judiciary terms Flashcards

Law
Terms Definitions
Decision-Making Process
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Per curiam
brief and unsigned
stare decises
let the decision stnd
federal-question cases
cases concerning the Constitution, federal laws, or treaties.
civil laws
laws regulating interations betwen individuals..violations of this law is called a tort
Common law
Judge-made law based on precedent
civil law
rules defining relationships among private citizens
Engel v. Vitale
states can't require prayer
Brief
A written statement by an attorney that summarizes a case and the laws and rulings that support it. (Key term)
Judicial Restraint
A philosophy of judicial decision making that posits courts should allow the decisions of other branches of government to stand, even when they offend a judge's own principles. (Going WITH precedent) Advocates for strict constructionists. Most are conservative.
writing opinions
decision given by the supreme court
marbury v. madison
case that established judicial review
obscenity
an offensive or indecent word or phrase (n)
constitutional law
all cases involving application and interpretation of the Constitution
Appeals court
Review cases previously decided by lower courts/trial courts. After reviewing lower court decisions. Can uphold or remand to lower court for retrial
Reason for Judicial Review
*intentions of framers
*historical acceptance
*check on majority rule
*search for objectivity
Burger Court
a conservative jurist appointed by Nixon that nonetheless continued the judicial activism of the Warren Court as seen by Roe v. Wade; this was due to the other members of the court rather than his own liberal beliefs
Litmus test
An examination of the political ideology of a nominated judge.
Unanimous Opinion
a court opinion or determination on which all judges agree
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.
Standing
A legal rule stating who is authorized to start a lawsuit.
precedent
a previos decison or ruling that is blinding on subsequent decisions
john roberts
chief justice of the supreme court right now
Article III
Did not settle the question of judicial review
Not explicitly stated in the Constitution
Allows the judiciary to review the constitutionality of acts of the other branches of government and the states
Judicial review settled with Marbury v. Madison (1803) for national government's acts and Martin v. Hunter's Lessee (1816) regarding state law
stare decisis
"let the decision stand" or allowing prior rulings to control the current case.
Concurring Opinions
written by justices in the majority who agree with the decision but not necessarily the reasoning.
original jurisdiction
The ability and authority to decide cases based on hearing testimony and viewing evidence, rather than on appeal.
Concurring Opinion
When judges come to share decisions based on different reasoning
judicial self-restraint
the belief that judges should exercise self control in using their judicial power and should generally defer to the policies of the elected branches of the government. +serves to place limits on the court (Legislature)
Class-Action Suit
A lawsuit filed by an individual seeking damages for "all persons similarly situated."
Activist Approach
the view that judges should discern the general principles underlying laws or the constitution and apply them to modern circumstances
adversarial system
the judicial system used in the United States. It allows opposing parties to present their legal conflicts before an impartial judge and jury.
Role of interest groups
Very active in Supreme Court nominations and can effect the decision of the senate on accepting or rejecting a nomination.
Judicial review
the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional
per curiam opinion
a brief, unsigned opinion of the Supreme Court to explain its ruling
Executive Orders
source of u.s. law, power has been interpreted to allow the president to issue orders that create and guide the bureaucracy, can enact without input from other branches of government
Criminal law
the body of law dealing with crimes and their punishment
judiciary act of 1789
established the basic three tiered structure of the federal court system
Judicial Restraint Approach
The view the judges should decide cases of the language of the laws and the Constitution.
Political question
an issue the Supreme Court will allow the executive and legislative branches decide
justiciable dispute
A dispute growing out of an actual case or controversy and that is capable of settlement by legal methods.
Amicus curiae
"friend of the court"; briefs that may be sent to support the position of one side or the other
Griswold v. Connecticut
Established that there is an implied right to PRIVACY in the U.S. Constitution
federal questions cases
refers to the situation in which a United States federal court has subject-matter jurisdiction to hear a civil case because the plaintiff has alleged a violation of the Constitution or law
s 23 Constitution Act 1986
Protects judges' tenure (cannot be removed from office without certain process) - to ensure judicial independence and thus uphold the separation of powers and rule of law.
Hearing and Deciding a Case
Oral arguments
The conference and the vote
The opinion
majority opinion
an opinion of a court that has the support of a majority of the members of the court
Brown vs. Board of Education
the 1954 decision holding that school segregation in topeka, kansas, was inherently unconstitutional because it violated the 14th amend's guarantee of equal protection. this case marked the end of he legal segregation in the US.
writ of certiorari
A formal writ used to bring a case before the Supreme Court.
(1) court-packing: alter the number of judges; (2) amend the Constitution (3) repass laws the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional (4) determine entire jurisdiction of the lower courts and appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (Congress can keep
4 methods of Congressional control over the judiciary
Checks on Judicial Power
1) As a judge has no police force or army, decisions that he or she makes can sometimes be resisted or ignored, if the person or organization resisting is not highly visible and is willing to run the risk of being caught and charged with contempt of court.
2) Congress can alter the composition of the judiciary by the kinds of appointments that the Senate is willing to confirm, or it can impeach judges that it doesn't like, or it can increase the number of judges, giving the president a chance to appoint judges to his liking, or it can undo a Supreme Court decision interpreting the Constitution by amending it, or it can repass a law that the court has declared unconstitutional, and it can decide what the entire jurisdiction of the lower courts and the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall be.
3) Opinion both restrains and energizes the court. The court must be careful not to outrage the public (as with Dred Scott), and making choices with the public opinion may empower the court.
Role of Justices of the supreme court
The hear around 70 cases a year which can be civil or criminal. All appeals are on a point of law. usually a panel of 5. in important cases they can have a panel of 7 like in pepper v hart 1993.
Majority
The court's opinion
defendant
the person being charged
judicial activism
make bold policy decision
Judiciary
The branch of government comprising the state and federal courts and the judges who preside over them.
remands
send the case to lower court
impeachment
Bringing charges of wrongdoing against a govt official by the House of Representatives
Stare decis
latin for judicial precedent, this concept originated in England in the 12th century when judges settled disputes based on custom and tradition
Supreme Court Justices 2010
Roberts Jr. (Chief Justice)
Scalia
Kennedy
Thomas
Ginsburg
Breyer
Alito Jr.
Sotomayor
Kagan
4 characteristics of a case or controversy
-standing
-ripeness
-mootness
-political questions
opinion
n. the explanation of a court's judgment. When a trial court judgment is appealed to a court of appeals, the appeals judge's opinion will be detailed, citing case precedents, analyzing the facts, the applicable law and the arguments of the attorneys for the parties. Those opinions considered by the court to be worthy of serving as a precedent or involving important legal issues will be published in the official reports available in most law libraries. Since appeals courts have anywhere from three to nine judges, there are often "dissenting opinions" which disagree with the majority opinion, and "concurring opinions" which agree with the result, but apply different emphasis, precedents or logic to reach the determination. Normally the majority opinion identifies the author, but some brief opinions are labeled "in banc" (by the bench) or "per curiam" (by the court) in which the author is not specified.
Constitutional courts
Federal courts created by Congress under Article III of the Constitution, including the district courts, courts of appeals, &specialized courts such as the U.S. Court of International Trade
amicus briefs
written arguments submitted to an appellate court by those who are interested in the issue being examined but are not representing either party in the case; often submitted by interest groups' lawyers to advance a specific policy position
Plea Bargain
An agreement between prosecutor and defendant that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser offense to avoid having to stand trial for a more serious offense.
Selection
anyone who is qualified can apply, since 1998 all vacancies are advertised. supreme court selection commision is set up when there is a position the the supreme court. including the president and deputy of the selection committe. the lord chancellor must approve the decision made.
Court of appeals
A court with appellate jurisdiction that hears appeals from the decisions of lower courts.
Rehnquist Court
justices generally vote at the same time they discuss the case, with each justice speaking only once.
McCulloch v. Maryland
Case that established that Congress has implied powers for implementing the Constitution's express powers, and state action may not impede valid constitutional exercises of power by the Federal government
Judicial Implementation
how and whether judicial decisions are translated into actual public policies affecting more than the immediate parties to a lawsuit
At-Large Place Systems
An electoral system in which candidates run for a particular seat on the city council
amicus curiae brief
nonparty friend of the court briefs
strict constructionist
one who argues a narrow interpretation of the Constitution's provisions, in particular those granting powers to the Federal Government
Strict-Constructionist Approach
the view that judges should decide cases strictly on the basis of the language of the laws and the Constitution
Appellate Courts
Court that generally reviews only the findings of law made by the lower courts
Judicial System
Dual System with federal court system and Judicial System of 50 states
General Jurisdiction
Exists when a court's authority to hear cases is not significantly restricted. A court of general jurisdiction normally can hear a broad range of cases.
Dual Sovereignty Doctrine
The doctrine that states that state and federal authorities can prosecute the same person for the same conduct. The Supreme Court has upheld it on two grounds: 1) Each level of government has the right to enact laws serving its own purposes, and 2) Neither level of government wants the other to be able block prosecution of an accused person who has the sympathy of the authorities at one level.
courts of appeal
federal courts that hear appeals from district courts; no trials
Scott v. Sandford
a case that declared the Missouri Compromise of 1820 unconstitutional; one of the two cases that undid a law through the passing of an amendment (in this case, the 14th Am.)
territorial courts
this court hears cases that take place in u.s terrritories
*political question
An issue the Supreme Court will allow the executive and legislative branches to decide.
strict constriction approach
the view that judges should decide cases strictly on the basis on the language of the laws and the constitution
Intermediate Appellate Courts
"courts of appeals" hear appeals froom judicial decisions and jury verdicts in the trial courts
notified of the case
In 1974, to tighten drastically the rules governing class-action suits, the Supreme Court held that it would no longer hear (except in certain cases defined by Congress, such as civil rights matters) class-action suits seeking monetary damages unless each and every ascertainable member of the class was individually ______________________.
statuatory laws
laws passed by a state or the federal legislature
supreme court - selecting cases
Justices control agenda. (Writ of centorari: request for court to bring a case before the court), Rule of four: at least 4 justices agree to hear case or it's denied
Plurality opinion
Only has the backing of three or four justices. Not the same weight as majority opinion.
Opinion of the Court
An explanation of the decision of the Supreme Court or any other appellate court.
amicus curiae brief (friend of the court brief)
Documents submitted by parties interested in a certain case or issue in an attempt to provide the Court with information that may be used to decide the case
Lord justices of Appeal
they sit in both criminal and civil divisions. hear over 7,000 applications against sentence or conviction. each dealt by only 1 judge however only about a quarter of these go throught to an actual appeal. about double more civil then criminal. usually sit in a panel of 3.
five sources of law in the American system
-The U.S and State Constitution
-Statutes
-Judicial decisions
-Executive Orders
-Administrative and Regulatory Law
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