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terms_14 - CHAPTER 14 The Judiciary IMPORTANT...

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CHAPTER 14 The Judiciary IMPORTANT TERMS * activist approach An approach to judicial review which holds that judges should discover the general principles underlying the Constitution and its often vague language and apply them to cases. * amicus curiae A Latin term meaning “friend of the court.” Refers to interested groups or individuals, not directly involved in a suit, who may file legal briefs or oral arguments in support of one side. *brief A legal document submitted by lawyers to courts. It sets forth the facts of a case, summarizes any lower court decisions on the case, gives the arguments for the side represented by the lawyer filing the brief, and discusses decisions in other cases that bear on the issue. *civil law Rules defining relationships among private citizens.
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*class action suit A case brought into court by a person on behalf of not only himself or herself but all other persons in similar circumstances. The Supreme Court in 1974 tightened rules on these suits to only those authorized by Congress and those in which each ascertainable member of the class is individually notified if money damages are sought. *concurring opinion An opinion by one or more justices who agree with the majority’s conclusion but for different reasons that they wish to express. *constitutional court Lower federal courts created by Congress which exercise the judicial powers delineated in Article III of the Constitution. Its judges, therefore, enjoy two constitutional protections—they serve “during good behavior” and their salaries may not be reduced while in office. *courts of appeals The federal courts that have the authority to review decisions by federal district courts, regulatory commissions, and certain other federal courts. Such
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courts have no original jurisdiction; they can hear only appeals.
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