Court Structure

Court Structure - Judicial Power Original Design and...

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Unformatted text preview: Judicial Power Original Design and Development Early Features Uncertain about role of Supreme Court Federalist # 78 Hamilton on the "least dangerous branch" Judiciary Act of 1789 Madison 13 district cts.; 3 circuit courts; 1 Supreme Court Federal Judiciary Today US Supreme Court US Courts of Appeal US District Courts US District Courts 94 courts in 50 states/territories 645 authorized judgeships each court has 2-27 judges assigned earn $162,100 per year exercise original jurisdiction jury decides both civil and criminal cases most cases are not appealed US Courts of Appeal 11 numbered circuits in US which comprise the 94 district courts 179 authorized judgeships; btw. 6-28 judges assigned to these courts earn $171,800 per year exercise only appellate jurisdictionno jury ****US Court of Appeals for DC**** US Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices Original and Appellate Jurisdiction Earn $208,100 per year for Chief Justice; and $199,200 for Associate Justices Annual Term October to June Decide 65-75 cases each year from 8000 petitions from lower courts Decrease in recent years 68 last term Current Court Blocs [revision to Table 3.1 on page 63] Moderate-Liberals Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer Doctrinal Conservatives Scalia and Thomas More pragmatic Conservative Kennedy Roberts and Alito -doctrinal or pragmatic? Judicial Selection Process Nomination by president; confirmation by Senate Article II, Section 2 many informal participants White House advisors, Justice Dept., FBI, American Bar Assoc. US Senate Judiciary Committee, individual senators; "senatorial courtesy" Key Variables in Selection professional competence of nominee political party Table 3.3, page 79 policy views Other race and gender pp. 82-83 Trends and Conclusions Courts -- now more diverse in terms of race and gender Selection process has become more politicized and contested Continues to be part of a president's legacy Continuing debate over preferred role for judges/ courts Decisions have significant impact on the trajectory and fate of federal/state policies ...
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