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Unformatted text preview: Chapter Overview The American judicial process is based on the adversary system. Judges in the United States play a more active role in the political process than they do in most other democracies. Federal courts are established by and receive their jurisdiction directly from Congress, which must decide the constitutional division of responsibilities among federal and state courts. Federal judges apply statutory law, common law, equity law, constitutional law, admiralty and maritime law, and administrative law. They apply federal, criminal, and civil law. Although bound by procedural requirements, including stare decisis, they can exercise discretion. The Supreme Court has almost complete control over the cases it chooses to review as they come up from the state courts, the courts of appeals, and district courts. Its nine justices dispose of thousands of cases, but most of their time is concentrated fewer than 100 cases per year that...
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- Spring '10