2 The Basis for the Courts Article III established the supreme court, while the same time allowing Congress to establish inferior (lesser) courts.Additionally, its important to remember that we have two different court systems in this country; Federal and State courts.
3 Two Types of Federal Courts Congress has established two types of Federal Courts:Constitutional CourtsSpecial CourtsSupreme CourtInferior CourtsConstitutional CourtsSpecial Courts
4 The Constitutional Courts This includes:-Court of Appeals (12)-District Courts (94)-Court of International TradeThese are known as the Regular or Article III Courts
5 Special CourtsSpecial Courts have been created to deal with powers expressed in Article I. The range of cases is much more narrow.Special Courts include:-Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces-Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims-Federal Claims Court-Tax Court-Courts of the District of Columbia-Territorial Courts
6 Federal Court Jurisdiction Jurisdiction: authority to hear a case.Federal courts get to hear cases due to two criteria.1) Subject matter2) Parties involvedIf not in the jurisdiction of Federal Courts, its in the jurisdiction of State Courts.
7 Types of JurisdictionThe type of jurisdiction depends on a few criteria:1)Whether they share power to hear the case with State Courts or not2)Whether they are the first Court to hear the caseExclusive Jurisdiction: case can only be heard in Federal CourtConcurrent Jurisdiction: case can be heard in either Federal or State CourtPlaintiff-Person filing suitDefendant-Person who the complaint is against
8 Original vs Appellate Jurisdiction Original Jurisdiction: Court where case is first heardAppellate Jurisdiction: A Court that hears a case on appeal (after original jurisdiction)
9 Appointment of JudgesJudges are appointed by the President with Senate confirmation. Senatorial Courtesy is also generally followed.While the Courts are supposed to be bipartisan, selections may lean towards the party of power (Especial with the Supreme Court nominees)
10 The Judicial System and Public Policy Hearing and ruling on cases has the potential to change public policy.This leads to the two different outlooks and mentalities for Judges.Restraint vs Activism
11 Judicial RestraintJudicial Restraint: the belief that judges should always try to decide cases on the basis of (1) original intent of those who wrote the constitution and (2) precedent, that is rulings in line with previous decisionsThis line of thinking believes judges should not be changing or setting law through their decisions
12 Judicial ActivismJudicial Activism is the belief that judges should act more boldly; decisions can be interpreted to reflect values and feelings of a changing society.
13 Terms and PayFederal Judges are appointed for life, only being removed through the impeachment process.Judges appointed to the Special Courts do not, however get that luxury.Congress sets their pay, if they wish to retire at 70 (with at least 10 years of service) they will receive a full pension.
14 Court Officers Magistrates are appointed to assist Judges. They issue warrants, hear evidence, and set bail.Other Officers-Bankruptcy Judge-District Attorneys-Marshals
15 The Inferior CourtsA majority (80%) of federal cases are heard in District courts.There are 89 Districts in place. They have original jurisdiction over federal cases.They can hear two types of cases:-Criminal: meaning a federal law has been broken.-Civil: a noncriminal dispute has occurred.
16 Court of AppealsIf an appeal from District Court occurs it goes to the Court of Appeals (12 in total)Appellate Judges tend to look at cases with a panel of three judges, however “en banc” can occur, which means all judges assigned to a circuit would attendAppeal Courts only have appellate jurisdiction. Their verdicts are final, unless the Supreme Court chooses to hear the case.
17 Supreme CourtThe power of the Supreme Court comes from Judicial Review: the ability to rule on the constitutionality of public policy.Judicial Review was born out of the case Marbury V Madison (1803)Judicial Review occurs because:The Constitution is supreme law of the landAll legislative acts or measures are secondary to itJudges are sworn to enforce the provisions of the constitution.
18 Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court This Court has both Original and Appellate Jurisdiction.The two cases in which they must have original jurisdiction:-Those in which a State is party-Those affecting ambassadors or other public consulsIn other cases they can choose to take on original jurisdiction.
19 How does a case reach the Court? The rule of four is used.“Writ of Certiorari”-meaning the court calls for the record of a case from a lower court.Certificate- where a lower court requests that the high court look at a case for a specific reason or question.The court convenes to hear arguments, read briefs, and hold conference.
20 Opinions of the CourtWhen a case is finally decided, a written opinion must be produced. It is written by a justice from the majority side.Majority Opinion-The courts official standing on a casePrecedents-example to be followed in similar casesConcurring Opinion-To add or emphasize a point not written in the Majority OpinionDissenting Opinion- Opinion of a Justice in the minority side of case. Allows them to speak their mind and leaves ideas in the event that the court reconsiders the matter on a different case.