Chapter 14 - Study Guide

Chapter 14 - Study Guide - Chapter Fourteen The Federal...

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POLS 101I – American National Government Hagan Chapter Fourteen The Federal Judicial System: Applying the Law Learning Objectives Having read the chapter, the students should be able to do each of the following: 848. Distinguish between the federal and state court systems, indicating the conditions under which a case originating in a state court can be appealed to the federal courts; differentiate further between trial and appellate courts. 849. Discuss the role of partisan politics in the appointment of federal judges and justices. 850. Discuss the criteria underlying the Supreme Court’s selection of cases, and describe the procedures employed in case selection. 851. Provide an account of the political factors both inside and outside the Court which influence the decision making of the justices. 852. Describe the Supreme Court’s policymaking process and discuss the effect of this process on the related issues of legitimacy and compliance. 853. Distinguish between the philosophies of judicial activism and restraint and provide a critique of each doctrine, discussing their underlying assumptions relating to the proper role of the Court in the American political system. Focus and Main Points The author discusses the federal judiciary and the work of its judges and justices in this chapter. The role and composition of the American judicial system is described, particularly that of the Supreme Court. The politics of federal court appointments is highlighted as well. The author also focuses on judicial policymaking and describes how legal and political factors come together to influence the decisions made by the justices. In addition, the controversy concerning the proper role of the judiciary in American politics is examined. The main points of the chapter are as follows: The federal judiciary includes the U.S. Supreme Court, which functions mainly as an appellate court; the courts of appeals, which function as first-level appellate courts; and district courts, which function as trial courts. Each state has a court system of its own, which for the most part is independent of supervision by the federal courts. Judicial decisions are constrained by applicable constitutional law, statutory law, and precedent. Nevertheless, political factors have a major influence on judicial appointments and decisions as judges are political officials as well as legal ones. The judiciary has become an increasingly powerful policymaking body in recent decades, which has sparked a debate concerning the proper role of the judiciary in a democracy. The philosophies of judicial restraint and judicial activism suggest different answers to this question. Chapter Summary The district courts are at the lowest level of the federal judicial system, the starting point for most federal cases. Above the district courts are the federal courts of appeal, which review cases appealed from the lower courts. The U.S. Supreme Court is the nation’s highest court. Each state has its own court system,
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This note was uploaded on 10/10/2011 for the course POLS 101 taught by Professor Hamilton,t during the Summer '08 term at College of Southern Idaho.

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Chapter 14 - Study Guide - Chapter Fourteen The Federal...

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