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Federal vs. State/local crimes

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Presentation on theme: "Federal vs. State/local crimes"— Presentation transcript:

1 Federal vs. State/local crimes
Mail fraud Kidnapping across state lines Auto theft across state lines Possessing prescription drugs w/o a prescription Bank robbery State/Local Murder Driving under the Influence (DUI) Rape Illegal drug use/possession (shared w/federal)

2 Role of the Federal Courts
The Federal Courts use the law to settle disputes and determine the innocence or guilt of someone accused of a crime Criminal: A law has been broken, usually results in PUNISHMENT if guilty (fine, prison) Civil: One person has caused damage to another, resulting in a PENALTY if found guilty ($ fines)

3 Equal Treatment The goal of the Federal Court system is to treat every person the same in the eyes of the law Rights to fair & speedy trial, due process, etc… People are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty May appeal rulings that they feel were unjust Equal treatment has not always been the case for some groups of people

4 Federal Court Basics Congress has the authority to create all Federal Courts below the Supreme Court Jurisdiction: Who has the authority to hear a case? Does it go to a Federal Court or a state court?

5 Federal Court Basics The Federal Courts have jurisdiction if:
If there is a Constitutional issue involved (ex: Free speech) Someone is accused of violating Federal Law Crimes or lawsuits that arise on/related to U.S controlled bodies of water Somebody from one state sues someone from another State Disputes between two or more States The Federal Government is a party in the lawsuit

6 Types of Jurisdiction Exclusive Jurisdiction: A case that can ONLY be heard in one Court (Usually describes Federal Court) Concurrent Jurisdiction: Can be heard in either a State or Federal Court Civil cases involving residents of different states 3. Original Jurisdiction: The court that gets to hear a case first 4. Appellate Jurisdiction: A court gets to hear a case only if it has been appealed from another lower court

7 Partner Questions Define jurisdiction. Then explain the difference between exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction. What is meant by the words that are inscribed on the United States Supreme Court building: “Equal Justice Under Law.”

8 Step 1: Federal District Courts
Created by Congress in 1789 to ease workload on Supreme Court Federal District Courts have ORIGINAL JURISDICTION in most Federal cases 1st Court to hear most Federal cases U.S. & territories broken into 94 districts, each district has judges to hear cases At least 1 district per state, some more

9 Step 1: Federal District Courts (Cont)
Facts: Hear criminal (bank robbery, etc…) and civil cases (federal lawsuits) Main trial courts in Federal system (hear more than 300,000 cases per year) One judge normally hears a case, decided by a jury

10 Step 2: Federal Court of Appeals
Created by Congress in 1891 to ease workload on Supreme Court Hear cases that have been appealed from district courts (appellate jurisdiction ONLY) U.S. broken down into 12 smaller groups called Circuits Each circuit has a “Federal Circuit Court of Appeals”

11 Step 2: Federal Court of Appeals (Cont)
FACTS: Most cases decided by a panel of 3 judges Can ONLY hear a case if it is appealed Making a decision Courts of Appeals do not hold trials, instead Either uphold ruling of the lower court Overturn lower court ruling

12 Step 2: Federal Court of Appeals (Cont)
Announcing decisions One judge writes the official opinion of the court Written explanation of the Court’s decision These opinions set Precedent, a standard that can be used to rule on future cases over a similar topic


14 Partner Questions How did the federal court system develop?
Why do you think federal courts rule on disputes between states? What would be an example of such a case?

15 Structure of Federal Courts
Using your notes and structure of federal courts handout, explain the three levels of the Judicial Branch and how the Judicial Branch has grown over time. Write your answer on a separate sheet of paper. It should be at least two paragraphs.

16 Selecting Judges President allowed to name Federal judges with consent of the Senate President usually looks for judges who have similar beliefs from same party Senatorial Courtesy is often followed for district court judges Senators from the candidate’s state are asked their thoughts If they disapprove, a new candidate is chosen

17 Other Court Officials Magistrate judges: Take care of routine work
Issue warrants, preliminary hearings, bail U.S. Attorney: Government lawyers Prosecute those charged w/Federal crimes Investigate complaints U.S. Marshal: Serve subpoenas, take the convicted to prison

18 The Supreme Court Highest Court in the U.S
Jurisdiction: Original jurisdiction over cases involving diplomats in foreign countries & in disputes between states All other cases, the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction (only hears appeals) Supreme Court does not hear all cases it receives Decisions of the Court are final

19 The Supreme Court Organization of the Court: Selection:
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court & 8 Associate Justices Selection: President nominates w/Senate approval Often choose candidates that they believe will be approved by Senate Background of Justices: Justices are former lawyers & judges 1st African American justice 1967, 1st female 1981

20 The Supreme Court Powers of the Court: Judicial Review: The court can review any Federal, State, Local law before it to decide if it is allowed by the Constitution Sets aside those that are in violation Marbury v. Madison case: Court case that established the power of judicial review

21 2014 Voters’ Guide Identify two elections that are related or connected to the Judicial Branch. Explain how the two elections are related or connected to the Judicial Branch.

22 Everyone from now on stays until the end of class.

23 The Supreme Court Limits on the Supreme Court:
Court can rule on an issue, but depends on Executive & Legislative to follow rulings Court can only rule on cases brought before it (actual legal disputes)

24 The Supreme Court How cases reach the Supreme Court:
The 9 justices look at the possible cases, & if 4 approve, they will hear the case (rule of 4) Docket: official calendar/schedule of cases for the Court to hear (2006) 8,900 cases appealed to the S.C. 67 hearings & full opinions, only decided a few hundred cases total

25 The Supreme Court Deciding Cases:
Written Arguments: After accepting a case, lawyers from each side submit briefs, or written explanation of that side of the case Oral Arguments: Lawyers from each side present their case to the Supreme court 30 minutes per side, justices can ask tough questions

26 Conference On Fridays the justices get together to make their decision on the case Meetings are held in secret. A majority (5 votes) decide a case. At least 6 justices need to be present to vote on a case.

27 The Supreme Court Deciding Cases:
Opinion Writing: Court issues a ruling Majority Opinion: Official ruling of the court, explains the ruling and how they came to that decision Concurrent Opinion: Written by a justice who agrees with the majority opinion, but has slightly different reasons Dissenting Opinion: Justices who disagree with the majority can write why they disagree

28 Reasons for decisions Law Precedents Social Atmosphere Justices’ own legal and personal views

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