jmc402 notes - I State Court System basic hierarchy i Some...

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I. State Court System – basic hierarchy i. Some type of violation within the state law b. State Trial court (Maricopa country supreme court) i. Court of original jurisdiction – starting point for case to be heard within state court system ii. State appellate court – where appeals are made for those who feel unjustly charged in trial court. 1. 3 panel justice – were constitutional rights adheared to, were legal liberties violated, did justice ensue at trial court level. iii. State supreme court – if justice isn’t found in the appellate court then it goes to the highest court system within the state level. The court of last resort. to interpret the meaning and significance of the state constitution – not country. II. Federal Court System : - violation of federal criminal code or case involving some type of controversy involved the US constitution. a. Federal district court i. similar to Court of original jurisdiction b. Eleven circuit courts of appeal 1. Very similar to state appellate level, just 11 geographically divided circuits. AZ 9 th circuit which sits in San Fran 2. Any civil rights or liberties violated will be looked at. c. U.S. Supreme Court 1. Highest level of U.S. courts – court of last resort and final appeal. 2. Interpret the meaning and significance of the U.S. constitution 3. Consists of 9 justices appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. senate for lifetime terms
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ii. Writ of certiorari a. When the supreme accepts a case to review b. At least 4000 petitions at which usually the Supreme court only accepts about 150 2. Majority opinion a. Opinion where direct impact on law 3. Concurring opinion a. May agree in majority but came to the decision in a different way and want to go on the historic record stating the route. 4. Dissenting opinion 5. Percuriam decision a. Type of majority opinion – unsigned meaning members of the majority don’t want to sign it. 6. Memorandum order a. To save time they use this instead of majority opinion d. Precedent i. Common Law system (judge-made law) 1. Judges rely on the ideas and conclusion of other cases made in the past. ii. Accept precedent iii. Modify precedent iv. Distinguish precedent v. Overrule precedent III. 1 st amendment freedom of expression a. traditional theory
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i. freedom from prior restraint 1. government stopping anything they don’t agree with ii. free to criticize their own government without fear of punishment DAY 2! I. Revisionist Theory: a. Leonard Levy , -first amendment scholar published “Legacy of Suppression” (1960) b. No freedom to openly criticize government. c. Challenged how tolerant founding fathers truly were d. How did he come to this conclusion ? i. He found that at the time of the ratification of the first amendment in 1791 and the years after he found a number of actively prosecuted seditious libel laws on the books ii. Punishing people for criticizing their own government e. There is no concrete definition of what freedom of speech is.
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