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The Judicial Branch Chapter 10.

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1 The Judicial Branch Chapter 10

2 Essential Questions Why do we need a court system in America?
Do State and Federal courts do the same thing? What is the intent of civil law? What is the intent of criminal law? Why is the concept of judicial review critical to the way we interpret laws?

3 The Court System Judges are the most important members of the Judicial Branch. Basic Functions of Courts: Apply the law to an actual situation Interpret the law, and determine how to apply it Resolve 2 Kinds of conflict seen by courts Civil – settles disagreements Criminal – decides guilt, innocence, and punishment

4 Parties: Specified Names
Key Terms: Plaintiff – an individual or group of people who bring a complaint against another party Defendant – the party who answers a complaint and defends against it Prosecution – a government body that brings criminal charges against a defendant who is accused of breaking one of its laws (The People) Civil Cases: Listed Plaintiff, Defendant EX: Edwards vs. Techno Corporation Criminal Cases: Listed Prosecution, Defendant EX: The People of the State of Ohio vs. Ashley

5 Interpretation Due to different interpretations of the law, a decision of the court can be known as a precedent Precedent – a guideline for how all similar cases should be decided in the future Broad precedents are made in the highest federal courts Most cases start in State courts because most of the laws that govern our everyday actions are state and local laws.

6 State & Federal Courts Original Jurisdiction – the authority to hear a case first Determines the facts in the case If one side of the case believes it was a wrong decision, they have the right to appeal it. Appeal – to ask a higher court to review the decision and determine if justice was done. Each state has appeals courts Appellate Jurisdiction – the authority to hear an appeal Reviews legal issues ONLY Can uphold or reverse the lower court’s decision

7 State Court Levels 1. Trial Court 2. Appeals Court
3. A court of final appeals Federal Court Cases: Involve federal law (original jurisdiction) Appeals from state supreme courts (goes to the SUPREME COURT)

8 District Courts “Workhorses” of the federal court system
Handle 80% of the federal caseload Each state has at least one district court Original jurisdiction on cases involving kidnapping or a city’s failure to obey federal air pollution standards

9 Court of Appeals Total of 12 in the United States
Handle appeals from the federal district courts No jury, witnesses, or examining of evidence Lawyers make arguments in front of a panel of 3 judges. Was the law fair and interpreted correctly

10 The Supreme Court Final court for both state and federal court systems
Highest Law of The Land 9 Supreme Court justices Judges must be impartial All federal judges are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate Serve life terms and cannot be removed unless through the impeachment process

11 The Supreme Court The most important power:
Judicial Review – the power to overturn any law that the Court decides is in conflict with the Constitution *Has to be in relation to a specific case Court Case: Marbury vs. Madison (1803)

12 Justices Chosen from judges, lawyers, and legal scholars in the country Chief Justice and 8 other justices (Established in the Constitution) Chief Justice earns $198,600/year Other Justices earn $190,100/year 108 Justices have served the court (only 4 were not white men) 1. Thurgood Marshall 2. Clarence Thomas 3. Sandra Day O’Connor 4. Ruth Bader Ginsberg

13 Hearing Arguments They hear arguments for and write full opinions on about 100 cases per year (on the most important constitutional issues) The Process: Each side submits written arguments Justices study the arguments and records of the case Attorneys of each side present oral arguments (in 30 minutes) Justices have many questions for the attorneys. Decision Time: Take a majority vote Opinions – a written statement explaining the reason for the decision. (Written by the majority) Concurring opinion (agrees for different reasons) Dissenting (does not agree with the majority opinion)

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