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The Judicial Branch Learning Objectives

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1 The Judicial Branch Learning Objectives
Identify the kinds of cases handled by the federal court system Explain the role and responsibilities of the US District Court Explain the role and responsibilities of the US Courts of Appeals Explain the role and responsibilities of the US Supreme Court Identify and describe two important Supreme Court cases that show how our laws can change

2 WORDS TO KNOW Guilty – judged to have done something wrong or against the law Innocent - judged not to have done something against the law Criminal case – involving a crime, a breaking of the law Civil case – involving a disagreement over private rights Jury – in civil or criminal cases, the people chosen to decide the case Sentence – punishment set by a court of low for a crime, such as a jail term or fine Appeal – to ask a higher court to review a lower court’s decision, appellate means having to do with an appeal

3 Jurisdiction – power or authority
Uphold – maintain or support Overturn – to throw out or turn over Majority opinion – a written statement giving reasons for disagreeing with a Supreme Court ruling Dissenting opinion – a written statement giving reasons for disagreeing with a Supreme Court ruling Public – anything that is run by the government and open to everyone (such as public school) Legal – giving to do with the law; acts that are within the law Segregate – to separate people or groups from each other

4 The Federal Court System
Article III established the third branch of the government, the judicial branch At the top of the system is the US Supreme Court Congress has the power to establish lower federal courts a. district courts b. courts of appeals c. Supreme Court

5 Our law says that when a person is accused of a crime he or she is brought before a court
Judge and jury will decide if a person is guilty or innocent You are innocent until proven guilty Proof must be made in a court of law

6 Most criminal cases are heard in state courts
The federal courts handle only three main kinds of cases a. Cases dealing with the Constitution b. Cases dealing with federal laws c. cases dealing with more than one state

7 United States District Courts
The lowest courts are district courts 91 across the US Each state has at least one

8 District courts are the federal trial courts
They hear cases of a. bank robbery b. kidnapping c. breaking tax laws

9 These courts also hear federal civil cases
a. disagreement over a contract b. relations between businesses c. or other noncriminal cases

10 Court cases are heard by
a. Single judge b. 3 judge panel c. jury of 12 people Judge decides what the sentence is if they are guilty

11 Unites State Court of Appeals
Sometimes people thing they didn’t get a fair trial a. judge not fair b. trial didn’t follow rules These people have a right to appeal Ask higher court to hear the case

12 These courts are spread across the US
They are in 11 judicial areas call circuits There is one in each circuit and one in DC

13 Congress established the Court of Appeals in 1891
The 12 Courts of Appeals hear appeals from the district courts within their circuit They only hear appeals they cannot try cases

14 If a court of appeals decides to review a case, the judges will
a. study its history b. listen to lawyers for both sides c. check written records d. check to see if the lawyers, judges, and the jury all followed court laws

15 If judge decides all laws were followed, the court decision is upheld.
If the judge finds a mistake or that it was unfair, the courts decision is overturned. It goes back to district court for retrial

16 United States Supreme Court
The final court of appeals in the country is the United States Supreme Court It is the highest court in the nation Makes final decisions Decides the meaning of the Constitution

17 Most cases are appeals The judges are called justices There are 8 justices and a Chief Justice They are appointed by President and must be approved by Senate They are appointed for life

18 Hearing the Cases Supreme Court holds sessions from October to June
Lawyers from both sides are given a set time to present their cases Justices question lawyers Lawyers may also supply written briefs They hear a case for two week then have a recess for two weeks to study case

19 Our Changing Laws Hearing cases
Justices hear thousands of cases over the years Sometimes the court changes it’s mind about an earlier decision

20 First Decision Overturned
Plessy v. Ferguson Plessy an African American sat in a “White only” railroad car Did it violate the 14th ammendment? Court ruled “Blacks Only” car was just as good as “Whites Only” car Railroad cars were separate but equal

21 The Second Decision African American parents believed their schools were not as good as the schools in Topeka for white kids The parents lost their case in state court Appealed to the supreme court In 1954 Supreme Court ruled separate public schools for African American and whites violated the constitution

22 Other Special Courts United States Claims Court Territorial Courts
Court of Military Appeals United State Tax Court Court of International Trade

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