14Judiciary_bw_

14Judiciary_bw_ - American Government Lecture 14 The...

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American Government Lecture 14 - The Judiciary
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Announcements Thursday Reading On Sakai in Judiciary Folder Only need to read pages 1-15 Sections I, II, and III Focus on different forms of interpretation Sandel Lecture Tomorrow night, 7:30 Information on Sakai Need to RSVP online and sign in at event
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NJ Governor Election next Tuesday Too late to register (29 days) Too late to request absentee ballot 3 major candidates Jon Corzine (D) - Incumbent Chris Christie (R) Chris Daggett (I) Sources of info http://www.njvoterinfo.org http://ruvoting.rutgers.edu/ http://www.votesmart.org http://www.politics1.com/
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Organization of Class Today (hopefully) Principles of Judiciary Types of Law Levels of Courts Powers of Courts (especially SCOTUS) Thursday How cases get to SCOTUS How cases are heard on SCOTUS How judges get on SCOTUS How decisions are made
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The Judicial Branch Comes from aristocratic term for “Courts” Where a ruler settled disputes in area he rules A major action of ruling is to reduce conflict Based upon Divine Wisdom Ruler would hear case and “know” the solution Contemporary Courts alter this Most Judges are appointed, some elected • Separate from other function of government • Rely on the Constitution as Supreme Law • Use written law, in combination with “facts,” to determine result Must justify their decision in writing • Decision is called an “Opinion” • Must rely on earning their credibility Still focused upon resolving disputes and conflict
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Constitutional Origins Created in Article III of Constitution The vaguest Article of the Constitution The “Least Dangerous Branch” without “Force or Will” Members of Judicial Branch Justices appointed by President, Ratified by Senate • Provides a check and balance on membership Life Tenure • Provides independence from the other two branches Salary cannot be reduced • Secures independence from influence Early popular worries were of an unchecked Branch Fears were that the People had no control over Judiciary 5 of 10 Bill of Rights Amendments deal with Judiciary Fears quickly dissipate
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Adversarial Justice (aka Adversarial Legalism) Four main participants A Plaintiff/Prosecutor accuses someone of causing harm The Defendant is the one accused The Judge maintains proper procedure in court A jury listens to the arguments and decides whose case is more persuasive The party who makes the best case wins To improve one’s case, it helps to have professional help Lawyers/Attorneys Lawyers are basically: Expert debaters Experts on court procedure Experts on case law
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Basic Principles American Courts run on principle that: “It is better to set a guilty person free than punish an innocent person” Court procedures benefit the defendant typically
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14Judiciary_bw_ - American Government Lecture 14 The...

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