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The Federal Court System

Government Class
by

Patrick Floyd

on 20 October 2016

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Transcript of The Federal Court System

Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the
authority to hear and decide a case
. There are different types of jurisdiction.
Exclusive
jurisdiction - the
sole right
to hear a case
Concurrent
jurisdiction - cases that fall under
both
state and federal jurisdiction
Original
jurisdiction - the court that
first
hears a case
Appellate
jurisdiction - any court that hears a case at a
higher
level
The
Constitution
created a federal court system alongside each state's court system.
The
state courts
hear the vast
majority of cases
in the United States.
The state courts'
powers
flow from state constitutions and laws.
The American Court System
The Constitution gives the
President
the power to
nominate
all
federal judges
but the
Senate must approve
the nominee.
There are
4 factors
the President considers when making a nomination
Legal expertise
Party affiliation
Judicial philosophy
Approval of the Senate
Judiciary Act of 1789
This act fleshed out a three-tiered structure for the federal courts.
The three tiers were:
District Courts
Courts of Appeals
Supreme Courts
Checks and Balances
Judicial review
is the power of the Supreme Court to determine if a law or executive action is Constitutional.
Judicial review is the
primary check
on the
legislative
and
executive
branches.
The Federal Court System
Legal Expertise
Most federal judges have been
trained lawyers
The
American Bar Association
issues reports on the
integrity
and
competence
of nominees.
District Courts
These courts are spread
nationwide
because there is one for every state.
These courts have
original jurisdiction
over nearly all
criminal and civil cases
.
There are 94 judicial districts
89 in the 50 states
one in Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and N. Mariana Islands
There are
3 functions
of the courts
Identify
if a law has been broken and if penalties apply.
Decide
how to provide relief to those who have been harmed.
Determine
the meaning of a law or part of the Constitution itself.
A Dual Court System
Structure of the Federal Court System
plaintiff -
the person making the legal complaint
defendant
- the person against whom the complaint is being filed
Court of Appeals
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the
ultimate
appellate court.
Since 1869, the Court has had a
chief justice and 8 associate justices
.
The Court
chooses
which cases it wants to hear.
Usually, the cases involve questions about the meaning on the Constitution or
federal law
.
On average, the Court hears about
100 cases a year
.
At first they were known as
Circuit Courts
because they had
no fixed location
.
Judges would travel from district to district to hear cases.
The
Judiciary Act of 1891
made these courts strictly
appellate courts
.
Courts of Appeals hear appeals from
district courts
and
federal agencies
.
There are
12 circuits in the U.S.
Appointing Federal Judges
Party Affiliation
Presidents usually nominate judges who members of his/her political party.
Satisfies presidential supporters and is a part of the
President's legacy
because federal judges serve for life (
or retirement
).
Judicial Philosophy
What is the judges' position between
judicial restraint
and
judicial activism
?
Simply put, restraint is similar to
strict
construction (
interpretation
) of the Constitution.
Activism is similar to
loose
construction of the Constitution.
Senate Approval
The tradition of
senatorial courtesy
plays a big role.
Since a senator from the same state as the nominee and the same political party as the president can block a nomination for any reason, the president usually consults with senators before making a nomination or nominate people the senators suggest.
Stand Up!
Stretch!
Sit Down!
Shut Up!
Wake up!!!
Full transcript