judiciary-handout

judiciary-handout - The Judiciary Patrick Brandt The...

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Unformatted text preview: The Judiciary Patrick Brandt The Judiciary GOVT 2302: American Politics Patrick Brandt The Judiciary Patrick Brandt The Judiciary Patrick Brandt Constitutional Basis for Courts Constitution only creates the Supreme Court others were established by Congress shortly after. Congress can create inferior courts as it sees fit. Examples: District and Appeals courts, Bankruptcy Court, etc. Courts are a primary example of federalism: courts exist at both levels and enforce the same laws of the nation (state and federal), and the laws of states (state courts). Courts stand in a pyramid structure at the state and federal level. The Judiciary Patrick Brandt Courts Powers The Supreme Court and lower courts as well as state courts exist to settle cases or controversies. Nature of legal process is adversarial: plaintiffs and defendants must have opposite interests. Disputes must consist of a matter of fact (criminal cases) or a matter of law or interpretation, or merit (civil cases). Courts exercise power over different jurisdictions or areas of the law Provide legal interpretations and settle conflicts between laws: clarify meaning of legislation and conflicts. The Judiciary Patrick Brandt What do Courts do? Over 80 million cases are filed in courts each year. The number of cases, though has little connection with the importance of a court. Note that the Supreme Court only has about 6000 cases each year, of which less than 150-200 are heard (about 2-3%). This is only a fraction of a very large and growing number of cases. The Judiciary Patrick Brandt Federal courts hear approximately 280,000-300,000 cases per year. About 40,000 of these cases are heard in Federal Appeals Courts. Most cases are in state courts. The Judiciary Patrick Brandt What cases in which court? The cases a court hears are based on a courts jurisdiction. Original jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction Civil cases, criminal cases, bankruptcy cases. The Judiciary Patrick Brandt Basis for decisions Varies based on the court. . . Original jurisdiction Criminal cases use guilt or innocence: standard is a proof beyond a reasonable doubt Civil cases standard is a preponderance of the evidence. Appeals: based on the dispute and application of law The Judiciary Patrick Brandt State versus Federal Court State courts decide matters of STATE law. Federal courts decide matters of federal law, conflicts in state and federal law. The Judiciary Patrick Brandt State Courts Criminal courts: penal law Domestic courts: family law Civil courts: hear civil cases Appeals courts: matters of appeal, not matters of fact State Supreme Courts: matters of appeal from state appellate courts The Judiciary Patrick Brandt Membership on State Courts Selection of judges for state courts is varied. In some cases, judges are elected, others are appointed....
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judiciary-handout - The Judiciary Patrick Brandt The...

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