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