Judiciary Unit Exam Review Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Who appoints federal judges?
A vote of not guilty
judicial activism
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect current conditions and values.
the party that initiates a lawsuit
john roberts
chief justice; created baseball analogy;
judges = umpire
president, congress, state leg = teams
Constitution = rule book
litmus test
a test of ideological purity
Per Curiam Opinion
A brief, unsigned court opinion.
conference hierarchy
chief justice speaks his opinions first and then everyone follows in order of seniority
Dissenting opinion
an opinion disagreeing with the majority in a supreme court ruling
stare decisis
"let the decision stand"
principle of the precedent: a court case today should be settled in accordance with prior decisions on similar cases.
supreme court
has original and apellate jurisdicton, 9 justices
A written statement by an attorney that summarizes a case and the laws and rulings that support it
Public Defender System
An arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys.
senatorial courtesy
Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
an offensive or indecent word or phrase
district court
the lowest federal courts; federal trials can be held only here.
strict construction
the view that judges should decide cases strictle on the basis of the language of the laws and the Constitution
How was the National Judicial Supremacy established?
the Civil War
Statutory law
the body of laws created by legislative statutes
appellate jurisdiction
The authority to review cases from lower district courts or from federal regulatory agencies
The Warren Court
provided a liberal protection of rights and liberties against government trespass
Judicial Restraint
emphazises that the function of the court is to say what the law means not to make a new law. Gives difference in the branches. Important to determine original intent of the framers.
concurring opinion
an opinion that agrees with the court's disposition of the case but is written to express a particular judge's reasoning
List of potential cases that reach the Supreme Court
constitutional court
a federal court authorized by Article III of the Constitution that keeps judges in office during good behavior and prevents their salaries from being reduced. They are the Supreme Court (created by the Constitution) and appellate and district courts created by Congress.
Activist approach
The view that judges should discern the general principles underlying laws or the Constitution and apply them to modern circumstances.
private law
enforcement of rights in cases where either (1) all the parties directly implicated are private individuals or (2) the govt is acting like any other private citizen when it sues or is sued
Fee Shifting
a rule that allows a plaintiff to recover costs from the defendant if the plaintiff wins
Dual sovereignty
a doctrine holding that the state and federal authorities can prosecure the same person for the same conduct, each authority prosecuting under its own law
dual sovereignty doctrine
the doctrine that states that both state and federal authorities can prosecute the same person for the same conduct
Supreme Court's jurisdiction
Supreme Court can only hear cases regarding ambassadors, public ministers, counsuls, state to state issues
Amiscus curiae
"friend of the court"; amici may file briefs or even appear to argue their interest orally before the court.
Brown Vs Board of Education
Challenged school segregation ; violated 14th amendment ; school segregation was outlawed
Free Exercise Clause
people can follow any religion w/out gov't imedment
solicitor general
a law officer appointed to assist an attorney general
gang of 14
bipartisan group of Senators in the 109th United States Congress who successfully negotiated a compromise in the spring of 2005 to avoid the deployment of the nuclear option
Court of Appeals
a court whose jurisdiction is to review decisions of lower courts or agencies
judicial review
allows the courts to rule on the constitutionality of laws and actions, giving them the power to strike down or reinforce policy, not just to apply and interpret them
ex post facto
Prohibits conviction of a crime that occurred before the act became illegal
Section 1983
allows a citizen to sue a state or local government official who has deprived the citizen of some constitutional right or witheld some benefit to which the citizen is entitled
swing bloc
One of three groups of justices in the 1970s and 1980s that vacillated between liberal and conservative voting positions.
Sovereign Immunity
the rule that a citizen cannot sue the government without the government's consent
rule of four
Requirement that a case can only be heard by the Supreme Court if four justices vote to hear the case
Article III specifies:
which courts will hear which types of cases
Issues from 1787 to 1865
nation building, legitimacy of the federal government, slavery
response: supremacy of fed gov
in forma pauperis
a method whereby a poor person can have his or her case heard in federal court without charge (Gideon)
Boy Scouts of America v. Dale
private organizations can set reasonable guidelines
legislative court
a court that is set up by Congress for some specialized purpose and staffed with judges who don't enjoy the protection of Article III of the Constitution; include the Court of Military Appeals and the territorial courts
Original Jurisdiction of Federal District Courts
Involve the federal government as a party
Present a federal question based on a claim under the U.S. Constitution, a treaty with another nation, or a federal statute
Involve civil suits in which citizens are from different states, and the amount of money at issue is more than $75,000
opinion of the Court
An explanation of a decision of the supreme Court or any other appellate court.
supreme court of last resort
nine panel judge- 1 cheif justice and 8 asscoiate justices/ appellate and original jursidiction/ ensures uniform interpretion of law/ maintains national supremecy
WriteWrite of Cert Petition Criteria
Must come from US Court of Appeals, special 3 judge court or state court of last resort and must involve Federal consitutional law, treaty, statute, or action
what does the free exercise clause of the 1st amendment protect and not protect?
guarantees to each person the right to believe whatever they choose
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