POLI 452 Midterm Essay Questions

POLI 452 Midterm Essay Questions - 4. Discuss the structure...

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Essay Questions for POLI 452 Midterm 1. Discuss how the accusatorial system in the United States is designed, first and foremost, to prevent innocent people from being imprisoned, even if we let a guilty person go free. Discuss this issue as it relates to the standard of criminal proof, jury requirements, jury instructions, and the role of a judge at a trial court. 2. Is judicial activism a healthy feature of the United States federal judicial system? If it is healthy, explain why. If you believe it is not healthy, argue why you believe it is not healthy. Briefly describe potential advantages and disadvantages of judges acting as activists. Make sure to discuss the role of political pluralism in the United States. 3. What institutional/structural safeguards do we have in the United States judiciary to maximize fairness in legal outcomes, even though the average judge is not demographically comparable to the population at large? Please restrict your discussion to trial courts and to intermediate appellate courts.
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Unformatted text preview: 4. Discuss the structure of the federal court system in terms of a vertical hierarchy and the horizontal relationships among courts at the same level. How does legal doctrine spread in the vertical hierarchy? How does legal doctrine spread in the horizontal relationships? What implications do these structures have on the adoption of common law throughout the United States? 5. One of the key structural differences between state courts and federal courts is their method of judicial retention. In federal courts, all judges (at the district level or higher), once confirmed by the Senate, may remain on the court indefinitely assuming good behavior. In practice, this term means that federal judges may remain on the bench for life. In contrast, many states use election or merit retention systems. Are judicial elections beneficial or detrimental to the practice of democracy? Please explain the benefits and drawbacks of both judicial selection philosophies...
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