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The Judicial Branch. United States v other nations Only in the U.S. do judges play such a large role in _______________. ________________- the right of.

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Presentation on theme: "The Judicial Branch. United States v other nations Only in the U.S. do judges play such a large role in _______________. ________________- the right of."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Judicial Branch

2 United States v other nations Only in the U.S. do judges play such a large role in _______________. ________________- the right of federal courts to rule on the constitutionality of laws and executive actions. It’s the #1 judicial weapon in the checks and balances system.

3 How to interpret the Constitution? There is much debate on how the Constitution should be interpreted: 1) _______________________- judges are bound by the wording of Constitution. (narrowly interpret) 2) ____________- judges should look to the underlying principles of the Constitution. (broadly interpret).

4 Precedents Definition- When judges rule on cases by using the decisions of previous judges. Also known as __________________- “Let the decision stand.”

5 The History of the Federal Judiciary Most founders probably expected judicial review but did not anticipate the courts to have such a large role in policy-making. Hamilton - Federalist #78- the ____________ of judges is essential to a democracy. He believed the courts to be the least dangerous of the three branches.

6 National Supremacy and Slavery 1789-1861 Marbury v Madison (1803) McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)- interstate ___________________ strengthened (under authority of federal government). Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)- Blacks could not become free citizens of the U.S.

7 Government & the Economy 1865-1936 Dominant issue: Could the federal government _________________________? Private property protected by the 14th amendment. Narrow interpretation of _____ and ______ amendments in relation to blacks allowing segregation (Plessy v Feruson (1896), excluded blacks from voting in many states.

8 Government & political liberty (1936-present) Court establishes tradition of deferring to the legislature in economic regulation cases. Courts shift attention to _________________ as is active in defining rights. _______________- liberal protection of rights and liberties against government trespass. 1992- Court rules that states have the right to resist some federal action.

9 Federal Courts Structure Two kinds of federal courts were created by Congress to handle cases that the Supreme Court does not need to decide. 1) __________________________- exercise judicial powers found in Article III Judges serve for life, with good behavior Salaries not reduced while in office Appointed by prez, confirmed by Senate

10 Constitutional Courts District Courts- (_____)- At least 1 in each state Trial courts of the federal system Single judge and jury present. Circuit Court of Appeals (____) appellate court located regionally panel of 3 judges

11 Circuit Court of Appeals Decisions appealed to the US Supreme Court. Over 8000 decisions get appealed in a calendar year. Most get denied. When this happens, the decision is ________ back to the lower court, which means the circuit court decision stands. Circuit Court decisions are usually the court of __________________ for most cases.

12 Selecting Judges All constitutional court judges are nominated by the _____________ and confirmed by the ______________, on recommendation from the Senate Judiciary Committee. _________________ usually employed for district judges.

13 The Litmus Test Presidents seek judges who share an ideology similar to their own. Greatest impact on court decisions is ____________________. Litmus test during Reagan/Bush administrations was ___________.

14 Jurisdiction of Courts Dual court system- state courts and federal courts have their own ________________. Federal cases listed in Article III and the 11th Amendment. Federal question cases: involving US Constitution, federal law and treaties. Also cases involving different __________ or ______________ of different states.

15 Federal or State Court? Some cases can be tried at either level. Example: if both federal and state laws have been broken. (_______________) State cases can sometimes be appealed to the Supreme Court….a ___________ question must be raised.

16 Route to the Supreme Court Most federal cases begin in district court, then are appealed to circuit court. Supreme Court picks which cases it wants to hear. ___________- 4 justices agree to hear case, then issue a writ of certiorari Usually pick cases that deal with: 1) significant federal or __________ question 2) conflicting decisions by circuit courts 3) constitutional interpretation by a high state court, about state or federal law.

17 Going Supreme!! About 8000 requests for certiorari are submitted, the Supreme Court usually limits its _____________ to no more than 100 cases in a year. The Supreme Court sometimes hears cases on ______________ jurisdiction: 1) when a foreign ambassador is named in a case 2) when a state is named in a case 3) when maritime/_________ law is involved.

18 Supreme Court in Action Each side has an 1/2 hour for oral arguments, including interruptions for questions by justices. Briefs are submitted by each side and friends of the court – ______________ briefs. Solicitor general- ________ justice

19 Conference Procedures Judges meet in chambers. Chief Justice speaks ______, votes _______ Selection of opinion writer Types of opinions: 1) per curiam- brief and unsigned 2) majority opinion- official decision 3) _______________ opinion- agree, but for different reason 4) Dissenting opinion- minority opinion.

20 Checks on Judicial power Congress: 1) _____________ and impeachment 2) change the number of judges 3) changing jurisdiction of courts 4) revising legislation 5) ______________ the Constitution

21 Public Opinion and the Courts Judges do not follow ______________. However, over time if public opinion is consistent, judges will adapt laws to _________ public opinion.

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