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Chapter 11 The Federal Court System. I. Powers of the Federal Courts Supposed to balance the other two branches Supposed to balance the other two branches.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 11 The Federal Court System. I. Powers of the Federal Courts Supposed to balance the other two branches Supposed to balance the other two branches."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 11 The Federal Court System

2 I. Powers of the Federal Courts Supposed to balance the other two branches Supposed to balance the other two branches Really had no power until Chief Justice John Marshall was appointed chief justice in 1801 Really had no power until Chief Justice John Marshall was appointed chief justice in Federal Court Jurisdiction 1. Federal Court Jurisdiction Jurisdiction: authority to hear certain cases Jurisdiction: authority to hear certain cases They hear cases on U.S. laws, treaties, or interpretations of the Constitution They hear cases on U.S. laws, treaties, or interpretations of the Constitution

3 A. Jurisdiction of the Courts cont. 2. Concurrent Jurisdiction Both federal and state courts have jurisdiction 3. Original and Appellate Jurisdiction Trial court where the case is originally heard is the original jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction: appeals for previously heard cases

4 B. Developing Supreme Court Power The court has developed from custom, usage, and history The court has developed from custom, usage, and history 1. Early Precedents 1. Early Precedents Justice may not seek out cases Justice may not seek out cases 2. Marbury v. Madison 2. Marbury v. Madison Established judicial review Established judicial review Power to review acts of Congress Power to review acts of Congress 3. John Marshall’s Influence 3. John Marshall’s Influence The court established its power under his guidance The court established its power under his guidance Federal govt. grew more powerful Federal govt. grew more powerful

5 C. Due Process 14 th Amendment guaranteed citizenship to all Due process clause of it was routinely challenged State may not deprive any person of life, liberty, or property w/o due process of law 1. Plessy v. Ferguson 1898, upheld segregation 2. The Court and Business Upheld several monopolies in the late 19 th century Changed during the progressive era 3. Protecting Civil Liberties Modern court has protected individuals 1954, Brown v. Board of Education

6 II. Lower Federal Courts Judiciary Act of 1789 est. many of the lower courts Judiciary Act of 1789 est. many of the lower courts A. Constitutional Courts A. Constitutional Courts Est. in Article III Est. in Article III Federal district courts, federal court of appeals, and U.S. court of international trade Federal district courts, federal court of appeals, and U.S. court of international trade 1. Federal District Courts 1. Federal District Courts Trial courts Trial courts 94 districts today 94 districts today 550 judges 550 judges

7 A. Constitutional Courts cont. 2. Federal Court of Appeals Created in 1891 to lighten the case load of the Supreme Court 13 U.S. courts of appeals Usually a panel of three judges hears cases Can uphold a case, reverse it, or send it back to lower courts 4. Court of International Trade Customs Court Deals with tariffs Based in NYC

8 B. Legislative Courts Help Congress exercise its power Help Congress exercise its power 1. U.S. Court of Federal Claims 1. U.S. Court of Federal Claims Claims against the govt. Claims against the govt. 2. U.S. Tax Court 2. U.S. Tax Court Dispute the IRS or Treasury Dept. Dispute the IRS or Treasury Dept. 3. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces 3. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Military’s highest appeals court Military’s highest appeals court 4. Territorial Courts 4. Territorial Courts Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, etc. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, etc. 5. Courts of the District of Columbia 5. Courts of the District of Columbia 6. The Court of Veteran Appeals 6. The Court of Veteran Appeals 7. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court 7. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court For wiretaps and other spy related cases For wiretaps and other spy related cases

9 C. Selection of Federal Judged Presidential appointment and Senate approval Serve for life 1. Party Affiliation Presidents favor their own party, usually. Progressive vs Conservative 2. Judicial Philosophy A means to perpetuate the President’s political views 3. Senatorial Courtesy Pres. Submits nominees to the Senators from that state 4. Background of Federal Judges Almost all of them have legal training from top schools Recently, more women and minorities are gaining seats

10 III. The Supreme Court The court of last resort in all federal law The court of last resort in all federal law 9 justices serve for life 9 justices serve for life Decisions are binding to lower courts Decisions are binding to lower courts Hears mainly appeals from lower courts Hears mainly appeals from lower courts Until 1891, justices still had to ride the circuit Until 1891, justices still had to ride the circuit Traveling to hold court in regions Traveling to hold court in regions All cases are heard in Washington today All cases are heard in Washington today

11 A. Supreme Court Jurisdiction Has both original and appellate jurisdiction Hears original cases involving: Representatives of foreign govts. Cases where a state is a party Appellate cases fill the docket Hears cases that involve the Constitution Also oversees acts of Congress and treaties

12 B. Supreme Court Justices Nine justices Nine justices One chief justice and eight associate justices One chief justice and eight associate justices Congress has the power to change the number Congress has the power to change the number FDR tried to “pack” the court during the New Deal FDR tried to “pack” the court during the New Deal Paid $208,000 per year Paid $208,000 per year Congress sets their wages and cannot reduce them Congress sets their wages and cannot reduce them Congress may impeach justices and remove them Congress may impeach justices and remove them Justice Samuel Chase was impeached in 1804 and acquitted Justice Samuel Chase was impeached in 1804 and acquitted

13 B. Supreme Court Justices cont. 1. Duties of the Justices Not described in the Constitution Developed from laws, tradition, and specific needs Main duty: hear and rule on cases Deciding which cases to hear Deciding the cases Expressing their explanation in the Court’s opinion Each justice oversee a federal district Special situations Justice Robert Jackson presided over the Nuremburg Trials Justice Earl Warren investigated the Kennedy assassination

14 B. Supreme Court Justices cont. 2. Law Clerks 2. Law Clerks Assist the justices with their tasks Assist the justices with their tasks 3. Background of the Justices 3. Background of the Justices No Constitutional requirements No Constitutional requirements 6 were born outside the U.S. 6 were born outside the U.S. There have been 104 justices There have been 104 justices 102 men, 2 women 102 men, 2 women Most were judges before Most were judges before William Howard Taft served after his presidency William Howard Taft served after his presidency Does not represent the general population demographics Does not represent the general population demographics Ex. Two African Americans Ex. Two African Americans

15 C. Appointing Justices Appointed by the President and approved by the Senate One of Washington’s choices was rejected 25% of nominees were rejected in the 19 th century More supportive now Rejected two of Nixon’s and one of Reagan’s Clarence Thomas faced great scrutiny Some justices had different political ideas than the president thought Ike and Earl Warren


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