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Types of Law Civil Law Criminal Law. Some Terms Litigants –Plaintiff –Defendant Standing Class Action Suits Interest Groups –ACLU, NAACP –Amicus Curiae.

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Presentation on theme: "Types of Law Civil Law Criminal Law. Some Terms Litigants –Plaintiff –Defendant Standing Class Action Suits Interest Groups –ACLU, NAACP –Amicus Curiae."— Presentation transcript:

1 Types of Law Civil Law Criminal Law

2 Some Terms Litigants –Plaintiff –Defendant Standing Class Action Suits Interest Groups –ACLU, NAACP –Amicus Curiae Class Action Law Suits have been filed against Maytag for their defective "Maytag Neptune Washing Machine." According to allegations in the complaints, the front-loading machines are prone to mechanical and electronic problems, do not properly wash clothes, and even have problems with mold, causing the machines and the clothes washed to smell bad.

3 The Constitution & the Creation of the National Judiciary The Vagueness of Article III Resolved by Giving Congress the Power to Create any Lower Courts that Might be Deemed Necessary Judiciary Act of 1789

4 Founder’s View Federalist #87: Alexander Hamilton Declared the Judiciary “the Weakest of the Three Departments of Power” Federalist #78:”Least Dangerous”- Congress has “the purse”, the president has the “sword”. The Supreme Court Would be the Referee

5 Structure of the American Legal System Dual Court System Dual Sovereignty System Both Systems are Three-Tiered Bottom Layer: District Courts Middle Layer: Appellate Courts Top Layer: The Supreme Court

6 Federal Court Structure

7 Jurisdiction Original Jurisdiction Jury Trial Hear the facts of the case Appellate Jurisdiction Legal and Procedural Issues No Testimony Federal-Question Cases- Diversity Cases-

8 Federal Court Structure Presently 91 Federal District Courts – 3-28 Federal Court Judges –U.S. Attorney Three Categories of Cases Heard: Federal Government is a Party to the Case Questions of Federal Law Civil Suits Involving Citizens from Different States & +$50,000 at Issue

9 Federal Court Structure Circuit Courts of Appeal Losing Party Has the Right to Appeal an Adverse Result from the District Courts Eleven Circuit Courts, Plus one in D.C. –6-28 Judges –Usually Sit in Three- Judge Panels –En Banc

10 Federal Court Structure Supreme Court 9 Justices Appellate –From Circuit, or State Supreme Courts –Must involve a Federal Question of Significance Original –Foreign Diplomat –US v. State or State v. State

11 Supreme Court Purposes Decide Cases Resolve Conflicts Among States Maintain National Supremacy of Law Uniformity of Interpretation of National Law

12 Judicial Selection No Set Qualifications for Judges President Nominates, Senate Confirms Lower Court Appointments Senatorial Courtesy Supreme Court Appointments Attorney General and Justice Department Litmus Test or Not?

13 Presidents Attempt to ‘Put their Stamp’ on the Judiciary


15 Supreme Court Choosing a Case Hear 100 out of 8000 considered. Discuss List Rule of Four Writ of Certiorari In Forma Pauperis


17 The Solicitor General Fourth-Ranking Member of the Justice Department Responsible for Dealing w/ all Arguments on Behalf of the Federal Govt. Appears Frequently Before the Supreme Court Often Described as the ’9 ½ Justice’ Ted Olson 42nd Solicitor General

18 Hearing a Case October – June Two Week Cycles –Hearing Cases –Conferences/Opinions Prepare Briefs Oral Arguments –30 Minutes Each Side Conferences –Role of Seniority in Discussion and Voting

19 Decisions, Decisions Opinions Per Curiam Opinion of the Court Dissenting Concurring Impact Stare Decisis

20 Implementation of Court Decisions “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.” Decisions Translating into Policy 1.Interpreting Population 2.Implementing Population Slippage 3.Consumer Population Brown v. Board of Education Example Executive Role Legislative Role

21 Historical Courts Marshall Court Dominant Questions: 1.Legitimacy and Strength of the Federal Government –Marbury v. Madison Judicial Review –Gibbons v. Ogden 2.Slavery –Scott v. Sandford

22 The New Deal Court FDR and Liberal Congress Conservative Court Court Packing Plan Switch in time... Historical Courts

23 Warren Court (1953-1969) Active Court –Civil Rights –Civil Liberties Burger Court Conservative Court?

24 Historical Courts Rehnquist Court Conservative in What Way? –Reversed Warren Court Decision Or –Limited Warren Court Decision –6-3 or 5-4 Decisons-Explain.

25 Judicial Power Issues Judicial Activism vs. Judicial Restraint Judicial Restraint- Strict Constructionism “Change in public opinion unaccompanied by a constitutional amendment should not change the meaning of the constitution.” 1.Un-elected Judges 2.Questionable Expertise of Judges 3.Leave Policy-Making to Executive and Legislative Branches 4.Original Intention of the Framers

26 Judicial Power Issues Judicial Activism vs. Judicial Restraint Judicial Activism- Loose Constructionism 1.Insulated judges Un-elected is an advantage Not pressured by Public Opinion, Politics, Interest Groups 2.Judicial Restraint leads to “frozen law” 3.Court of ‘Last Resort”

27 Checks on Judicial Power 1.Executive Appoints 2.Congress Confirms Begins the Constitutional Amendment Process Alter Lower Courts and Jurisdiction 3.Informal Checks?

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