Politics Courts Lecture

Politics Courts Lecture - The Courts Politics Outline - The...

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The Courts – Politics Outline - The Judicial Process - The Organization of the Court System - The Courts as a Political Institutions - The Power of Judicial Review - The Supreme Court in Action - Judicial Decision Making - Judicial Power and Politics The Judicial Process - Two broad categories of laws. o Criminal law o Civil Law - Criminal Law o Disputes involving criminal penalties (as opposed to civil law) o Regulates the conduct of individuals o Defines crimes, and provides punishment o Government is always the plaintiff (making the complaint) Plaintiff: brings a complaint in court o Defendant committed a criminal violation Defendant: charged with a complaint in court o State: traffic offense, robbery, murder, etc. o Federal: tax evasion, mail fraud, drug sales. o Fined or sent to prison
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- Civil law o Disputes between individuals; or individuals and govt; no criminal offense. o Cannot be fined or sent to prison o May be required to pay damages o Include contracts and torts - Deciding cases o Precedents (prior decisions) Prior cases Principles used by judges as the bases for decisions. o Stare decisis (“let the decision stand”) Previous decision by a court applies as a precedent in similar cases until that decision is overruled. - Public Law o Plaintiff or defendant in criminal or civil case shows issues involves powers of government or rights of citizens under Constitution o Constitutional law o Public law: cases involving the action of public agencies or officials The Organization of the Court System - Types of courts o Trial: first; hears criminal or civil case o Court of appeals: hears the appeals of the trial-court decisions o Supreme court: highest court in the US; primarily serves an appellate function Deals with the decisions that other courts have made - Federal Jurisdiction o Cases heard in federal court
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Involves federal laws Treaties with other nations US Constitution o Article III: Supreme Court Appellate jurisdiction in all federal cases Original jurisdiction in cases involving ambassadors; issues where state is a party Lower courts: original jurisdiction to other cases o Cases (mostly) assigned based on geography 94 judicial districts 11 regional circuits and the DC circuit Specialized courts: US Court of International Trade; US Court of Federal Claims; US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. o
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Politics Courts Lecture - The Courts Politics Outline - The...

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