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The Judicial Branch. Judicial Branch Article III of the Constitution by creating a National Supreme Court. Article III also gave Congress the power to.

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Presentation on theme: "The Judicial Branch. Judicial Branch Article III of the Constitution by creating a National Supreme Court. Article III also gave Congress the power to."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Judicial Branch

2 Judicial Branch Article III of the Constitution by creating a National Supreme Court. Article III also gave Congress the power to establish inferior, or lower, federal courts. United States Supreme Court in 1789 In the United States, there are 2 different court systems in operation; the federal courts and the state courts.

3 Judicial Branch Article III of the Constitution gives the federal court system jurisdiction, meaning the authority to hear and decide a case, in 8 types of legal situations: 1.The Constitution, when a person’s rights may have been violated. 2.Federal laws, where a federal crime has occurred. 3.Admiralty and maritime law, incidents occurring at sea. 4.Disputes with the United States government, where it is sued. 5.Controversies between states, where states sue each other. 6.Controversies between citizens living in different states, where a person in one state sues a person from another state. 7.Disputes with foreign governments, when a person or company must sue another country. 8.United States ambassadors, ministers, or consuls serving in foreign countries - where an official breaks a law in another country

4 Structure of the Federal Court System


6 Federal District Courts United States District Courts make up the lowest level of the federal court system. These federal district courts handle over 90% of all cases (350,000 year). Criminal trials and civil lawsuits with federal jurisdiction begin at this level. Federal district courts have original jurisdiction, or the authority to hear cases for the first time. **These district courts are the only federal courts that have jury trials.

7 Federal District Courts Each state has at least one federal district court. North Carolina has 3 federal district courts, located in Raleigh, Greensboro, and Asheville. Article III of the Constitution states that federal cases must be tried in the state where the offense occurred.

8 Federal District Courts Federal district court judges: 1.Appointed by the President, approved by the Senate. 2.Serve for life, or until retirement, or they may be removed by impeachment. 3.There are a total of 610 permanent district court judgeships in the 50 states. 4.Salary for a federal district judge is $169,300 a year and cannot be lowered.

9 Federal District Courts Other Federal District Court Officials: 1.Magistrate – minor judge who hears trivial cases, issues court orders, and decides if trial is necessary 2.U.S. Attorney – powerful attorney for US government court cases 3.U.S. Marshal – policeman for the district courts; serving subpoenas (court orders to make a person appear in court)

10 Federal Court of Appeals Established in 1891 to ease the workload of the Supreme Court; Middle level of the Federal Court System Also called the Federal Court of Appeals, Circuit Courts of Appeals, and Federal Appellate Courts These have appellate jurisdiction – only hear cases that come to them on appeal from the federal district court.

11 Federal Court of Appeals Court of Appeals Judges are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate; they serve for life; $179,500 per year Court of Appeals do not have trials or use juries; a panel of 3 judges are used to make 1 of 3 rulings: 1.Uphold a lower court’s ruling 2.Overturn the lower court’s ruling 3.Remand the case, sending it back to the lower court for a new trial Appeals court decision can be appealed to the US Supreme Court (99% of Appeals Court decisions are upheld)

12 US Supreme Court Established by Article III; highest court in U.S. 9 Justices; 1 Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices No specific qualifications; serve for life and cannot be fired, but can be impeached. Appointed by the President and approved by Senate Chief Justice runs the meetings and leads the hearings Chief Justice earns $217,400; Associates $208,100 There have been 112 members of the Supreme Court 1 st African American – Thurgood Marshall (1967) 1 st Female – Sandra Day O’Connor (1981)

13 US Supreme Court Has original jurisdiction (hear a case for the first time) in only two types of cases: 1.Trials for cases that involve diplomats 2.Trials for cases in which a state is involved In all other cases, it has appellate jurisdiction (hearing cases on appeal from lower courts) 7000 cases come before the court; only @ 150 are chosen each year to hear or review **Court usually only hears two types of cases: 1.Cases of significant legal or Constitutional questions 2.Cases of great public interest or concern

14 US Supreme Court Supreme Court Case of Marbury vs. Madison established judicial review – court can review any state or federal law to determine if it is constitutional. 3 Principles of Judicial Review: 1.Constitution is supreme law of the land 2.Constitution is always followed if conflict with any other law 3.Judicial Branch has duty to uphold the Constitution and must be able to determine if a law is unconstitutional Two ways Congress can get around a S.C. ruling: 1.Alter the law so it doesn’t conflict with Constitution 2.Adopt an amendment to change the Constitution

15 Supreme Court For a case to be accepted and heard, at least 4 of the 9 S.C. Justices must vote to hear it. If a case does not get 4 votes – it’s over for that case. If the case is accepted, it is placed on a docket, or calendar and given a number to identify it. Writ of Certiorari – an order that directs the lower court involved to send its record of the case to the S.C. A majority vote of the justices present decides the outcome of the case; at least 6 of the 9 justices must be present for a vote to occur on a case. *If there s a tie vote, the lower courts’ decision is upheld and the result is FINAL*

16 Supreme Court Written Opinions (explains how the justices voted) 1.Majority Opinion – explains why those who voted in the majority voted the way they did, with legal explanation 2.Dissenting Opinion – explains why those who voted in the minority, or losing side, with legal explanation 3.Concurring Opinion – explains why a justice or justices who voted with the majority, but for different reasons – Chief Justice appoints justices to write these opinions, which are used by our legal system to establish precedent

17 Video Clip YouTube - Judicial Branch http://mn-media-cluster- c21316_1500k.wmv http://mn-media-cluster- c21316_1500k.wmv YouTube - The 2011 State of the Union Address YouTube - The 2011 State of the Union Address

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