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What is the role of the Supreme Court in the American Constitutional System? Lesson 25.

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Presentation on theme: "What is the role of the Supreme Court in the American Constitutional System? Lesson 25."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is the role of the Supreme Court in the American Constitutional System? Lesson 25

2 Powers of the Court The Constitution created the Supreme Court and gives Congress power to create other courts that are inferior to, or below the Supreme Court Judges are given life tenure so that they will be above politics Jurisdiction: Power to decide only certain cases

3 Federal judges only hear cases that deal with national laws, and those involving citizens from multiple states. Courts can use the power of judicial review.

4 Original Jurisdiction: These cases are few and far between. The Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction is usually limited to disputes between states, foreign officials, or any cases where the government is a party. Appellate jurisdiction: Refers to the power of a superior, or higher, court to review and revise the decision of a lower court. Appeal: To ask for a new hearing The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction in all cases Two Categories of Cases

5 Vocab. Litigant - A party involved in a lawsuit, who has lost in a lower federal court Writ of Certiorari - The Supreme Court’s order for case files and information so they can be put under review for their hearing of the trial An appeal to the Supreme Court does not have to be heard. Only a handful of cases are heard a year (72 in ’06)

6 Landmark Cases Supreme Court decisions that have such a large impact on the law that they have a far reaching impact. These cases are used as examples in deciding other cases. Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, Gibbons v. Ogden, Gideon v. Wainwright

7 Court decisions In the past every judge on the court was required to write an opinion. Now only one judge will write the opinion of the court. If there is dissent (disagreement) one judge will write this decision as well. This allows future judges to look back on these cases and study the rationale.

8 Methods of Constitutional Interpretation Textualism, literalism, or strict construction Interpreting the Constitution in its plain meaning. This prevents different interpretations among judges. Prevents the decisions of certain judges from being biased. Makes the law predicable

9 Original intent or original history Interpreting the Constitution as the founding fathers intended it to be. Seeing things from their perspective. Fundamental principles Using the fundamental ideas of the Constitution to determine the meaning of the words. Modernism Having the belief that the Constitution should adapt with the changing times.

10 Checks on the Supreme Court Self-Imposed: Court avoids hearing cases that deal with political issues or that could be heard by another branch of the government Presidential appointments: The President appoints judges the he believes will follow the same beliefs Executive enforcement: The President may or may not carry out the orders of the Supreme Court.

11 Congressional Powers: Congress determines some of the Court’s jurisdiction and controls its budget. They can also pass amendments that override the court’s decisions. Federalism: States might not enforce court decisions very strictly

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