1 chief justice 8 associate justices rarely case originates at the Supreme

1 chief justice 8 associate justices rarely case

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1 chief justice + 8 associate justices rarely case originates at the Supreme Court level Most of the Court’s work → appellate court. Which Cases Reach the Supreme Court? Rule of Four 4 justices approve case → supreme court approves writ cert writ of certiorari Supreme orders lower the record of a case for review. Judges decision: Approves based on “substantial federal question.” Deny if feel that a case doesn’t address an important federal law or constitutional issue Supreme Court Decisions ONLY hears written record + written/oral arguments (briefs) that the attorneys submit no evidence justices discuss the case in conference Majorities and Pluralities Reach decision → chief assigns justice task of writing court opinion Unless not in majority → second senior justice gets to be bossy Court opinion outlines the reasons for the Court's Decision, the rules of law that apply, and the decision If all agree what happened in case but not why → plurality opinion Whichever has the most votes win Plurality = bad Weak precedent for lower courts to follow Concurrence and Dissent All judges agree → but one has different reasoning = write it out
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(concurring opinion Concurring opinion Separate opinions prepared by judges who support the decision of the majority of the court but who want to make or clarify a particular point or to voice disapproval of the grounds on which the decision was made Disagree with court conclusion → dissenting opinions Separate opinions in which judges disagree with the conclusion reached by the majority of the court and expand on their own views about the case Disagree (dissenting op) → basis of argument to reverse + new precedent Judges in the Court System Supreme court = unrepresentative of the profession as a whole Lots of pressure to be just The Roles and Responsibilities of Trial Judges Judges must have good discretion! Before the Trial Judge must: Whether there is sufficient probable cause to issue a search or arrest warrant. Whether there is sufficient probable cause to authorize electronic surveillance of suspect. Whether enough evidence exists to justify the temporary incarceration of a suspect. Whether a defendant should be released on bail and, if so, the amount of the bail. Whether to accept pretrial motions by prosecutors and defense attorneys.
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Whether to accept a plea bargain setting pretrial motion dates + decide to grant attorneys’ requests for continuances Judge = Negotiator help the prosecution and the defense “make a deal.” During the Trial Judge = Referee seeing that the trial unfolds according to the dictates of the law and that the participants in the trial do not overstep any legal or ethical bounds Teacher explaining points of law to the jury The Administrative Role Judge = admin responsible for the day-to-daycourt functioning
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