Judiciary -AP Gov Flashcards

Terms Definitions
egalitarian jurisprudence
restraint on judicial power
federal-question cases
cases concerning the constitution, federal laws or treaties
petitions recieved vs. accepted
7000 vs. 100
appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
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. (distict level)
Federal Court
has original jurisdiction over federal issues; 3 levels: trial, appellate & supreme
A legal document submitted by lawyers to courts. It sets forth the facts of a case, summarizes any lower court decisions on the case, gives the arguments for the side represented by the lawyer filing the brief, and discusses decisions in other cases that bear on the issue.
judicial precedents
previous court cases which establish how a law is to be interpreted
a court rule bearing on subsequent legal decisions in similar cases; judges rely on these in deciding cases
solicitor general
The third-ranking officer in the Justice Department, who decides what cases the federal government will appeal from lower courts and personally approves every case the government presents to the Supreme Court.
Federal courts and state courts are both
activist approach
the view that judges should discern the general principles underlying laws of the const. & apply them to modern circumstances
courts of appeals
second tier; no jurors, public, appellate
district court
lowest level of federal courts; has original jurisdiction in most cases involving federal laws; districts do not cross state borders
Rehnquist Court
a court of judicial restraint and conservative tendencies.
fee shifting
A practice that enables plaintiffs to collect their costs from a defendant if the defendant loses. The Supreme Court has limited fee shifting to cases in which it is authorized by statute.
judicial implementation
how and whether court decisions are translated into actual policy, thereby affecting the behavior of others; the courts rely on other units of government to enforce their decisions
judicial activism
A judicial philosophy in which judges make bold policy decisions, even charting new constitutional ground. Advocates of this approach emphasize that the courts can correct pressing needs, especially those unmet by the majoritarian political process.
True or false? Blacks and women could be banned from serving on a jury
criminal law
the body of law dealing with crimes and their punishment
Judiciary Act of 1789
established the federal court system by dividing the country into federal judicial districts, creating district courts & courts of appeal(circuit courts), 3 tear system. 6 JUSTICES
judicial review
the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional; used 150 times in the past 200 years
dissenting opinion
The opinion of the justices on the losing side.
concurring opinion
a separate opinion prepared by a judge who supports the decision of the majority of the court but who wants to make or claify a particular point or to voice disapproval of the grounds no which the decision was made
sovereign immunity
A legal concept that forbids a person from suing the government without its consent. Congress has given its consent for the government to be sued in many cases involving disputes over contracts or damage done as a result of negligence.
swing vote
a vote that decides the result of an election - kennedy now
writ of certiorari
Order by the Supreme Court directing a lower court to send up the records of a case for review
in forma pauperis
A petition filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by an indigent person. The normal $300 filing fee is waived for such petitions.
petit jury
a jury of 6 to 12 persons that determines guilt or innocence in a civil or criminal action
class-action suit
A case brought into court by a person on behalf of not only himself or herself but all other persons in similar circumstances. The Supreme Court in 1974 tightened rules on these suits to only those authorized by Congress and those in which each ascertainable member of the class is individually notified if money damages are sought.
opinion of the Court
An opinion by the Supreme Court that reflects the majority's view.
Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union (1996)
a law that bans sending "indecent" material to minors over the Internet is unconstitutional because "indecent" is too vague
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