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Article III of the Constitution

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Presentation on theme: "Article III of the Constitution"— Presentation transcript:

1 Article III of the Constitution
The Judicial Branch Article III of the Constitution

2 The Judicial Branch

3 The Judicial Branch Under the Articles of Confederation there was no Judicial Branch. Laws were made, interpreted and applied by the States.

4 The Judicial Branch The National Judiciary was created by Article III of the Constitution. It set up a dual court system National Judiciary State Courts

5 The Judicial Branch Jurisdiction – The authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Federal Courts get Jurisdiction in 2 cases Subject Matter (Provisions in the Constitution) States suing other States

6 The Judicial Branch Exclusive Jurisdiction – Cases that can be heard only in federal courts. Concurrent Jurisdiction – Power to hear cases is shared by federal and state courts. Original Jurisdiction – A court in which a case is heard first Appellate Jurisdiction – A court that hears a case on appeal from a lower court (the appellate court may uphold or overturn or modify the lower courts decision.

7 The Judicial Branch District Courts have only O.J.
Court of Appeals have only A.J.

8 The Judicial Branch Federal Courts (Supreme Court Etal.) Justices are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. There used to be a 60 vote majority in the Senate to confirm. However the Democrats change the rule in November of 2013 (the so called Nuclear Option) to make it a simple majority.

9 The Judicial Branch Most Judges are leading attorneys, legal scholars, law school professors, former members of Congress, and State Court Judges. They usually serve for DECADES. Republican Presidents usually appoint Republicans – Democratic Presidents usually appoint Democrats. Federal Judges serve for life, until they resign, retire, or die in office. They may be removed by impeachment (some of the special courts have term limits)

10 The Judicial Branch Congress sets salaries for Judges. They may retire with full benefits at 70 with 10 years service or 65 with 15 years of service. Chief Justice $223,500 Associate Justice $213,900

11 The Judicial Branch Inferior Courts – Federal courts beneath the Supreme Court. 80% of the federal case load is heard by the Federal District Courts. Court of Appeals – Created as a gatekeeper to relieve the Supreme Court workload. There are 12 Court of Appeals. They are divided into 11 judicial circuits + Washington D.C. Texas is in the 5th Circuit of Appeals. We have 18 Judges. They usually sit in panels of 3 unless it is really important then they will ENBANC (all participating).


13 The Judicial Branch – Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has 9 Justices (1 Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices) The size of the Supreme Court is set by Congress. Over the years the size of the court has changed. (1st S.C. had 6, then 5, then 7, 9, 10, 7, and as of now 9. It is the highest court in the land – Final Authority Has the power of Judicial Review – Power to decide the constitutionality of an act of Government. Set by Marbury vs. Madison Until then the Supreme Court was obscure.

14 The Judicial Branch – Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has both O.J. and A.J. Nearly 5000 cases are appealed to the Supreme Court each year. The court only accepts a few hundred cases a year. Rule of 4: 4 Justices must agree that a case should be put on the court’s Docket (list of cases to be heard). Some cases reach the Supreme Court by a Writ of Certiorari – an order by the Supreme Court directing a lower court to send up the records from a case. When a lower court asks the Supreme Court to certify the answer to a specific question it is called a Certificate. When the Supreme Court refuses to hear a case the decision of the lower court stands.

15 The Judicial Branch – Supreme Court
The Supreme Court sits from the first Monday in October to sometime in June or July. It meets in 2 week cycles Mon-Thur on Fridays they hold a Conference – a meeting of the Justices to discuss its views, vote, and decide which new cases to accept. Once a case is accepted, it sets a date on which lawyers from both sides will present oral arguments. Usually 30 minutes each over the Briefs - written documents filed with the court (many are hundreds of pages long).

16 The Judicial Branch – Supreme Court
The Solicitor General – officer of the Justice Department who represents the United States in all cases to which it is a party in a case (sometimes the attorney general will do so. Donald Verrilli Solicitor General

17 The Judicial Branch – Supreme Court
Opinions Only about 1/3 of the courts decisions are unanimous. Majority Opinion – The official decision of the court. It announces the courts decision. Concurring Opinion – a written statement to emphasize a point that was not made in the majority opinion. Dissenting Opinion – Written statement by Justices who do not agree with the courts majority opinion.

18 The Judicial Branch – Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has rarely reversed itself.

19 The Judicial Branch There are several Special Courts that deal with specific issues. Examples – Tax Court, Court of Military Appeals, Claims Court.

20 The Judicial Branch Plaintiff – one who initiates a suit.
Defendant – Party or person that must defend against the complaint. The Plaintiff is always first.

21 The Judicial Branch 1st Black on Supreme Court was Thurgood Marshall.
1st Female was Sandra Day O’Conner.

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