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Basics of the Judicial Branch
Transcript of Basics of the Judicial Branch
Article ____ of the US Constitution set up the Judicial Branch. The main role of the judicial branch is to ___________ laws. The judicial branch is made up of _____________________. The executive branch checks the judicial branch because the ________________________________ and the legislative branch checks the judicial branch by __________________________ ______________________________________. The judicial branch can check the executive branch by ___________________________ and it can check the legislative branch by _____________________________________. Judges often look back at previous decisions, called ______________ to rule on a case. Federal judges get their job when they are appointed by the _____________ and approved by the _________; however, state judges are _____________.
Yes, you must write out the paragraph!
Appointed by the President, Senate approved
President ask opinion of senators from the judge's home state
Benefits of FEDERAL judges
1. Serve for life*
2. Cannot get a pay cut
*They can be impeached.
is this the case?
So that judges can decide cases without influence from outside politics/media.
authority to give orders in a certain area
have the authority to hear a case for the 1st time
*District courts & sometimes the Supreme Court have this.
have the authority to review a case in order to decide if law was applied fairly
*Appeals courts & sometimes the Supreme Court have this.
"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 behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office."
US Constitution Article III
How many courts are set up in the Constitution?
What does SCOTUS mean?
Federal Courts SAD Cake
for federal cases
94 total with at least 1 for each state
Cases heard by
90% of all federal cases start here
court that hear cases and reach verdicts (decide guilty/not guilty)
Marshall – protect jurors, arrest criminals, serve subpoenas, collect fines
Grand Jury in Preliminary Hearing - decides if there is enough evidence to try case
District Attorney – Prosecutes people accused of breaking federal laws (a lawyer)
Attorney/Public Attorney - represents defendant
Judge – issues the sentence
Jury – (usually 12 citizens) that decide guilt/innocence
AKA Appellate Courts, Circuit Courts, Court of Appeals
Has appellate jurisdiction
Appeal - lawyer thinks law was applied incorrectly, appeals for review of lower court's decision
3 judge panel (not a jury) makes decision to:
Remand - send back to lower court
1. How many circuits are there (don't forget DC)?
2. In which circuit is TX?
3. Which circuit contains the most states? How many states does it serve?
Has original jurisdiction in special cases
US Military Court of Appeals
US Tax Court
US Court of International Trade
US Court of Federal Claims
1 chief justice + 8 associate = 9 justices
Justices are appointed by the President & approved by Senate
Original Jurisdiction only in 2 situations:
Case involving foreign diplomats
Case between states
Appellate Jurisdiction when Constitutional issues
Supreme Court Building
US Capitol (Congress)
White House (President)
Remember, _____________ can set the # of judges/courts.
Judiciary Act of 1789: Court size 6
Judiciary Act of 1801: Court size, 5
Repeal Act of 1802: Court size, 6
Seventh Circuit Act of 1807: Court size, 7
Judiciary Act of 1837: Court size, 9
Tenth Circuit Act of 1863: Court size, 10
Judicial Circuit Act of 1866: Court size, 7
Habeas Corpus Act of 1867: Court size, 8
Judiciary Act of 1869: Court size, 9
Why do you think we still have only 9 justices?
1. What is the term length of federal judges?
2. What's the difference between appellate & original jurisdiction?
1. What is jurisdiction? What is concurrent?
2. Draw checks and balances as related to the Judicial Branch.
Hears more cases
Hears criminal & civil cases
Hears cases dealing w/ state issues
Hears cases dealing w/ federal issues
Hears less cases
Cases can only start at state OR federal level
Cases can only start at EITHER state or federal level (both have jurisdiction)
1. Explain this graphic.
2. What type of jurisdiction does a court have when they try the case for the 1st time?
3. The 2nd time?
1. Differentiate between original and appellate jurisdiction. Give an example of each.
2. Differentiate between exclusive and concurrent jurisdiction. Give an example of each.
3. Draw a venn diagram comparing and contrasting state and federal courts.
2 Main Kinds of Cases
Someone has violated a law. A crime has been committed.
Give 3 examples of a criminal case
Prosecutor v. Defendant
Cases between two parties.
No crime has been committed.
Give 3 examples of a civil case.
Plaintiff v. Defendant
6. Case could be appealed again to the Supreme Court
What happens when you go to court?
1. Cases start at district level
2. Jury rules guilty/not guilty.
3. Judge issues sentencing.
4. Lawyers can appeal.
5. Appeals Court decides to remand, overturn, or keep district decision.
If a case goes to SCOTUS, what happens?
1. SCOTUS selects case for docket and reviews lawyer briefs
2. Oral arguments take place in which justices ask questions
3. Justices conference and vote - majority wins
4. Decisions are written and released to the public
Concurring decision (agree, but for different reason)
Justices base their decision on the Constitution, not politics, so they consider:
Stare Decisis - "Let the decision stand"
How do they decide?
Analyze this cartoon. What is the cartoonist implying?
Analyze this cartoon. What is the cartoonist implying?
Supreme Court Cases
National Supremacy Cases
First Amendment Cases
Student Rights Cases
Civil Rights Cases
Rights of the Accused
What document says the federal government is supreme?
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Background: Marbury was appointed as a US Judge by President Adams during his last days in office. President Jefferson refused to give Marbury his position.
Decision: Marbury does not get appointment, SCOTUS can declare a law/action unconstitutional =
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Background: McCulloch, a bank cashier, refused to pay a tax placed on the federal bank by the State of Maryland
Decision: Allowed Congress to create a bank (implied powers) and said states cannot tax the national gov't
Necessary & Proper Clause
US v. Nixon (1974)
Background: President Nixon refused to give up tapes revealing his role in a crime, claimed “EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE”
Decision: The president can't abuse his power of executive privilege to cover or alter a criminal investigation *Nixon was forced to give up tapes
What is a privilege?
SCOTUS cases that decided if individual liberties & rights were violated
What are Civil Rights?
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Background: Plessy was 1/8 black, bought a white train ticket, refused to move to black train, was arrested
Decision: Segregation laws are Constitutional as long as they are
“Separate but Equal”
But what does that mean?
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Background: Mr. Brown demanded his daughter be allowed in a white school in order to receive a better education
Decision: Segregation is unconstitutional
“separate but NOT equal”
University of California v. Bakke (1978)
Background: Alan Bakke, a white male, was denied entrance into medical school so that the school could reach its black quotas, even though he was more qualified
Decision: Affirmative action is legal, BUT quotas to determine affirmative action are NOT constitutional
What are your 1st amendment rights?
Have your first amendment rights ever been violated? If so how were they? What does "separation of church and state" mean?
Engle v. Vitale (1962)
Background: Parents sued school over a prayer said every morning in a NY Public School. Is school prayer constitutional?
Decision: Students cannot be required to say a prayer in schools.
1st Amendment-Freedom of religion
*Separation of church and State
Which amendments deal with people accused of crimes?
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Background: Mapp’s home was searched without a valid warrant, pornographic material was found. She was convicted under Ohio’s porn laws.
Decision: Created EXCLUSIONARY RULE, evidence found in an illegal search can't be used against a suspect.
4th Amendment - Search and seizure
Exclusionary Rule - evidence found during an illegal search can not be used in court
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Background: Gideon was found outside a pool hall, accused of robbing it, he couldn't afford lawyer, and was sentenced to 5 yrs in prison. Should you have a lawyer?
Decision: Everyone is granted the right to a lawyer in ALL cases. If you cannot afford one, court must appoint one.
6th Amendment - right to an attorney(lawyer)
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Background: Miranda, an immigrant was arrested & convicted of rape & murder, without knowing the legal protection granted to him.
Decision: All suspects should be informed of their rights upon being arrested *Miranda Rights*
“you have the right to remain silent……”
In re Gault (1967)
Background: Lady reported 15 yr old neighbor prank called her, police arrested and questioned 15 yr old w/o parent.
Decision: Parents must be present/ notified of juvenile arrests, and
still applies in juvenile cases
Should students have rights in school? Should there be limits on what students can bring to school? Say in school?
Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)
Background: John & Mary Beth Tinker wanted to protest Vietnam War by wearing armbands, principal said no.
Decision: Students can protest as long as it is not disruptive to the school environment.
NJ v. TLO (1985)
Background: TLO was caught smoking in the bathroom, principal asked to search bag, TLO refused, said she needed warrant, principal searched anyway.
Decision: Principal does NOT need a warrant if it deals with school security
Let's see how you do.....
Small Claims Court
Civil cases where the amount is less than $5,000
Civil or criminal cases dealing with family issues