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									The Judicial Branch

   Est. by Article III
 Of the US Constitution
   Current Supreme Ct. Justices
• John Roberts, Chief Justice (2005 by GW
  Bush)
• John Paul Stevens (1975 by Ford)
• Samuel Alito (2006 by GW Bush)
• Antonin Scalia (1986 by Reagan)
• Anthony Kennedy (1988 by Reagan)
• Sonia Sotomayor (2009 by Obama)
       More Current Justices
• Clarence Thomas (1991 by GHW Bush)
• Ruth Bader Ginsberg (1993 by Clinton)
• Stephen Breyer (1994 by Clinton)
 Important Firsts on Supreme Ct
• John Jay- 1st Chief Justice
• Thurgood Marshall- 1st African American
  appointed to Supreme Ct.
• Clarence Thomas is currently the only
  African American on the Ct.
• Sandra Day O’Connor- 1st woman appointed
  to Supreme Ct
• Sonia Sotomayor- 1st Hispanic
Key Terms and Info
  Amicus Curiae- “friend of the
            court”
• May cite legal precedents that may persuade
  the ct to support a certain pt of view
• May be filed at the request of Supreme
  Court or with its permission
• Do not have to be parties in the case
• Usually supports only one side of the case
• Brief- a lawyers written statement on a case
• Criminal case- case that seeks to punish a
  person for breaking the law
• Civil suit- dispute over the rights and
  responsibilities of the parties to a case
• Defendant- the accused in a court of law
• Plaintiff- the person that brings a case to court
  (Civil)
• Injuction- a writ prohibiting an individual or
  organization from performing a specific action
• Writ of mandamus- order an individual or group
  to perform a specific action
• Writ of certiorari- request from a higher court
  for a lower court to turn over case files for review
  by the higher court
• Judicial review- power of the Supreme Ct to
  declare a law unconstitutional
• Judicial restraint- right of Supreme Ct to refuse
  to consider a controversial case
• Sovereign immunity- gov’t is protected from
  lawsuits
• Appeal- a request from the losing party in a case
  that the decision be reviewed by a higher court
    Jurisdiction- who has authority to
                hear a case
• Exclusive jurisdiction- can be heard only in
  federal court
• Concurrent jurisdiction- case can be tried in state
  or federal court
• Original jurisdiction- right of a court to hear a
  case first
• Appellate jurisdiction- hear a case on review
-Congress has created all courts except the Supreme Court
- Federal judges are appointed by the President and approved
by the Senate
   -2 groups that influence the Pres appointing of judges
      1. Political Party
      2. Senators from the President’s state (senatorial
            courtesy)
   -judges will time retirement to wait for president with same
   ideology (philosophy or party)
   -Seniority does NOT determine who becomes Chief Justice
            Federal Judges

• Appointed for life to protect from political
  interference
• No Formal Qualifications
• Removed through Impeachment process
• Criticism- judges are appointed; thus they
  should not be allowed to make public policy
               Supreme Court
• 1 Chief Justice ($208,000) and 8 Associate
  Justices ($199,200) – Number and salary NOT set
  by Constitution but by Congress
• 6 judges must participate to hear a case
• Rule of Four- how Supreme Ct decides what case
  to hear (4,000-5,000 petitions; hear less than 200)
• Take a simple majority vote to determine ruling
• Session begins 1st Monday in October- lasts about
  10 months
       More Supreme Ct Info
• Works in Two Week intervals
  a.) Sitting- Monday through Thursday
      Friday is Conference Day
  b.) Recess- write opinions and prepare for
  the next set of cases
             Types of Opinions
• Majority Opinion- written by one of justices that
  voted with the majority and explains why they
  made their decision
• Concurring Opinion- written by justices that
  voted with the majority but for a different reason
  than given in majority opinion
• Dissenting Opinion- written by one of justices
  that disagrees with decision
• Supreme Ct only one to have both Original and
  Appellate Jurisdiction
• Most Cases are appeals from Federal Appellate
  Courts and State Supreme Cts.
• Types of Original Jurisdiction
  – 1. Conflict between 2 or more states or state & fed.
    Govt
  – 2.Cases involving ambassadors or foreign diplomats
          Supreme Court History
           and Landmark Cases
• Feb. 1, 1790- John Jay and 5 associate justices
  met at Royal Exchange Building in NYC= First
  session of Supreme Court.
• 4 Landmark Cases
  1. Marbury v. Madison (1803)
     a. first decision to declare an act of Congress
        unconstitutional
     b. Supreme Ct refused to allow Congress to
        expand the Courts original jurisdiction
     c. case est. the principle of judicial review.
     d. Justice Charles Evans Hughes said, “the
       Constitution means what the judges say it
       means.”
2. McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
     a. court held that Congress had implied as well
       as enumerated powers
     b. Supreme Ct said that Congress had the right
       to create a national bank.
•  3. Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
     a. Congress had the right to regulate interstate
        trade
     b. allowed the US to grow into the greatest open
        market in the world
4. Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)
   a. Supreme Ct may declare state laws unconst.
   b. states may not alter contracts with corporations
• Other notes:
  Weakness in Articles of Confederation- no judiciary
- Special Courts differ from Constitutional courts in
  that they deal with specific limited ranges of law
- Territorial courts function similar to US District
  courts
  -Puerto Rico has a district court but not a territorial court

								
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