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AGH Unit 5: C18L1: The National Judiciary

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Stacie Cleary

on 15 October 2015

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Transcript of AGH Unit 5: C18L1: The National Judiciary

Government Unit 5
U5L1: The National Judiciary
Text pg: 520-537
U5L1 Objective
SWBAT describe the structure and functions of the national judiciary.
Article III, Section 1
" The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their Offices during good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office."
1. How many courts are established in the Constitution?
2. Who may create and establish these courts?
3. Summarize what the excerpt says about judges.
U5L1 Notes Set Up
Inferior Courts
Supreme Court
Create the following graphic organizers, one on each side of the same sheet of paper.
The Inferior Courts
These are lower federal courts, or those beneath the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court
The highest court in the land.
Types of inferior Courts
1. The Constitution Creates a
Dual Court System
- federalism among / between the Supreme Court and Inferior Courts.
2. Inferior Courts are lower federal courts that have been divided into two parts:
Constitutional Courts
This includes the district courts
Special Courts
3. The District Courts do majority of the work
94 total lower federal district courts, with at least 1 per state.
Cases are heard by judge and a
- 12 men/women who decide on a case.
Is the only federal court that decides guilt or innocence.
- the authority of a court to hear (try and decide) a case. There are 4 types of jurisdiction:
- cases can only be tried in a federal court and cannot be tried in a state's district federal court.
ex. A case involving an ambassador
- cases that can be tried in either a federal or state court.
ex. Cases involving citizens of different states.
- this is the court where the case is first hear, a trial court.
- a court that hears a case on appeal from a lower court.
Types of Cases
1. The inferior courts are responsible for settling local disputes that often involve a
- person who filed the suit, and the
- person who the complaint is against.
2. Inferior courts often hear two types of cases:
Civil Cases
- disputes between two private parties.
Criminal Cases
- wrongs or offenses against public order. (2 types)
- greater crime punishable by jail or prison time.
- lesser crime punishable by a fine, community service, or jail.
Supreme Court Judges serve a life term and cannot be fired for ruling in a way that the President or Congress do not like.
The number of judges is determined by Congress, and is currently fixed at 9
Check Point:
Jason was tried and found guilty for grand theft auto. He believes the jury was biased against him. What is the next court with jurisdiction over this case?
Check Point
Abigail was arrested for shoplifting a series of items from Wal-Mart valued at $310. Is this a felony or a misdemeanor?
Exercises the power of Judicial Review, as established in Marbury v. Madison.
Judicial Selection and Philosophy
There are no formal qualifications listed in the Constitution to be a Supreme Court Justice. Instead, when the President nominates someone they look at several characteristics:
- how did they rule in previous cases?
2. Legal Writings
3. Feelings about the role of government and interest groups.
4. Ethical, moral, and private actions of the nominee.
5. Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Religion, Ideology (political beliefs)
Judicial Nominees are also asked about their
judicial philosophy
- how they interpret the Constitution.
Judicial Activism
- interpreting the Constitution in the context of the times in which it is applied.
Judicial Restraint
- interpreting the Constitution based on the "original intent" of the framers, and should follow legal precedent (previous rulings).
Road to the Supreme Court
Agrees to hear a case and grants a
Writ of Certiorari
- to be made certain.
Check Point
Define Judicial Review
Check Point
What is the Constitutional check on the President's power to nominate Supreme Court Justices?
Check Point
Why do you think the road to the Supreme Court involves so many steps?
Full transcript