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Splash Screen. Chapter 12: Supreme Court Decision Making. Chapter Focus Section 1 The Supreme Court at Work Section 2 Shaping Public Policy Section 3 Influencing Court Decisions Chapter Assessment. Contents. Why It’s Important. Chapter Objectives.

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  1. Splash Screen

  2. Chapter 12: Supreme Court Decision Making Chapter Focus Section 1 The Supreme Court at Work Section 2 Shaping Public Policy Section 3 Influencing Court Decisions Chapter Assessment Contents

  3. Why It’s Important

  4. Chapter Objectives • The Supreme Court at Work Explain how the Supreme Court selects, hears, and decides cases. • Shaping Public Policy Identify ways the Supreme Court shapes public policy and explain the limits on the Court’s power. • Influencing Court Decisions Describe the forces that shape the Supreme Court’s decisions. Chapter Objectives

  5. End of Chapter Focus

  6. The Supreme Court at Work • Key Terms • writ of certiorari, per curiam opinion, brief, amicus curiae, majority opinion, dissenting opinion Find Out • By what route do most cases from other courts reach the Supreme Court? • What are the main steps the Supreme Court takes in deciding cases? Section 1 Introduction-1

  7. The Supreme Court at Work • Understanding Concepts • Political ProcessesWhy does the Supreme Court decline to hear most of the cases brought to it? Section Objective Explain how the Supreme Court selects, hears, and decides cases. Section 1 Introduction-2

  8. For more than a month, Chief Justice John Marshall served as both chief justice of the United States and secretary of state. President John Adams appointed Marshall chief justice on January 31, 1801. Marshall, then secretary of state, held both positions until March 4, 1801. Section 1-1

  9. I. The Court’s Procedures (page 331) • A. During two-week sessions, justices hear oral arguments on cases and then meet in secret to make decisions. B. The justices consider arguments in cases they have heard and petitions from plaintiffs, and then write opinions for cases they have decided. C. Justices’ written opinions interpret the law and help shape public policy. Section 1-2

  10. I. The Court’s Procedures (page 331) The Supreme Court reviews about one percent of the cases referred to it. Does this statistic concern you? Explain. See text page 331 regarding the Court’s workload. Section 1-3

  11. II. How Cases Reach the Court (pages 332–333) • A. The majority of referred Court cases concern appeals from lower courts. B. Most appeals concern cases in which a lower state or federal court has ruled laws unconstitutional. Cases the Court chooses not to hear are dismissed, and the ruling of the lower court becomes final. C.Most cases reach the Court by writ of certiorari, in which either side petitions that a lower court’s decision involved an error raising a serious constitutional issue. Section 1-4

  12. II. How Cases Reach the Court (pages 332–333) • D. The solicitor general is appointed by the president and represents the federal government before the Supreme Court. E. The chief justice puts worthy certiorari cases on a list for discussion; two thirds of all certiorari cases never make the list. If four of the nine justices agree, a case is accepted. F.Some cases are decided by a brief, unsigned per curiam opinion; the rest are given the Court’s full consideration. Section 1-5

  13. II. How Cases Reach the Court (pages 332–333) Section 1-6

  14. II. How Cases Reach the Court (pages 332–333) Why does the Supreme Court select a very small percentage of cases to review? The Court selects only very significant cases because of its limited time. Section 1-7

  15. III. StepsinDecidingMajorCases(pages 333–335) • A. Each side submits a brief detailing legal arguments, facts, and precedents. Parties not directly involved but with an interest in the case may submit amicus curiae briefs. B. Lawyers for each side make oral arguments during which justices may ask questions. C. On Wednesdays and Fridays the chief justice presides over a secret conference, in which each single case is summarized and recommendations for handling it are made. Section 1-8

  16. III. StepsinDecidingMajorCases(pages 333–335) • D. The justices spend about 30 minutes debating each case. Each justice has one vote; a majority vote is needed to decide a case. E.The justices may issue four kinds of opinions: a unanimous opinion, a majority opinion, a concurring opinion, or a dissenting opinion. F. If the chief justice votes with the majority, he or she assigns a justice in the majority to write the Court’s opinion. If not, the most senior justice with the majority assigns a justice to write the opinion. Section 1-9

  17. III. StepsinDecidingMajorCases(pages 333–335) In what way has a Supreme Court decision affected you, your family, or your community directly? Answers will vary. Students may refer to decisions affecting schools, free speech, etc. Section 1-10

  18. Checking for Understanding • 1. Main IdeaUse a graphic organizer like the one below to identify the three ways cases reach the Supreme Court. original jurisdiction, on appeal, writ of certiorari Section 1 Assessment-1

  19. Checking for Understanding • A. a brief, unsigned statement of a Supreme Court decision • B. the opinion expressed by a minority of justices in a court case • C. a written statement setting forth the legal arguments, relevant facts, and precedents supporting one side of a case • D. an order from the Supreme Court to a lower court to send up the records on a case for review • E. the opinion expressed by a majority of justices in a court case • F. a written brief from an individual or group claiming to have information useful to a court’s consideration Match the term with the correct definition. ___ writ of certiorari ___ per curiam opinion ___ brief ___ amicus curiae ___ majority opinion ___ dissenting opinion D A C F E B Section 1 Assessment-2

  20. Checking for Understanding • 3. IdentifyCharles Evans Hughes. Charles Evans Hughes served as chief justice of the Supreme Court and is often quoted on his defense of dissenting opinion. Section 1 Assessment-3

  21. Checking for Understanding • 4. What steps does the Supreme Court take in selecting, hearing, and deciding cases? Justices discuss cases and accept those involving important constitutional questions. The Court receives briefs; listens to lawyers’ oral arguments; discusses the cases in private; votes on the cases; writes opinions; and announces its decisions. Section 1 Assessment-4

  22. Critical Thinking • 5. Demonstrating Reasoned JudgmentDo you believe that it is proper that the Supreme Court’s deliberations are secret and that no minutes are kept? Answers will vary. Students should cite the relationship between secrecy, judicial independence, and political or public pressure. Section 1 Assessment-5

  23. Political Processes The Supreme Court does not hear all the cases sent to it on appeal. Find out how many cases were sent to the Supreme Court in each of the past 10 years and the number of cases about which an opinion was issued. Present your information in a double bar graph. Section 1 Concepts in Action

  24. End of Section 1

  25. Shaping Public Policy • Key Terms • judicial review, impound, stare decisis, precedent, advisory opinion Find Out • Does the Court’s use of judicial review give it too much power compared to that of the president and Congress? • By what means is the Supreme Court limited in its power? Section 2 Introduction-1

  26. Shaping Public Policy • Understanding Concepts • Constitutional InterpretationsHow do Supreme Court decisions affect laws passed at both the state and national levels? Section Objective Identify ways the Supreme Court shapes public policy and explain the limits on the Court’s power. Section 2 Introduction-2

  27. The Constitution sets no basic requirements for Supreme Court justices, not even age limits or citizenship. Neither a law degree nor prior experience as a judge is mandatory. Section 2-1

  28. I. Tools for Shaping Policy (pages 336–339) • A.The Court determines policy in three ways: 1. using judicial review; 2. interpreting laws; 3. overruling or reversing its previous decisions. B.Using judicial review, the Court may examine laws and actions at all levels of government and cancel them if they violate the Constitution. Section 2-2

  29. I. Tools for Shaping Policy (pages 336–339) • C.The Court uses judicial review most often to review state and local cases, but sometimes its review of federal cases can have a tremendous impact on the nation, as in the Brown (1954) and Miranda (1966) cases. D.The Court’s interpretation of the very general language of laws allows it to decide how the law applies to specific situations. E.The Court’s rulings become precedents on which to base other, similar decisions; however, since times change, the Court may overturn or reverse its earlier decisions. Some Supreme Court decisions have resulted in great social upheaval. Section 2-3

  30. I. Tools for Shaping Policy (pages 336–339) Section 2-4

  31. I. Tools for Shaping Policy (pages 336–339) Should the Court consider public reaction in making its decisions? Explain. Answers will vary. Students should support their views. Section 2-5

  32. II. Limits on the Supreme Court (pages 339–341) • A.Generally, the Court’s decisions have dealt largely with civil liberties, economic issues, federal laws and regulations, due process, and suits against government officials. B.The Court plays only a minor role in the area of foreign policy. C.Civil liberties cases make up the largest number of Court cases; appeals from prisoners comprise about one-fourth of its cases. Section 2-6

  33. II. Limits on the Supreme Court (pages 339–341) • D.By its rules and customs, the Court hears only cases where its decision will make a difference, not merely those which decide a point of law. Plaintiffs must have suffered real harm, or cases must involve a federal question. The Court avoids political issues. E.Since the Court can decide only those cases that come to it from elsewhere in the legal system, events beyond the Court’s control shape its agenda. The Court may signal its interest in a subject by taking on a specific case. Section 2-7

  34. II. Limits on the Supreme Court (pages 339–341) • F.The Court’s power to shape public policy also is limited by its own limited ability to enforce its decisions. Noncompliance by other courts also is difficult to monitor. Section 2-8

  35. II. Limits on the Supreme Court (pages 339–341) Although there are clear limits on the Supreme Court’s powers, some critics claim that the Court sometimes exceeds its constitutional power by changing public policy on controversial issues such as abortion and minority rights. Do you agree? Explain. Answers will vary. Students should note that the Court sets policy only when a case is presented to it. Section 2-9

  36. Checking for Understanding • 1. Main IdeaUse a graphic organizer like the one below to compare the power of the Supreme Court with its constitutional limitations. Power: judicial review, interpretation of laws, overturning earlier decisions Limitations: president’s power to appoint judges; Congress’s power to approve appointments and to impeach/remove judges; lack of enforcement power Section 2 Assessment-1

  37. Checking for Understanding • A. refuse to spend • B. a model on which to base later decisions or actions • C. the principle that once the Court rules on a case, its decision serves as a precedent on which to base other decisions • D. the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional • E. a ruling on a law or action that has not been challenged Match the term with the correct definition. ___ judicial review ___ impound ___ stare decisis ___ precedent ___ advisory opinion D A C B E Section 2 Assessment-2

  38. Checking for Understanding • 3. IdentifyMarbury v. Madison, Miranda v. Arizona. Marbury v. Madison is the first case in which the Supreme Court assumed the power of judicial review and ruled an act of Congress unconstitutional. Miranda v. Arizona is the Supreme Court case that ruled that police had acted unconstitutionally and had violated a suspect’s rights. This decision brought major changes in law enforcement policies and procedures across the nation. Section 2 Assessment-3

  39. Checking for Understanding • 4. Identify four ways in which the Supreme Court’s power to shape public policy is limited. Any four: restrictions on issues it will hear; limits on cases it can or will hear; limited control over its agenda; lack of enforcement powers; checks and balances Section 2 Assessment-4

  40. Critical Thinking • 5. Drawing ConclusionsDo you think the Supreme Court’s power would be enhanced or diminished if it would give advisory opinions? Explain your answer. Answers will vary. If the opinions influenced executive or legislative actions, its power would grow. If its advice was ignored, its power would diminish. Section 2 Assessment-5

  41. Constitutional InterpretationsResearch the supreme courts of Canada and Mexico. Find out how these courts select which cases they will hear. Write a brief summary that compares the selection process of these other supreme courts with that of the United States Supreme Court. Section 2 Concepts in Action

  42. End of Section 2

  43. Influencing Court Decisions • Key Terms • bloc, swing vote Find Out • How do relationships among the justices affect the Supreme Court? • What are the various external influences on Supreme Court decisions? Section 3 Introduction-1

  44. Influencing Court Decisions • Understanding Concepts • Public PolicyHow does the power of Congress over the Supreme Court affect public policy? Section Objective Describe the forces that shape the Supreme Court’s decisions. Section 3 Introduction-2

  45. William O. Douglas served longer (36 years) than any other Supreme Court justice and was the only justice ever to write both the majority and minority opinions for the same case (Meyer et al. v. United States). Douglas wrote the minority opinion and then made a few “notes” to help out with the majority opinion. Douglas’s brilliant notes were submitted as the majority opinion. Section 3-1

  46. I. Basing Decisions on the Law (page 343) • A.Justices must base their opinions on the law, not on personal opinions. B.The Court must interpret laws and relate their interpretations to the Constitution itself, relevant statutes, and legal precedents. Section 3-2

  47. I. Basing Decisions on the Law (page 343) Do you think it is good that justices must relate their decisions to relevant statutes and legal precedents? Explain. Answers will vary, but students should note that personal opinions alone are not a good basis for legal decisions. Section 3-3

  48. II. Views of the Justices (page 344) • A.Justices monitor important issues; some become identified with them. B.As justices retire, the majority voting blocs on certain issues may change. Section 3-4

  49. II. Views of the Justices (page 344) Should justices allow their views on issues to affect their decisions about the constitutionality of laws? Answers will vary. See text page 344. Section 3-5

  50. III. Relations Among the Justices (pages 344–345) • A.Modern justices meet for discussion, but they communicate mostly in writing. B.Personal relations among justices may influence the Court’s decisions. C.The chief justice’s skillful leadership can help promote harmony. Section 3-6

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