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The National Judiciary

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1 The National Judiciary

2 Creation of a National Judiciary
In the times of the Articles of Confederation there were no national courts Court decisions in one state was most likely denied in other states A National Judiciary established by Article III of the Constitution “the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish”

3 US Constitution: A Dual Court System
The US has two separate courts Federal Courts State Courts

4 Jurisdiction: Who gets to Hear and Decide a Case
Plaintiff: person making legal complaint Defendant: person against whom the case will be tried If a case can only be heard by federal courts it has exclusive jurisdiction If the State and Federal courts both hear a case it has concurrent jurisdiction

5 Original and Appellate Jurisdiction
A court in which a case is first heard has original jurisdiction A court that hear a case on appeal from a lower court has appellate jurisdiction The appellate court can uphold or overrule a decision from a lower court

6 Two Kinds of Federal Courts
Judiciary Act of 1789: Proposed a 3 tier structure for the Federal Courts Federal Courts are divided into Supreme Court Inferior Courts Inferior Courts are divided into The Constitutional Courts The Special Courts


8 Appointment of Federal Judges
Appointed by President with Senate consent Usually from President’s political party Senatorial Courtesy-a senator from the same state as the nominee may block the nomination for any reason. Confirmation begins in Senate Judiciary Committee

9 Terms The judges of the constitutional courts are appointed for life – until they resign, retire or die in office The judges of the special courts serve 15 year terms Can be impeached by Congress

10 Pay Congress controls the pay of Judges
Both House and Senate versions of the bill call for the same pay increases. District court judges' salaries would go from $165,200 to $218,000; appeals court judges would rise from $175,000 to $231,000 Supreme Court associate justices would go up from $203,000 to $267,900. The chief justice's salary would go from $212,000 to $279,000.

11 Benefits They may retire at the age of 70 if they served at least 10 years They will receive full salary for the rest of their lives The Chief Justice may call any retired judge back to temporary duty in a lower court at any time

12 Inferior Court System Federal District Courts US Court of Appeals
Created by Judiciary act of 1789 600 judges hear 50 states divided into 89 federal districts Hear both criminal and civil cases US Court of Appeals Hears appeals from District Courts

13 US Court of Appeals Created in 1891 by Congress to relieve the Supreme Court’s overloaded docket Currently separated into 12 different courts(circuits) Each court is assigned 12 judges to hear cases in their assigned circuits Each court also has a Supreme Court Justice assigned to oversee cases 3 judges required to provide ruling 3 year wait for S.C.

14 Review Why was a national court system formed?
Inferior Courts are divided into what two courts? What's the difference between exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction? What is the difference between original and appellate jurisdiction?

15 The Supreme Court

16 Supreme Court The Supreme Court is the only court established by the constitution (Article III) Composed of 1 Chief Justice (John Roberts) and 8 Associate Justices

17 How Cases Reach the Court
Over 8,000 cases a year are appealed to the Supreme Court Only a couple hundred are heard because they already agree with a decision of a lower court Rule of 4- In order for the Supreme Court to hear a case, 4 of 9 justices must agree to hear the case

18 How Cases Reach the Court
Most cases reach the Supreme Court by writ of certiorari (Latin meaning “to be made more certain”) A writ is an order by the Court directing a lower court to send up the record in a given case for its review

19 How Cases Reach the Court
A few cases reach the Court in yet another way, by certificate This process is used when a lower court is not clear about the procedure of the rule of law that should be applied in a case

20 Oral Arguments The Supreme Court hear arguments on Monday – Wednesday & sometimes Thursday Lawyers arguments are always limited to 30 min The Court hears oral arguments for 2 weeks; they then recess for two weeks to consider the cases

21 Opinions The Courts decision is often called the majority opinion.
It announces the Court’s decision in a case and sets out reasoning on which it was based The majority opinions stand as precedents, or examples to be followed in future cases

22 Opinions Justices may add or emphasize a point that was not made in the majority opinion with a concurring opinion One or more dissenting opinions are written by justices who do not agree with the court’s decision

23 Judicial Restraint vs. Judicial Activism
Judge should interpret const. based on framers’ intent Laws only overturned if clear violation of Const. original meaning defer to the actions of the Executive and Legislative branch in making decisions unless case is clear violation of Constitution. Don’t believe in “making law from the bench” Judicial Activism: Judge can adapt the meaning of the const. to meet demands of modern realities Belief that Constitution is a living document that evolves with the times judge often use position to promote desirable social ends


25 Highlights of Supreme Court History
The Marshall Court Headed by Chief Justice John Marshall Marburry vs. Madison (1803)- establishes principal of Judicial Review McCulloch v. Maryland-expand implied powers through interpretation of necessary and proper clause Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)- asserted federal govt’s power to regulate commerce

26 Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)-
Scott (a slave) sued for his freedom Taken to free territory of Illinois by owner Supreme Court ruled that he was still a slave and that slaves were never envisioned to become citizens Plessy v. Ferguson Discrimination/Segregation case that established Separate but Equal doctrine that fueled segregation in the South until 1954

27 The Court and The New Deal
In the 1930’s the court clashes over FDR’s New Deal programs FDR proposed a law that would allow him to add 6 new Justices to the Supreme Court “Attempt to “pack the Court” met with fierce resistance, FDR withdraws but due to his lengthy time as President, appoints many liberal justices

28 The Warren Court ( ) 16 year period led by Chief Justice Earl Warren Many justices were FDR appointees Seen as very liberal, judicial activist period of court Brown v. Board of Education (1954)- overturns Plessy’s “Separate but Equal” doctrine/ makes segregation illegal Expanded rights of people accused of crimes (Miranda v. Arizona) Ended prayer in public schools

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