The Judicial Branch Jurisdiction • A court’s Ability to hear a case Federal Jurisdiction • Types of federal cases – Admiralty or Maritime Law – Bankruptcy, Copyrights, and Patents Types of Jurisdiction • Original Jurisdiction- Ability to hear a case for the first time • Appellate Jurisdiction- Ability to hear a case on appeal. • Concurrent Jurisdiction- States and federal courts share jurisdiction US District Courts US Circuit Courts Federal Judge Appointment • What does it Take? Go to school to be a? Where to get your Law Degree? Make friends with influential Legislators. Make Sure The President Knows You! Pass Senate Scrutiny. The ―Good Life‖ Removal of Judges • Impeachment-Treason, Bribery,and other high crimes and misdemeanors. – Samuel Chase—The first Supreme Court Justice to be impeached. Was not convicted by the Senate – Harry E. Claiborne---District Court Justice— Impeached and removed. Filing false tax returns in 1979 & 1980. Alcee Hastings • Removed from office for corruption and perjury. He is only the 6th federal judge to be impeached and removed from office in American history. • 413-3 • 69 for and 26 Federal Judge Salary and Perks • Perks – Retirement is based on two factors: age and years of service – Age 65 and 15 years of service—full salary for the rest of their lives – Age 70 and 10 years of service also get full pay – Critics argue that federal judges are not paid enough and may judges have returned to private legal practice where they may easily earn twice as much. Federal Judge Salary Chart Federal Judge Selection Process • Presidents take great care in selecting judicial appointments because they serve for life. • The Attorney General assists in the selection process by creating a list of candidates usually State Court Judges, Law Professors, and outstanding lawyers. Matching Criteria In a Federal Court Judge • The Attorney General looks for a candidate whose political philosophies and political party ties match the President’s. • Political Groups and The Senate also influence selections. Our Current Supreme Court John Roberts John Roberts Chief Justice Roberts, 50, a U.S. Appeals judge, was sworn in as the 17th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court hours after senators voted 78-to-22 to confirm him on Sept. 29, 2005. He is the first new Supreme Court justice since 1994 and has the potential of leading the court for decades. Justice Stevens John Paul Stevens, Associate Justice • Was born in Chicago, Illinois, April 20, 1920. He married Maryan Mulholland, and has four children. Second Vice President of the Chicago Bar Association in 1970. From 1970–1975, he served as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. President Ford nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat December 19, 1975. Samuel Alito Samuel Alito Associate Justice • Alito became the 110th member of the Supreme Court on Jan. 31, 2006, replacing Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate conservative who retired. He is expected to align himself with the court's solidly conservative bloc and could affect the outcome of votes on key social issues such as abortion and civil rights. Antonin Scalia Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice • Was born in Trenton, New Jersey, March 11, 1936. • President Reagan nominated him as • an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat September 26, 1986. • He received his A.B. from Georgetown University and the University of • Fribourg, Switzerland, and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School, and was a Sheldon Fellow • of Harvard University from 1960–1961. Justice Kennedy Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice, • was born in Sacramento, California, July 23, 1936. • President Reagan nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat February 18, 1988. Justice Souter David Hackett Souter, Associate Justice, • was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, September 17, 1939. Justice Thomas Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice, • was born in the Pin Point community of Georgia near Savannah June 23, 1948. Justice Ginsberg Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice, Was born in Brooklyn, New York, March • 15, 1933. Justice Breyer Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice, was born in San Francisco, California, August 15, 1938. John Jay Thurgood Marshall Sandra Day O’Connor Justice Political Ideology Thomas Conservative Scalia Conservative Roberts Conservative Alito Conservative Kennedy Moderate Souter Liberal Ginsberg Liberal Stevens Liberal Breyer Liberal Why Does Your Political Ideology Matter. • What are some of the issues that may face the court where ideology could play a role? BRINGING A CASE TO THE SUPREME COURT – STATISTICS • CHANCES OF HAVING A CASE HEARD- LESS THAN 1 IN 10,000 • THE SUPREME COURT HEARS ABOUT 150 CASES A YEAR. Background • PRESENTED TO THE COURT- – ON APPEAL(10%) – WRIT OF CERTIORARI - ORDER FROM THE SUPREME COURT TO LOWER COURT TO SEND RECORDS OF A CASE. » EITHER PARTY OF CASE MAY PEITION THE SUPREME COURT FOR A ―CERT‖ – Most DEAL WITH AN ISSUE OF CONSTITUIONALITY OR ERROR IN LOWER COURT REASONS FOR DENIAL » CONSTITUIONALITY OF LAW- PERSON MUST ACTUALLY BE HARMED » WILL NOT RULE ON CONSTITUTIONALITY OF PROPOSED LAWS » MOOT QUESTIONS- QUESTIONS THAT MAKE NO DIFFERENCE » POLITICAL QUESTIONS THAT MAY BE HANDLED BY THE EXECUTIVE OR LEGISLATIVE BRANCH LEGAL COSTS- – CAN BE EXPENSIVE » COURT ALLOWS FREE CERTS » PAYS AN ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT- IN FORMA PAUPERIS ―IN THE MANNER OF A POOR PERSON‖ The Process – FILING BRIEFS- WRITTEN DOCUMENT ARGUING ONE SIDE OF THE CASE – DOCKET- ONCE BRIEF IS FILED, CASE GOES ON THE SCHEDULE – Oral Arguments- After a two week sitting, the court recesses to conference to decide on cases – Conferences-Each Justice is called upon to present his/her view and then they put the case to a vote. Six justices must be present to vote. In case of a tie, the lower court decision stands. – After the justices vote they issue a short statement of their decision or more lengthy written opinion. – Opinions- » Majority- » Concurring- » Dissenting- Parts Of a Supreme Court Case • Participants • Facts of the Case • Question Presented • Ruling • Opinions • Precedent Set How to report on A Supreme Court Case Parties Involved Facts of the Case • John Tinker(15) and his Mary Beth Tinker(16) protested the Vietnam War in School by wearing black arm bands in school. To prevent disturbances, the Principals within the Des Moines School District ordered the students to remove them or face suspension. Constitutional Question • Does the barring of wearing of armbands in school constitute a violation of free speech by the First Amendment? Ruling 7-2 in favor of Tinker Majority Opinion/ Opinion of the Court • Wearing black arm bands in protest of a government action( Vietnam War) where the exercised their 1st Amendment rights (symbolic speech) in this setting where the Principals lacked justification (no threats of violence in the school against other students), the court upheld Tinker’s Contention. Dissenting Opinion • Justice Harlan and Black felt the School Board should make that decision. Precedent—What does it do for us? Stare Decisis • Let the decision stand. • Legal Precedents- Once the Supreme Court makes a ruling on one case it becomes a model for future cases that are similar. Judicial Philosophies • Judicial Activism- Belief that Judges should take an active role in policy making even if it means going beyond the actions of elected officials. Earl Warren’s court(1953-1969) was considered an activist court because of Miranda vs. Arizona and Brown vs. Board of Ed. • Judicial Restraint-The view that judicial decisions should not contradict the wishes of elected members of government unless the Constitution is clearly violated. Felix Frankfurter ―One’s own opinion about the wisdom or evil of a law should be excluded altogether when one is doing one’s duty on the bench.‖ Why are Supreme Court Justices appointed for life. • Judges are expected to: – Be Independent – Be Unbiased – Be Protectors of the Constitution – However, they are human and read the newspaper and can never ignore public opinion. Ex. Minersville school District vs. Gobitis upheld compulsory flag salute laws. Public criticism followed and led to a complete turnaround in West Va. vs. Barnette American Law and the legal process Sources of American Law – Constitution – Statutory Law – Common Law – Equity Constitution • Powers of the Government • Rights of Individuals Statutory Law • Written Laws passed by legislatures and other lawmaking bodies. • Federal lawmaking bodies and state lawmaking bodies enact statutes and local lawmaking bodies enact ordinances. Examples • Federal-------The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) entitles a covered employee to take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for the birth or adoption of a child, or the "serious health condition" of the employee or the employee's child, spouse, or parent. To protect this right, the FMLA prohibits an employer from interfering with an employee's attempt to exercise his leave right or retaliating against an employee for opposing practices made unlawful under the FMLA. If an employer engages in these prohibited acts, the FMLA allows any one or more employees to bring suit for damages. Examples • State----- – New Teen Driving Laws – Speed Limit Common Law • Develops from court cases(case law). – Example Abortion laws • Roe v. Wade Equity • System to prevent wrongs from being done. • Injunctions • Honoring Contracts Two areas of Law • Private– Actions initiated by individuals to benefit individuals. • Public---Actions initiated the government to benefit the people as a whole. Private Law • Also known as Civil Law – Disputes between individuals dealing with: • Property • Contracts • Family Relations • Torts Property • Includes – Real Estate – Stocks – Bonds – Copyrights – Patents Contracts • A Legal agreement between two or more individuals. – Examples Family Relations • Marriage • Divorce • Child Custody Torts • Wrongful act that injures a person or property. • There are three categories of Tort: – Intentional—A willful act carried out with malice. – Negligence---- Failure to do something that a normal reasonable person would do and results in injury (personal or property) – Strict Liability– Accidents for which someone can be held liable even if there is no negligence. Intentional Torts • Assault– Intentionally causing someone to fear for his/her own life. • Battery– Physically harming someone. • False imprisonment– Intentionally preventing someone from going where they have a legal right to go. • Trespass– Illegally entering another’s real property. Crimes against people(felonies) • Homicide—Killing a person – 1st Degree – Intentional and planned – Felony Murder—Killing that takes place during the commission of felonies such as arson rape or burglary. Most states consider this to be first degree murder regardless of whether premeditation exists. – 2nd Degree—Intentional but unplanned – Voluntary Manslaughter—Killing that would otherwise be murder, but occurs after the victim does something to the killer that would cause the average person to lose self control. – Involuntary Manslaughter—Unintentional and unplanned killing that results from recklessness. – Negligent Homicide—Killing resulting from negligence. – Noncriminal homicide—Justifiable or excusable Crimes against the person cont. Kidnapping--Taking or carrying away a person without permission Mayhem—Intentionally maiming or disfiguring Robbery– Taking of another persons by violence or fear Crimes against property • Arson– Burning another persons property • Vandalism (malicious mischief)—Willful destruction or damage to the property of another. • Burglary—Breaking into another person’s property with the intent of committing a crime • Forgery– Providing false information to secure unfair or unlawful gain • Larceny--Taking another person’s property without permission. • Embezzlement—Unlawful taking of property by someone whom it was entrusted. • Extortion(blackmail)—The use of threats to obtain the property of another. • Receiving stolen property—To buy or ereceive property that you have reason to believe is stolen. Criminal codes vary between states • http://members.aol.com/StatutesPA/18.ht ml Public Law • Concerns relationship between the government and its citizens. – Administrative Law---Rules and regulations made by agencies. – Constitutional Law Steps In The Trial Procedure • Terms- – Litigants – Plaintiff – Prosecutor – Defendant – Depositions – Peremptory Challenge – Cross-Examination – Sequester – Verdict Terms Continued – Sentence – Mistrial – Hung Jury – Bailiff The Procedure • Pretrial – Issue Subpoenas- Command Evidence to be delivered or order witnesses to appear in court to testify. • Failure to appear or provide evidence could result in being held in contempt which is a serious criminal charge punishable by a $2500 fine and up to two years in prison. – Witnesses are asked to give depositions • A formal interview given under oath before the trial begins. Pre-Trial Cont’d • Pre trial Motions– Both sides may file motions. – Examples • Exclude illegally obtained evidence • Move for a change in venue • Have the defendant evaluated by a psychiatrist • They often serve as the basis for later appeals Pre-trial Cont’d • Choosing Jurors – Potential jurors are selected from voter registration lists, taxpayer lists, Motor vehicle registrations, and telephone lisitngs. How is my name Chosen? • The process of selecting jurors begins when a computer randomly chooses names from the per capita tax rolls. If a person's name is chosen then a questionnaire is sent which includes questions that allow for a determination if the person may be qualified for jury duty. • The United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions GUARANTEE THE RIGHT TO A TRIAL BY JURY. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE JURY SYSTEM DEPENDS UPON CITIZENS' WILLINGNESS TO SERVE, AS WELL AS JURORS' ABILITY TO BE FAIR AND IMPARTIAL WHILE DECIDING THE FACTS AND APPLYING THE LAW. Who can be a juror? • 18 years old • American Citizen Who cannot be a juror? • You cannot speak or understand English • You have been convicted of a felony during the past seven years OR you are a defendant in a felony case now. • You are in jail or prison. • You are a State Senator or Representative and the legislature is in session. • You are a judge of the Superior Court, Appellate Court or Supreme Court, or you are a federal court judge • Physical or mental infirmity that you believe would impair your capacity to serve as a juror • Do you have any other reason for excusal? Dauphin County Jurors Creed • I am a juror. I accept the position not only as an honor but as my solemn duty. • I will remember the men who died to give us, and retain for us, the right of trial by jury, and I will reflect upon the fate of those people whose government gives them no such right. • I will act with the realization that the success of the jury system depends upon the willingness of men and women of integrity and intelligence to accept jury service, and upon the fidelity with which they discharge that responsibility. • I will respect the judge, his or her education, training and experience. • I will listen attentively to all the evidence, the arguments of counsel, and the judge's instructions, and will thoughtfully and impartially weigh the issues. • During the trial, I will not discuss the case with others nor permit others to discuss it with me; neither will I read about it in the newspapers, nor listen to broadcasts about it. • While hearing a case I will keep an open mind until the case is finally submitted to the jury. • I will observe the legal procedure not as red tape, but as a device developed through thousands of years of protection of the people. • I will consider all of the evidence fully and fairly uninfluenced by friendship, sympathy, bias or prejudice. Jury pool Selection • Jurors receive summons • Complete questionnaires • Arrive at Courthouse in the morning • Another Questionnaire • Number assignment • Draw numbers • If your number is drawn you travel to the courtroom • The judge reviews your questionnaires and asks if anything on there will affect your impartiality Jury Selection Cont’d • The attorneys review your answers and each side decides who they want to eliminate Pre-trial Cont’d • Jurors appear in court. • Pre-trial questioning of jurors by both sides to determine their qualifications to serve. – Do you know either of the litigants? – Do you know anything about the case at hand? Evidence • Must be open to both sides Pre-trial Cont’d • Any potential juror can be challenged (for reason) due to a bias against one of the litigants. • Peremptory juror challenge allows either side to disqualify a potential without reason. • The jury may be sequestered if the judge orders it. The Trial • Opening--statement by the prosecution – Outlines evidence to be presented as proof that the defendant did commit the crime. • Opening statement by the defense. – Outlines the evidence to support the defendant. The Trial Cont’d • Prosecution calls witnesses and presents their evidence. – Direct Examination –2 • The defense cross examines the prosecution’s witnesses an attempts to challenge and discredit the evidence presented. • Opportunity for redirect The Trial Cont’d • After the prosecution presents their evidence, the defense may move for dismissal. If the judge agrees that the prosecution has failed to prove their case, the judge may dismiss the case. The Trial Cont’d • The Defense calls their witnesses and presents their evidence – Direct Examination • The Prosecution cross examines • Opportunity for redirect Objections • Misrepresentation Objection– If either side feels the witness is misrepresenting their character. • Leading Questions– Prosecutors must allow their witnesses to tell their own stories and not lead them through. • Immaterial and irrelevant– Testimony is not closely related to the case. • Opinions and conclusions– Unless the witness is an expert, they cannot testify in an expert fashion. • Non-responsive answer—The witness is not answering the question. The Trial Cont’d • Closing Arguments– Each side outlines the evidence they have presented in a way to make the jury believe that they proved their case. – Defense – Prosecution Jury Deliberates • Discuss and weigh evidence. • Decision must Be ______________. Outcomes Possible • Guilty • Not Guilty • Hung Jury Guilty • Sentencing • Defendant may appeal Not Guilty • Defendant is free to go Hung Jury • Just like a Mistrial • Another Trial is schedules at a later date.
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