AP Gov. Judicial branch Flashcards

Supreme Court of the United States
Terms Definitions
Strict Construction
Narrow interpretation; only do what the const. says you can do. Pays attention to the 10th amendment (only enumerated powers can be done); State's rights supporters; ex: Taney in Dred Scot Case.
Supreme Court, Circuit Courts of Appeal (13), Federal District courts (94)
Consititutional Courts
District courts have original jurisdiction in....
"diversity of citizens" cases
Diversity of Citizens Cases
dealing with amounts over $75,000 in cases in which citizens of 2 different states sue.
Loose Construction
Enumerated powers create impliued powers that ARE necessary and proper.
Judicial Activism
Court CAN make policy in order to correct problems because only the court can listen to the unheard little guy; ex: Brown v. Board
Judicial Restraint
Narrow ruling on cases; thus, not active in policy-making. Conservative judges.
Senate Judiciary Committee
holds confirmation hearings and, accoridng hte the appointee's performance in the interviewing process, recommends or refuses to recommend confirmation by the Senate. Vetting Info. considered. Appointees answer questions boradly to avoid a hard "borking"
Legislative Courts
began as territorial courts. Judges are territorial and have limited/fixed terms. Do not have federal protection b/c they do not have life terms; (i.e. Guam)
Standing (to sue)
one having been personally affected by the issue being they are sueing.
Plea Bargaining
Admitting guilt, saves the fed. gov. money that was necessary to carry out the trial. Most trials end by this.
Class-action Suits
A large group sues under the name of one person/corp.
Writ of Mandamus
The court demands that someone or something is done (ex: someone is ordered to be released from prison because of a certain reason...i.e. economy is doing poorly so not enougb room is left in jails and new jails cannot be built)
Lead Prosecuting Attorney/US Attorneys/Attorney General
Appointed by Pres., approved by Senate. Attorney general=prosecutor on behalf of the united states, also, instructs what cases should or should not be taken by monitoring cost, strategy, and rational of cases
Amicus Curiae Briefs
"Friend of the Court". Lawyers write breifs on behalf of a suing party; Lobbying the court.
Solicitor General
#3 guy in dept. of Justice. Appointed by Pres., approved by Senate. Speaks on Behalf of the United States in Supreme court. In NON-USgov. cases the Solictor gen. will write Amicus Curiae Briefs for the government
Judiciary Act of 1789
Led to the creation of Judicial Review. Congress passed this in order to establish a federal court system. Created 13 district courts and a court of appeals (Sup. Court was granted by the Const.); Marshall argued this Act was unconst. b/c the creation of more constitutional powers after the initial ratification of the const. is unconstitutional.
taking cases to court
Writ of Certiorari
A legal action in which one must prove all the transcripts from previous cases as well as pay a $100 fee in order for a possibility of the Writ being granted by the Sup. Court, thus, being a new appealed cases to the Sup. Court; Most common way a case reaches the Sup. Court.
En Forma Pauperis Petition
A petition for a case that is trying to be seen by the Sup. Court by a litigant that cannot afford a writ of certiorari, with the goal of being granted by the supreme court and taken to that level. If granted, the gov. will pay for the transcript xeroxing and the mandatory fining fee (from the writ of certiorari).
Meeting amongst justices meant to decide what cases should be taken or rejected by the supreme court.
Rule of 4
4 Judges voting to see a case are necessary to accept the case
Stare Decisis
"Stand by what has been decided". Respect for precedents. Precedents are expected to be respected, however, higher courts can undo the precedents of lower courts.
Quorum (Judicial)
At least 6 judges must be present. It is possible for one justice to disqualify his/herself
Senior Associate Justice
Longest-serving, non-chief member of the court. Current=John Paul Stevens
Straw Vote
Temporary vote on a case
Oral argument
In supreme court; 30 minutes, no cross questioning, strictly convincing. All information has already been gathered and reviewed by the Sup. Court.
Supreme court accepts a case if the case...
1. is a substantial federal question; 2. is a clear question. is it a justiciable dispute?; 3. has the right TIMING; 4. there is a conflict between the rulings of lower courts of the Circuit court of appeals; 5. is of far-reaching importance (new precedent that is prevalne at the time/right timing)
Affirmance by Necessity
occurs when a tie results because a justice has disqualified his/herself or cannot attend the trial. PREVIOUS court's decision is affirmed. Cases CAN be re-brought to the supreme court.
Majority Opinion
Sets a precedent.
Concurring Opinion
Judges of this opinion AGREE with the majority opinion, but state that the written majority opinion DID NOT ADDRESS A CERTAIN POINT THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TOUCHED UPON.
Dissenting Opinion
those of the opinion that DISAGREES with the majority opinion. Opinion written by the dissenters. Written in hope that other future courts will acknowledge.
Plurality Opinon
No majority opinion reached, thus, no precedent is set. (ex: 4 to opinion #1, 3 to opinion #2, 2 to opinion #3)
Per Curiam
Uanimous, unsigned opinion stating the court will NOT see a case. OR, lower court is clearly wrong and a new trial must be given in light of a precedent referred to the lower court by the supreme court.
Supreme Court Term
(session) First monday of Oct.- June 30th
Substantive Due Process
Due process regarding the clearness of the law. (ex: tax law written so vaguely that court can rule that the law must be re-written clearer to address certain issues.
Statutory Construction
The way the law is written contradicts itself; If it is a consititutional issue, the law must have an amendment proposed.
Procedural Due Process
Deals with Amendments 4, 5, 6, and 8.
Original Intent
Trying to interpret the const. in exactly the way the framers meant it.
Reasons why Court system is Democratic
1.) Provides checks and balances; 2.) Unbiased/less political [rulings based on laws and the direct interpretation of const.]; 3.) because they are not elected, they can do as they please WITHOUT political pressure; 4.) can represent those who would normally not be heard [the poor who do not have the means to be heard publicly]
Reasons why the Court system is NOT democratic
1.) No limits on terms
Limits on Supreme Court
1.) Judicial Implementation- interpretation and implementation of precedents depends on the President, the interpreting population [other judges and lawyers responsible for using the correct interpretation in future cases], the implementing population [police, etc.], and the consumer population; 2.) Possibility of Impeachment; 3.) Possibility of Amending the Constitution; Altering the # of justices [court-packing]; 5.) Non inherent court levels' jurisidctions can be decreased (i.e. Court of Appeals, State Courts.).
Marshall Court
First used Judicial Review. Wanted unanimity, this strengthened the court. Made some original jurisdictions to the supreme court.
Taney Court
Favored State courts int eh Dred Scot Cases
Warren Court
Individual Rights. Right to Privacy. Rgiht of the Accused (Gideon v. Wainright, Miranda v. Arizona. Used 14th amendment a lot. Brown v. Board advocates civil rights. Gets rid of Plessey v Ferguson.
Rehnquist Court
Bush v. Gore (willing to get involved in political questions that courts normally would not); U.S. v Lopez; Good Faith Effort/evitable discovery (mistakes/unpredicted discoveries of search warrants are now allowed as long as they are in good faith and effort).
Burger Court
Wrote Roe v Wade; Webster v. Reproductive services
Roberts Court
Hamdam v Rumsfeld (2006) (even a binladcen helper has a right to a trial and hearing.
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