Cases and the Law: Types of Law Common law - Rule of Precedent Constitutional law Statutory law Administrative law Case law
Cases and the Law: Terms Criminal cases — Misdemeanor and felony — Government — Defendant — Beyond a reasonable doubt — plea bargains Civil cases — Plaintiff — Defendant — Preponderance of the evidence —Settlements Precedent or stare decisis
16-3 Geographic Boundaries of Federal District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeals
Federal Jurisdiction and Status Original versus Appellate –Jurisdiction is the authority of a court to hear a case. Diversity of citizenship - participants from different states. Standing to sue - sufficient “stake” in the matter Justifiable controversy
The Lower Federal Courts Courts of original jurisdiction Ninety-four district courts Over 300,000 cases 655 judges
The Appellate Courts Appellate jurisdiction 51,000 cases annually 10% reviewed United States divided into twelve appellate circuits with 13 courts. Six to twenty judges per Court of Appeals - usually sit a panel of three.
What the Courts Do Interpret Constitutionality of laws Interpret Statues - national and state for legislative intent. Fact Determination - District Courts Clarification of political boundaries Education and Value Application Legitimization of policy - civil rights
Supreme Court Original Jurisdiction Case between U.S. and a State Case between States Case involving a Foreign Ambassador Case between a State and Citizen of another State Case between a State and a Foreign Country
The Supreme Court Original and appellate jurisdiction 7,000 - 8,000 cases reviewed annually One chief justice and eight associate justices
How Judges Are Appointed Appointed by the president Confirmed by a simple majority of the Senate Senatorial courtesy
16-7 Gender and Ethnicity or Race of Appointees to the U.S. Courts of Appeals, by Administration
Judicial Review and Lawmaking The power of judicial review is used to define basic concepts as they apply to laws enacted by Congress and the president. The courts become lawmakers.
Judicial Review of Acts of Congress Judicial review is the power of the courts to review the constitutionality of governmental actions. — Chief Justice John Marshall — Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Judicial Review of State Actions Supremacy clause provides that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Supreme Courts uses supremacy clause to declare acts of the states unconstitutional. For example, — Brown v. Board of Education (segregation) — Roe v. Wade (abortion statutes) — Loving v. Virginia (interracial marriages) — Lawrence v. Texas (same sex sodomy law)
How Cases Reach the Supreme Court Constitutional jurisdiction Writ of habeas corpus –court order that requires an individual in custody be brought before the court showing reason for detention. Writ of certiorari –decision by at least four justices to review a lower court decision.
Controlling the Flow of Cases The Solicitor General –screen agency appeals before submission to court –top government lawyer where government is involved The FBI –provides data support for cases Law clerks –research and assist justices in writing decisions
Lobbying the Court Specific case selection to achieve goal Bring multiple cases at appellate level in different districts Congressional legislation to facilitate litigation Use of amicus curiae
Explaining Supreme Court Decisions Judicial activism –going beyond Constitution considering societal implications Judicial restraint –strict Constitutional interpretation Political ideology –liberals tend to be activists –conservatives tend to be restraintists –this is not absolutely true