts 665 cases per year Judiciary Act of states, D.C., and Puerto Rico original jurisdiction over federal cases caseload
Federal Circuit Court of judges (3-judge 55,000 cases per year on appeal created in total circuits appellate jurisdiction handle caseload
Court of International Trade 9 judges Civil cases involving tariff and trade laws 1890 and 1980 New Orleans, San Francisco, Boston, and New York Original jurisdiction over tariff and trade laws Regulate and resolve disputes over trade laws.
Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 12 judges appeals from Civil cases in lower federal courts 1982 spread throughout the nation appellate jurisdiction speed up the appeals process
Tax Court 19 judges 15 year terms hear civil and criminal disputes over the application of tax laws
Veteran’s Affairs Appeals Court 6 judges 15 year terms appeals of decisions of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs
Territorial Courts 4 judges 15 year terms Application of laws governing U.S. territories
Courts of the District of Columbia part of the Federal District Court system hear local and constitutional cases involving the governing of the District of Columbia.
United States Claims Court 16 judges serve 15 year terms hear civil claims filed against the United States government
Armed Forces Appeals Court 5 judges 15 year terms Hear appeals of decisions in military courts and court martials
The U.S. Supreme Court 9 justices Meet October to May/June How cases get there
PETITION FOR REVIEW lawyers file briefs (statements about the case) with the Supreme Court attempting to convince the justices that the issues in the case are or are not important.
Criteria for acceptance: --- the US is a party in the case ---different reasons for decisions were given in the lower courts ---the issue is one the justices are eager to resolve ---workload permits it ---the case present an issue of importance to the nation ---"the rule of four"
BRIEFS ON THE MERITS ---the case is granted "writ of certiorari" and placed on the docket (calendar) ---briefs are filed by both lawyers focusing on the decision to be made ---outside groups with an interest in the case can also file "amicus curiae" briefs (means "friend of the court")
ORAL ARGUMENTS each case is given one hour for presentation (30 minutes per side) justices can interrupt and ask questions at any time no jury and no witnesses
CONFERENCE AND DECISION all conferences are closed and confidential decisions do not have to be made immediately following the hearing of a case
ASSIGNMENT AND WRITING OF OPINIONS chief justice assigns the writing of opinions three kinds of opinions: majority---majority (5 or more) justices are in agreement on outcome and reasoning concurrent--of the majority justices, there is agreement on the outcome, but disagreement on the reasons dissenting (minority)--opinion of the minority number of justices
STATE CASES AND STATE COURTS State cases occur when a person breaks a law as specified by the state. Code of Alabama, Titles 12, 13, 13A, 14, and 15 Capital crimes--crimes made worse by the circumstances surrounding the criminal action; known as “aggravating” circumstances.
STATE COURTS Local Courts Superior//County//District Courts Intermediate Appeals Court State Supreme Court
THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS SUSPECT search and seizure--4th amendment exclusionary rule warrants searching without a warrant?? ARREST warrants Miranda rights
BOOKING/PHOTOGRAPH preparing the "file" on you INITIAL APPEARANCE accused appears before a judge, who may set bail PRELIMINARY HEARING judge decides if there is enough evidence to have you bound over for formal charges
If you committed a federal offense….. GRAND JURY people who hear evidence and issue indictments INDICTMENT statement by a Grand Jury formally accusing you of the crime for which you were charged ARRAIGNMENT HEARING accused is formally notified of charges and enters a plea Your case then goes to petit jury selection
If you committed a state offense….. Your case goes to petit jury selection Called “voir dire” (French for “to see to say”) Petit jury is 6-12 people who hear the case and decide guilt or innocence and recommend a punishment.
Trial— evidence is presented by opposing lawyers; witnesses are called. Verdict— petit jury decides guilt or innocence Sentencing— judge sets punishment for defendant; defendant serves time