2 Essential QuestionsIn what ways is the United States a nation of laws?What are the five sources of law in the United States?What roles do the courts play in the United States?
3 A Nation of LawsCriminal law: refers to the group of laws that define what acts are crimes; describes how a person accused of a crime should be tried in court and how the crimes will be punished.Crime: any behavior that is illegal because it is considered harmful to society.
4 Civil law: group of laws that refer to disputes between people.
5 Sources of LawStatutory law – laws passed by lawmaking bodies (statutes).Represent what the majority of citizens believe to be right or wrong.Common law – decisions based on customs, traditions, and cases that have been decided before.
6 Administrative law- Laws that affect our daily lives that are created by government agencies. Ex. Health, safety, education, and bankingMilitary law – Governs behavior of men and women in all branches of the U.S. armed forces.Uniform Code of Military Justice
7 Constitutional law – Constitution and Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Constitution. Law of the land
8 Roles of the Courts Settle disputes Person v. personPeople v. governmentAppeal – process by which a person asks a higher court to review the result of the trial.
9 Section 2 Essential Questions What is the purpose of the U.S. district courts?How are the U.S. courts of appeal different from the district ones?What is the role of the U.S. Supreme Court?
10 The Federal Court System Jurisdiction: the extent or scope of authority that court has properly been brought before it.OriginalAppellate
11 Three Levels of Federal Courts U.S. Federal DistrictsLowest level of courts in U.S. district courtsDistrict courts: trial courts; original jurisdiction.Original jurisdiction: authority of a court to hear and decide a case for the first time.Federal district courts are the “local” courts in the federal court system.There are 94 federal district courts in the U.S.
12 U.S. District JudgesFederal district judges are trial judges; criminal or civil cases; jury or no jury.All federal judges (except in U.S. territories) are appointed for life by the president and must be approved by the Senate.
13 U.S. Court of AppealsCourt of appeals: losing party may “appeal” judges ruling and take case to higher court.Appellate jurisdiction: power to review decisions of lower courts.“appellate” means relating to appeals.Appeal courts do not use juries.
14 The U.S. Supreme Court Highest Court in the land Mainly an appeals courtJustice: judge9 justices; 3 female, 6 male
15 Section 3 Essential Questions What is the power of judicial review?What are the constitutional checks on the Supreme Court’s powers?How has the Supreme Court strengthened constitutional rights?
16 Judicial ReviewCourts’ power to decide whether a law or presidential action is in agreement with the Constitution.Marbury v. Madison
17 Choosing a caseOver 8,000 cases are filed with the Supreme Court yearly.requests are decided.Cases must be important to the Constitution or based on national questions.Remand: to return a case to the lower courts for a new trial.
18 Hearing and Deciding Cases Cases are oral argumentsLawyers have 30 min. to present their caseJustices read written arguments and go over previous court readingsVoting is help in privateDecisions reached by simply majorityOpinionReasoning that led to the decision
19 Concurring opinion Dissenting opinion When a justice agrees with the decision of the majority, but for different reasons.Dissenting opinionExplains why the justice believes the majority opinion is wrong.Has no effect on the law
20 Supreme Court Justices Size of Supreme Court determined by CongressSince 1869, there has been 9 justices1 Chief Justice8 Associate JusticesOnly removed by impeachmentNo special requirements
21 Checking the Court’s Power Supreme Court justices are chosen by the president, but are approved by the Senate.If the court deems a law unconstitutional, then Congress has a chance to rewrite the law until the Supreme Court will enforce it.
22 Strengthening RightsSupreme Court allows the Constitution to meet the demands of the changing times.Brown v. Board of EducationSegregation is unconstitutional