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PART OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH The Supreme Court. Basics of the Supreme Court Part of the Judicial Branch 9 justices on the Supreme Court (8 judges and 1.

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Presentation on theme: "PART OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH The Supreme Court. Basics of the Supreme Court Part of the Judicial Branch 9 justices on the Supreme Court (8 judges and 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 PART OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH The Supreme Court

2 Basics of the Supreme Court Part of the Judicial Branch 9 justices on the Supreme Court (8 judges and 1 Chief Justice) Court is on a equal plane with President and Congress (framers of the Constitution) 1981 first woman- Sandra Day OConnor 1967 first African-America- Thurgood Marshall Justices serve for life President appoints, Congress has to approve

3 Where do the cases come from? 8,000 cases are appealed to the Supreme Court each year Court operates from the 1 st Monday in October- June or July Rule of 4- 4 judges must agree to put a case on the docket Writ of mandamus- a court order telling a government officer to perform an act that they have legal duty to perform

4 How does a case get to the Supreme Court? 4 judges have to agree to hear a case Writ of Certiorari- a writ from a high court to a low one to get the records of the proceedings to review If 4 or more judges do not agree, the lower court ruling stands If a lower court is unsure of the rule of law that should apply to the case they issue a certificate If they agree they hear the oral arguments, accept the case and set a date

5 What happens during a court session? 1 st two weeks- justices hold public sessions and they listen to the facts of several cases (lawyers present, justices listen and question) (30 minutes) 2 nd two weeks- justices study the facts of the case (lawyers give them briefs about the case) Called a recess or court in conference

6 Whats the Vote? Decisions are reached by a majority vote Six justices must be present to call for a vote After the Court has voted, it writes an opinion ( a carefully worded statement that explains why the decision was made) 1/3 of decisions are unanimous, most are divided

7 What are the type of opinions? Majority Opinion- Announces the Courts decision of the case and why they voted the way they did Precedents- Examples to be followed in similar cases Concurring Opinion- Other justices may right this if a point of theirs was not made in the majority opinion Dissenting Opinion- Written by those justices who do not agree with the Courts decision


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