Top Banner
The Judicial Branch Chapter 18

The Judicial Branch Chapter 18. Part 1 What is the US Court System?

Jan 12, 2016



The Judicial Branch

The Judicial BranchChapter 18Part 1What is the US Court System?Basic VocabularyJurisdiction: the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised Circuit: The area or district covered under the jurisdiction of a judge Plaintiff: person who files the suitDefendant: person whom the complaint is againstDocket: list of cases to be heard in a courtAppeals: The transfer of a case from a lower to a higher court for a new hearingHabeas Corpus: unlawful detention a person under arrest must be seen by a judge.Writ: Legal action Types of Jurisdiction Exclusive:Cases only heard in either the State or Federal CourtsConcurrent:Cases that can be heard in either the State or Federal CourtsOriginal: The court in which a case is first heardAppellate:A court that hears a case on appeal from a lower court

2 Separate Court systems in the USNational/Federal

120 Courts throughout the CountryState

Each state has their own systemThey hear most of the cases Federal vs. State Jurisdiction StateFederal Cases involving state laws Family law issues Real property issues Most private contract disputes most professional malpractice issues most personal injury lawsuits Most workers injury claims Probate and inheritance matters Most traffic violations and registration of vehicles Crimes under statuses enacted by congressMost cases involving federal lawsMatters involving interstate and international commerceCases involving securities and commodities regulationsPatent, copyright and other intellectual property issuesCases involving rights under treatiesBankruptcy mattersDisputes between statesHabeas Corpus actionsTraffic violations on certain federal properties Federal Courts broken down furtherConstitutional CourtsFederal courts that Congress has formed under Article IIIJudicial Power of the United StatesIncludes:94 District Courts12 US Courts of AppealsUS Courts of Appeals for the federal CircuitUS Court of International TradeSpecial CourtsCreated to hear cases arising out of the expressed powers of congressMore narrow rangeIncludes:US court of Federal claimsTerritorial CourtsCourts of DCUS Tax CourtUS Court of Appeals for Armed ForcesUS Court of Appeals for veterans claims Part 2Judges Basics Why does the Judicial branch need to be more or less independent from political parties?President with the Senates help chooses federal judgesUsually whomever the Senate from the state where the judge will serve is nominatedAnyone can be chosenUsually: lawyer, legal scholars, law school professors, former members of congress, state court judges Two types of judges Judicial activists:Believe they should use their position to promote desirable social endsJudicial restraint:Believes in making decisions judges should defer to the actions of the executive and legislative branch TermsSupreme Court Justices serve for lifeRemoved by impeachmentConstitutional Court Justices serve for lifeRemoved by impeachmentSpecial Court Judges serve for a certain term length Court Officers Judge: With clerks, bailiffs, court reporters etcMagistrate:Appointed by district court judge (400)8 year termDo smaller things that the judge doesnt have time forBankruptcy Judge:Each federal district has at least 1 (350)14 year termUS attorney:President and Senate appoints 1 for each districtThe Governments prosecutor Part 3Inferior Courts Federal District Courts300,000 cases a yearFederal Courts of Appeals55,000 cases a yearUS Supreme Court100 cases a year8000cases1. The District CourtsCreated by the Judicial act of 1789

Federal Judicial Districts89 Federal Judicial Districts Each state has at least 1A district may have several judgesCases are heard by either 1 judge or a 3 judge panelOriginal Jurisdiction over most federal cases Both criminal and civil casesIf appealed it goes to the court of appeals for that judicial circuit

2. The Courts of AppealsCreated by Congress in 1891Used to relieve some of the burden on the Supreme Court (gatekeepers)12 courts of appealJudicial Circuits179 judges and a Supreme Court Justice is assigned to one of the circuits3 judge panel (sometimes all of them)Decisions are final unless the Supreme Court decides to hear the case

US Supreme Court 94 District CourtsCourts of DCTerritorial CourtsUS Tax Courts12 US Courts of AppealsAppeals from Highest State CourtsUS Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Military CourtsUS Court of Appeals for the Federal CircuitUS Court of International TradeUS Court of Federal ClaimsUS Court of Appeals for Veterans ClaimsOther Constitutional CourtsCourt of International trade9 judges Civil cases from tariffs and other trade issues Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit12 judges Nationwide jurisdiction

Part 4The Supreme Court BasicsOnly court specifically created by the ConstitutionJudicial ReviewThe deciding if something is constitutional or notMarbury v. Madison

John RobertsChief Justice since 2005Appointed by George W. BushUS Court of Appeals for DC

Clarence ThomasAssociate Justice since 1991Appointed by George H. W. BushUS Court of Appeals for DC Ruth Bader GinsburgAssociate Justice since 1993Appointed by Bill ClintonUS Court of Appeals for DC

Stephen BreyerAssociate Justice since 1994Appointed by Bill ClintonUS Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit Anthony KennedyAssociate Justice since 1988Appointed by Gerald FordUS Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Samuel AlitoAssociate Justice since 2006Appointed by George W. BushUS Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit Sonia SotomayorAssociate Justice since 2009Appointed by Barack ObamaUS Court of Appeals for the 2nd circuit

Elena KaganAssociate Justice since 2010Appointed by Barack ObamaSolicitor General of the US Antonin ScaliaAssociate Justice since 1986Appointed by Ronald ReaganUS Court of Appeals for DC JurisdictionBoth appellate and original jurisdictionMost are appellate2 types of cases can be heard as original jurisdictionThose in which the state is the partyThose affecting ambassadors, or other public ministers and consuls The Rule of FourHow they choose cases to hearAt least 4 of the 9 Justices must agree that the case should be put on the docketMost cases reach the Supreme Court by Writ of Certiorari An order by the court directing the lower court to send up the record in a given case for its review Most writ are denied by the Sfupreme Court How the Supreme Court Operates 1. The Supreme Court accepts a case and sets a date2 week cyclesHear cases for two weeks and then recess to consider the cases for two weeksOral argumentsLimited to 30 minutesBriefs: written documents filed before the oral arguments2. Solicitor General: The Attorney for the US3. ConferenceConsider the Cases they heardChief Justice in charge

4. OpinionAfter a vote and decision is made it is written in the form of an opinionChief Justice assigns who writes the courts opinion

Types of OpinionsMajority Opinion:This is the opinion of the court.The RulingPrecedents: examples for lower courtsConcurring Opinion:Add or emphasize a point from the Majority OpinionDissenting Opinion:Written by those Justices who dont agree with the Majority Part 5Rights of the AccusedIt is better that ten guilty persons go free than that one innocent person be punishedAny person who is suspected or accused of a crime is innocent until proven guiltyTo make sure this happens an accused person has a number of rights: Habeas CorpusBills of Attainder Ex Post Facto Grand JuryDouble JeopardySpeedy and Public TrialTrial By JuryRight to an Adequate DefenseSelf -Incrimination

1. Habeas CorpusPrevent unjust arrests and imprisonmentsPerson must be taken before the court and just cause must be shown why they are being accusedLincoln suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus in 1861Taney: UnconstitutionalNew law: Habeas Corpus Act1866: Unconstitutional again2. Bills of AttainderA legislative act that inflicts punishment without a court trialNeither Congress nor the States are allowed to do thisLegislative branch can define laws but not declare someone guiltyKeeps people from being punished without a trial

3. Ex Post Facto LawsA law passed after the factA criminal law, one defining a crime or providing for its punishmentApplies to an act committed before its passageWorks to the disadvantage of the accusedNeither Congress nor States can pass such laws4. Grand JuryThe formal device by which a person can be accused of a serious crime16-23 people with a vote of 12 to bring and indictmentIndictment: a formal complaint that the prosecutor lays before a grand juryOnly the prosecution is presentProtect the accused from over zealous prosecutors5. Double JeopardyOnce a person has been tried for a crime they cannot be tried again for the same crime Exception Federal vs stateIf it is a hung juryProtect the accused from having to go back to trail over and over again

6. Speedy and Public TrialThe government will try someone without undue delay and it a public trialProtects the accused fromBeing arrested and sitting in jail for years with no idea when your trial will beThe government doing something shady and not being held accountableCant be too speedy or too public7. Trial by juryImpartial juryTrial jury is often called a petit juryThe trial is held where the accused did the crimeDefendant may request a bench trialNo jury only the judge hears the case

8. Right to an adequate defenseThe accused has the right to the best possible defense that circumstances will allowDefendants have the right toBe informed of the nature and cause of the accusationTo be confronted with the witnesses against himTo have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favorTo have the Assistance of counsel for his defense

9. Self-IncriminationNo person can be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himselfThe prosecution has the burden of proof in criminal casesMiranda v. ArizonaRight to remain silentAnything you say may be used against youRight to an attorneyOne will be provided if they cant afford itMay end police questioning at any timePart 6Almost finished You must know judicial review!!!!ConstitutionalityMarbury vs. Madison You must know Due ProcessThe Federal Government cannot deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. 5th amendment14th amendment puts the same restrictions on States and Local Governments Due process is defined on a case by case basis

Welcome message from author
This document is posted to help you gain knowledge. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think about it! Share it to your friends and learn new things together.