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Unit VI – The Judicial System

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1 Unit VI – The Judicial System
Chapter 18 Sections 1 & 2 National Judiciary and The Inferior Courts

2 Creation of a National Judiciary
Article III, Section I - “The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” Article I, Section 8, Clause 9 – Congress is given the expressed power to create the rest of the federal court system.

3 Dual Court System Two separate court systems in the United States:
Federal (national) system State and local system

4 Federal Courts There are also two kinds of federal courts:
Supreme Court Inferior courts Constitutional Courts Special Courts See chart on page 521

5 Federal Court Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction – defined as the authority of a court to hear (to try and to decide) a case. The term literally means “to say the law”. Subject matter – federal courts hear cases if they involve a “federal question” that is, the interpretation of the Constitution.

6 Continued… Parties – for a federal case, one of the parties must be
The U.S. or an office or agency An ambassador or official rep. of a foreign govt One of the 50 states suing another State A citizen of one State suing another State An American citizen suing a foreign govt A citizen of a state suing another citizen of the same state where both claim title to land under grants from a different state

7 Types of Jurisdiction Exclusive or Concurrent – exclusive meaning cases listed from previous slide; concurrent meaning that federal and state courts share the power to hear cases. Original and Appellate – original meaning the case is being heard for the first time; appellate meaning a case heard on appeal from a lower court.

8 Federal Judges Selection – President nominates and Senate approves
Impact of Philosophy – Restraint – believe that judges should decide cases on the basis of (1) the original intent of the Framers when writing the Constitution Activism – take a much broader view of judicial power; leave more room for interpretation

9 Federal Judicial Districts
At least 2 judges assigned to each district (some have more) Refer to chart on page 529

10 District Court Jurisdiction
District courts have original jurisdiction over more than 80% of the cases that are heard in the federal court system. Criminal and civil cases

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