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The Supreme Court Principles of the Supreme Court Cannot seek out an issue to bring to court, they must wait for the lawsuit concerning the issue to come to them. Role of the Supreme Court The Supreme Court is the final judge in all cases involving laws of Congress, and the highest law of all-the Constitution. The Supreme Court is far from all powerful, due to the checks and balances system from the Executive and Legislative Branches. Current Members Ruth Bader Ginsburg Sonia Sotomayor Clarence Thomas Stephen Breyer Antonin Scalia John Stevens John Roberts Samuel Alito Anthony Kennedy Newest Appointees John Roberts, Chief Justice, Oct. 2005 Samuel Alito, Feb. 2006 Sonia Sotomayor, May 2009 Landmark Cases Marbury v. Madison, 1803 – Established the power of the court to review acts (laws) of Congress known as Judicial Review. – The 1st time the Supreme Court declared something “unconsitutional”. William Marbury James Madison John Marshall Dred Scott v. Sanford, 1857 -Ruled that all Africans, whether slaves or not, were not protected by the Constitution, and could never be citizens of the United States. -Because slaves were not citizen, they could not sue in court -Since slaves were considered private property, they could not be taken away from their owner without due process. Dred Scott Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896 Justified Jim Crow laws, saying that the 14th amendment allowed for separate facilities for different races as long as they were equal. – This doctrine was used for the next 50 years to justify segregation. Brown v. Board of Education, 1954 Overturned the earlier ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson Decision was that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. 14th amendment was being violated Victory paved the way for integration and the Civil Rights’ Movement Engel v. Vitale, 1962 Supreme Court determined that it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and require its recitation in public schools. Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963 Ruled that state courts are required under the 6th amendment to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys Miranda v. Arizona, 1966 In this case the Supreme Court ruled that the 5th Amendment’s protection from self-incrimination requires that suspects be clearly informed of their rights before they are questioned. Jurisdiction- authority to hear certain cases Original Jurisdiction- the court in which the case is originally tried. – The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction for: Ambassadors & other representatives US government or its offices State and foreign country citizens Appellate Jurisdiction- court of appeals. Concurrent Jurisdiction- when both state and federal courts have jurisdiction. Selection of Federal Judges Article 2, section 2 No qualifications listed in the constitution Appointed by President, they are usually of the same political party. – He submits his choice to the senators from the candidate’s state. This is called Senatorial Courtesy.
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