Presentation on theme: "11 Theory of Knowledge/Government Ms. Halle Bauer"— Presentation transcript:
1 11 Theory of Knowledge/Government Ms. Halle Bauer The Judicial Branch11 Theory of Knowledge/GovernmentMs. Halle Bauer
2 The Role of the CourtsWhat is the role of the judicial branch of government? Why does it exist?Hamilton’s Federalist Papers:The judicial branch is the “least dangerous” in American government because it carries “neither force nor will but merely judgment.”Is this true today?
3 The Evolution of the Court System Jay and Ellsworth CourtsDemonstrated that the courts existed to mediate individual conflicts, not to shape policyMarshall and Taney CourtsIncreased powers and role of the Federal government and courtsCivil War-New Deal CourtsDefined “reasonable” and “unreasonable” government intervention in economic affairsWarren CourtFocused on rights and political liberty with an increase in activist decisions1992-PresentReturned to limiting the role of the federal government in state affairs
4 Types of Law Statutory Law Codified in the written legal system Criminal LawViolations of laws against the criminal codeCommon LawUnwritten law based on precedentStare decisis“Let the decision stand”Civil LawDisputes or conflicts between two parties not necessarily involving society as a whole
5 Judicial Powers Judicial Review But how? The Federal courts have the power and the responsibility to determine if laws are consistent with the Constitution.But how?Strict constructionists use judicial restraint.Judges should make decisions solely on the language of the law.Loose constructionists take the activist approach.Judges should make decisions using the underlying principles of the law to guide policy on moral and/or economic grounds.
6 How do you think judges should interpret the law?
7 Jurisdiction Federal Jurisdiction State Jurisdiction Question Cases directly concern federal laws, treaties, or the ConstitutionDiversity Cases involve citizens from two or more different statesThe Dual Sovereignty Doctrine allows both state and federal courts to try an individual for the same actOther cases in which…A federal law is brokenA person declares bankruptcyTwo states are in conflictMost criminal casesMost contract casesFamily lawCases involving state laws
8 Original Jurisdiction The U.S. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction for cases involving…Two or more statesThe U.S. government and a stateAmbassadors and diplomatsA state and a citizen of a different stateOriginal JurisdictionThe U.S. Supreme Court
9 The Federal Court System Constitutional CourtLegislative CourtDistrict Courts94 total, with at least one in each stateThe lowest federal courtsWhere trials take placeCourts of AppealsIn 11 circuits plus D.C. and a federal circuit courtWhere appeals take placeOrdered by Congress for specific purposesCourt of Military Appeals
10 Judges…as Policy Makers? Courts have ruled over 1000 federal laws unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court has reversed its decisions over 200 times since 1810.When judges reinterpret the law or the Constitution in significant ways, policy changes.In the summer of 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. Since then 5 federal courts have decided using U.S. v. Windsor as a precedent.
11 Our Judges…Senatorial courtesy is a practice allowing senators from a state affected by a nomination to influence the candidate.Senators often look at the political ideology and philosophies of nominees as a “litmus test” during confirmation hearings.
13 What does the Supreme Court do? 1. Create a docket.Review appeal applications and issue a writ of certiorari (cert) directing a lower court to send up cases that at least 4 justices want to hear
14 What does the Supreme Court do? 2. Hear Cases.Read briefsContaining lawyers’ argumentsAmicus curiae: friend-of-the- court briefsHear oral argumentsSolicitor General represents U.S. governmentConsult expert opinionsIn journals and former casesDeliberate and decideMajority wins
15 3. Write opinions. (Such as with Shelby County v. Holder in 2013) Opinion of the Court“Our country has changed. While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.”Concurring Opinion“By leaving the inevitable conclusion unstated, the court needlessly prolongs the demise of that provision [of the Voting Rights Act]”. I would find Provision 5 unconstitutional.”Dissenting Opinion“Just as buildings in California have a greater need to be earthquake proofed, places where there is a greater racial polarization in voting have a greater need for prophylactic measures to prevent purposeful race discrimination.”Per Curiam Opinion
18 Is Judicial Review the Final Say? Checks on the Supreme Court’s power:Congress shapes the courts by confirming appointees to the bench.Congress can impeach judges.Congress can change the number of judges in the federal system.Congress can amend the Constitution.Congress can repass slightly amended laws.Congress can determine the rules of jurisdiction in many cases.