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The Judicial Branch Chapter 12 Civics – Mr. Blough.

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1 The Judicial Branch Chapter 12 Civics – Mr. Blough

2 The United States has a dual court system: - Federal Courts - State Courts

3 U.S. Courts Handle (have jurisdiction over) cases involving federal law and the Constitution.

4 State Courts Handle (have jurisdiction over) cases involving state matters or laws passed by states.

5 Jurisdiction: The authority to hear a case and make a decision

6 Original Jurisdiction Ability to hear case for the 1 st time; make a guilty/not guilty verdict Appellate Jurisdiction Reviewing a decision made by a lower court based on an appeal

7 Powers of the Judicial Branch

8 Conduct Trials Was the person guilty? Not guilty? Was the law violated?

9 Interpret the Law -Was the law broken? -Is there a dispute over how a law is carried out? -Does it violate the Constitution?

10 Hear Appeals Reviewing lower court decisions to determine if an error was made.

11 Judicial Review Determining if the law goes against the Constitution If the law is unconstitutional, the law gets thrown out!


13 Judicial Checks Judicial Powers over the Legislative Branch The Judicial Branch can declare Congressional laws unconstitutional. Judicial Powers over the Executive Branch The Judicial Branch can declare executive acts unconstitutional.

14 Checks on the Judicial Branch By the Executive Branch 1)The president chooses (appoints) federal judges 2)Pardon, reprieve, amnesty, etc. By the Legislative Branch: 1)The SENATE must confirm presidential appointments 2) Impeachment

15 The Federal Court System

16 Types of Cases heard by Federal Courts: - Constitutional Disputes -Crime(s) committed on federal property – Post Office, National Parks, etc. Violation of federal laws Disputes between states Disputes involving foreign governments.


18 U.S. District Courts Only Trial Court – Guilty or not guilty verdict Plaintiff: U.S. Government Defendant: Accused 1 Judge Jury of peers Original Jurisdiction – where the case begins

19 District Courts Where most of the cases are held About 90% of cases start in district courts 300,000 cases per year (criminal and civil) District courts have original jurisdiction ** Original jurisdiction = to hear cases for the first time ** District court judges are appointed by President and have lifetime terms

20 Other people in District Courts Magistrate – person who issues court orders and has a pre- trial to determine whether a case should be taken to actual trial US Attorney – The lawyer on behalf of the U.S. In criminal cases, he/she will always be on the side of the prosecution Marshal – arrests suspects and delivers people to district courts Issue subpoenas - an order requiring you to go to trial

21 US Appeals Court Where cases go after district courts Appellate jurisdiction –to hear cases that have already been decided in lower courts. Why? Wrong procedure Error on part of judge, jury, or lawyer New evidence brought forth Violation of the Constitution Lifetime appointments for judges

22 An important note: Appeals courts ARE NOT deciding cases to determine whether the party is innocent or guilty INSTEAD, they’re trying to determine whether an error or mistake was made If so, the sentence can be revoked or changed Or, it could go to the Supreme Court

23 Appeals Cases There is no jury in an appeals case. Only the judges decide!

24 U.S. Court of Appeals The accused can appeal to a higher court if they can find a legal reason to do so 3 Justices (judges) No jury Appellate Jurisdiction Uphold or overturn decision

25 U.S. Supreme Court Final court of appeals if unhappy with ruling in District Court of Appeals Meets in Washington, DC 9 Justices No Jury Appellate jurisdiction Very little original jurisdiction


27 U.S. Supreme Court Highest Court in the land The only court mentioned in Article III Judges (justices) appointed by the President and approved by the Senate Terms last a lifetime Can be impeached by Congress



30 Judicial Review Supreme Court’s power to determine if: 1.) laws passed by Congress are constitutional (Article I) 2.) President’s actions are Constitutional (Article II)

31 Marbury v. Madison 1803 Established the idea of judicial review (J.R) Allowed the Supreme Court to determine J.R. The first time that the Supreme Court deemed a law unconstitutional (threw it out)


33 The Supreme Court exists to guard the Constitution. It checks the power of the executive/legislative branches and interprets the law.

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