The Judiciary - The Judiciary Courts as institutions of...

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The Judiciary Courts as institutions of dispute resolution Courts as legal institutions Courts as political institutions
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U.S. “Common Law” Tradition Common Law (compared to “Roman Law” which is codified statutes) Common Law-Judge made law shaped according to prevailing custom England (former British colonies) Australia, Canada, U.S., India, New Zealand, etc. Precedent Stare Decisis “Let the decision stand”
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Sources of American Law Constitutions State and U.S. Constitutions U.S. “Supreme Law of the Land” Statutes and Administrative Regulations Federal and State Local ordinances Case Law
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Federal Court System U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Court of Appeals 13 “Circuit Courts” U.S. District Courts Currently 94 Trial Courts
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13 U.S. Courts of Appeals 12 hear appeals from their jurisdiction Reviews the Record (No new trial) “law” rather than “facts” Few US. Supreme Court reviews - decisions of appellate court usually final 13 th Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) National appellate jurisdiction When U.S. Gov’t is a defendant
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U.S. Courts of Appeals (plus DC / Federal Circuit)
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Supreme Court Most work is appellate Federal appellate courts Highest state courts If federal question is involved <.5% of U.S. court cases reviewed Influence on nation’s policies Capital punishment, affirmative action, abortion, busing, sexual harassment, same sex marriage
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Supreme Court Justices never explain reason for which cases they decide to hear Legal question Lower Court’s decision differs Solicitor General pressure Represents national gov’t before Supreme Court Elena Kagen’s role right before becoming a Justice Writ of certiorari Rule of Four
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U.S. Supreme Court Oral arguments Decisions Affirmed Lower Court decision upheld Reversed Lower Court decision overturned Remanded Send back to original court for a new trial/proceedings etc.
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U.S. Supreme Court
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