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The Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch

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The Judicial Branch

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  1. The Judicial Branch

  2. United States Supreme Court • The top of the federal court system

  3. Legal Systems Goal • To treat every person the same

  4. Article III • Established the Supreme Court • Gave Congress the power to establish lower federal courts

  5. Three Levels of the Federal Court System • District Courts (bottom) • Appeals Courts (middle) • Supreme Court (top)

  6. State Court System • Exists along side the federal court system • Gets its power from each individual state constitution

  7. Jurisdiction • a courts authority to hear and decide cases

  8. Federal Courts Jurisdiction • Cases Involving the Constitution • Violations of Federal Laws • Controversies Between States • Disputes Between Parties from Different States • Suits Involving Federal Government • Cases Involving Foreign Governments and Treaties • Cases Based on Admiralty and Maritime Laws • Cases involving U.S. Diplomats

  9. Exclusive Jurisdiction • the authority of only federal courts to hear and decide cases • Most court cases involve state law and are decided in state court

  10. Concurrent Jurisdiction • the authority for both state and federal courts to hear and decide cases • Example: If citizens from different states are involved in a dispute worth at least &50,000

  11. District Courts • federal courts where trials are held and lawsuits are begun • There are 94 district courts • Each state has at least one district court • District courts are the only federal courts in which witnesses testify and juries hear cases and reach verdicts

  12. Original Jurisdiction • the authority to hear cases for the first time

  13. Appeals Courts • courts that review decisions made in lower district courts • There are 12 United States courts of appeals

  14. Appellate Jurisdiction • authority of a court to hear a case appealed from a lower court

  15. Reasons Lawyers Appeal Cases • Feel the judge applied a law incorrectly • Feel the judge used the wrong procedures • New evidence is found

  16. Circuit • The area of jurisdiction for a federal court of appeals

  17. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit • has national jurisdiction to hear special cases • Examples: Patent law cases and international trade cases

  18. Types of Appeals Court Decisions • Uphold the original decision • Reverse the original decision • Remand a case

  19. Remand • to send a case back to a lower court to be tried.

  20. Opinion • A detailed explanation of the legal thinking behind a court’s decision in a case

  21. Precedent • ruling that is used as the basis for a judicial decision in a later, similar case

  22. Supreme Court • Has 9 judges called justices • Are appointed to position for life • Do not have to worry about losing job because of unpopular decision

  23. Magistrate Judges • Assist with a judges routine work • Issue court orders such as search and arrest warrants • Hear preliminary evidence to see if a case should go to trial • Decide whether people should be held in jail or released on bail before a trial • Hear minor cases

  24. U.S. Attorneys • Government lawyers that prosecute people accused of breaking federal laws • Represent the United States in cases in which the government is involved • Appointed to four year terms by the President and approved by the Senate • Report to the Attorney General of the United States

  25. Attorney General of the United States • The head of the Justice Department

  26. United States Marshals • Make arrests • Collect fines • Take convicted people to prison • Protect jurors • Keep order in federal courts • Serve subpoenas

  27. Subpoena • A court order requiring someone to appear in court

  28. Supreme Court • Main job is to decide whether laws are constitutional

  29. Constitutional • In agreement with the Constitution

  30. Supreme Court • Made up of 9 justices (8 associate justices and 1 Chief Justice) • The first Chief Justice was John Jay • The current Chief Justice is John G. Roberts Jr.

  31. Thurgood Marshall • First African American Justice • Joined in 1967

  32. Sandra Day O’Connor • First female justice • Joined in 1981

  33. Judicial Review • The power of the Supreme Court to say whether any federal, state, or local law or government action goes against the Constitution

  34. Nullify • Cancel

  35. Marbury v. Madison • Helped make the Judicial Branch an equal power to the Executive and Legislative branches • Set the constitution as the supreme power of the land • Declares that the Constitution rules in any conflict with a law

  36. Docket • a court’s calendar, showing the schedule of cases it is to hear

  37. Brief • a written document explaining the position of one side or the other in a case

  38. Majority Opinion • a statement that presents the views of the majority of the Supreme Court justices regarding the case