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Judicial Branch.

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Presentation on theme: "Judicial Branch."— Presentation transcript:

1 Judicial Branch

2 Laws and Jurisdiction Federal Courts

3 Origin of law Case law: Court decisions that inform judicial ruling
Constitution: outline the structure of the American government (or state) Statutes: laws made by the national or state government Case law Collection of past rulings, interpretations and decisions on cases that other judges can use as reference Precedent: a court ruling from the pass similar to the current case When judges make decisions that look to similar cases for precedent. Example of overturning precedent Brown v. Board of Education overturned the precedent of Plessey v. Ferguson of separate but equal Statutes Laws passed by Congress and State legislatures.

4 Jurisdiction The authority to hear certain cases is called jurisdiction of the court. Concurrent jurisdiction is when both federal and state courts have jurisdiction. Appellate Jurisdiction: The power to review cases already decided in lower court Limited Jurisdiction: The power to hear only certain kinds of cases (tax cases)

5 Types of Courts Federal (Supreme Court & inferior federal courts)
established by Congress. States Each state has it’s own courts system whose power comes from state constitution and laws.

6 Federal Courts

7 The Federal Courts Three layers of authority in the federal court system: The Supreme Court Thirteen Courts of Appeals and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. U.S. District Courts and Specialized Federal Courts

8 District Courts 94 courts Lowest level of the federal judicial system
Federal Court System District Courts 94 courts Lowest level of the federal judicial system Trial courts for both criminal/civil federal cases District Courts has original jurisdiction to hear cases involving Constitutional law Cases Involving citizens of different states Civil cases Hear most federal cases Each district court hears cases within a particular district. There are 94 districts. Every state has at least one district court Have original jurisdiction Must follow Supreme Court president as much as possible

9 District Courts

10 Federal Court System Appeals If a person who loses a case in a trial court wishes to appeal a decision, they may take the case to a court with appellate jurisdiction. Meaning a party may appeal a case from a district court to a court of appeals

11 Court of Appeals 13 US Courts of Appeals
Each covers a circuit-a geographic area containing several district courts The Appeals court reviews the details of the case. DOES NOT HOLD TRIALS! If an mistake was found the case will be send back to the district court for a new trial Cases only get reviewed for a good reason, such if the ruling discarded precedent

12 Court of Appeals District Courts

13 Appeals Those who are unhappy with the verdict from the court of appeals, may appeal to the Supreme Court

14 Supreme Court Is the highest court in the land
Federal Court System Supreme Court Is the highest court in the land Receives thousands of appeals every year but only hears a small percentage of them

15 Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Courts

16 Federal Court Jurisdiction
Federal Courts System Federal Court Jurisdiction The Constitution gave federal courts jurisdiction in cases that involve United States laws, treaties with foreign nations.

17 Federal Courts Jurisdiction Cont.
Federal Courts System Federal Courts Jurisdiction Cont. Ambassadors and other representatives of foreign governments Two or more states government United States government or one of it offices or agencies Citizens who are resident of different states Citizens who are residents of the same state but claim land under grants of different states


19 Federal Courts System Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Courts

20 Special Federal Courts
Congress has created a series of courts referred to as legislative Courts. Legislative courts help Congress exercise its power. U.S. Court of federal Claims U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces U.S. Tax Court Territorial Courts US Court of Military Appeals Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Federal Claims Court A person who believes that the government has not pad a bill for goods or service may sue in this court Appeals for the Armed Forces Armed forces highest appeals court. “GI” supreme court The Supreme court however has jurisdiction to review this court’s decision U.S. Tax Court Cases usually involve citizens who disagree with the IRS or other treasury department agencies ruling about federal taxes Based in DC. Federal court of appeals handles cases appealed from the tax court Territorial Courts Congress created courts in the Virgin Islands, Guam, the northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico. The appellate court for this system are the United states court of appeals Court of the district of Columbia Because DC is a federal district Congress developed a judicial system for the nation’s capital With federal district court and a court of appeals, various local courts handle cases in DC Court of Veteran’s Appeals He cabinet- level department was created to deal with veterans problems. This court handles cases arising from unsettled claims Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court The court was authorized to secretly wire tap people suspected of sping against the United States FISA search warrants do not have to be made public and can be issued without probable cause- which is not the case with most criminal cases

21 Supreme Court Court of Appeals District Courts

22 Special Federal Courts
Federal Courts System Special Federal Courts U.S. of Federal Claims Court U.S. Court of International Trade U.S. Tax Court U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

23 The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Federal Courts System The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Court of appeals for the federal circuit National jurisdiction over certain cases, such as those in which the U.S. government is a defendant

24 Selection and Qualification
Federal Judges

25 Qualifications No specific requirements in the constitution
Federal Courts System Qualifications No specific requirements in the constitution Most have prior experience ( lower or state courts)

26 Selection of Federal Judges
Federal Courts System Selection of Federal Judges All federal judges are appointed by the president and approved by the senate. Senatorial courtesy -allows senators from the president party to have a say in the appointment of judges in their state Hold position for life (must be in good standing) Senatorial courtesy started in the 1840’s Once on the bench a federal judge keeps the position for a term of “good behavior” Alexander Hamilton argued in the Federalist papers No 78 (1787), keeping judges in office for life gives them independence they need to serve as a proper check on the executive and legislative branches


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