The Judicial Branch - Mr. Blough s 9th Grade Civics Wiki

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					The Judicial Branch
     Chapter 12
 Civics – Mr. Blough
The United States has a
 dual court system:
- Federal Courts
- State Courts
          U.S. Courts
 Handle (have
  jurisdiction over)
  cases involving
  federal law and
State Courts
       Handle (have
        jurisdiction over)
        cases involving
        state matters
        or laws passed
        by states.
The authority to
 hear a case and
make a decision
     Original           Appellate
                        Reviewing a
Ability to hear case   decision made by
  for the 1st time;      a lower court
 make a guilty/not       based on an
    guilty verdict           appeal
Powers of the Judicial
Was the person
guilty? Not guilty?
   Was the law
Interpret the
- Was the law broken?
- Is there a dispute over how a law is
  carried out?
- Does it violate the Constitution?
Reviewing lower court
 decisions to determine if
 an error was made.
     Judicial Review
 Determining if the
  law goes against the
 If the law is
  unconstitutional, the
  law gets thrown out!
  Role of the Judicial
Branch in the System of
 Checks and Balances
        Judicial Checks
      Judicial Powers            Judicial Powers

         over the                   over the

    Legislative Branch         Executive Branch

The Judicial Branch can    The Judicial Branch can
  declare Congressional      declare executive acts
  laws unconstitutional.     unconstitutional.
  Checks on the Judicial Branch
 By the Executive      By the Legislative
       Branch                Branch:

 1) The president      1) The SENATE must
 chooses (appoints)     confirm presidential
    federal judges          appointments
2) Pardon, reprieve,     2) Impeachment
    amnesty, etc.
 Types of Cases heard by Federal
 - Constitutional Disputes

 -Crime(s) committed on federal
  property – Post Office, National
  Parks, etc.
 Violation of federal laws
 Disputes between states
 Disputes involving foreign
        U.S. District Courts
 Only Trial Court – Guilty or not
  guilty verdict
 Plaintiff:
       U.S. Government
 Defendant:
 1 Judge
 Jury of peers
 Original Jurisdiction – where the
  case begins
                 District Courts
 Where most of the cases are held
   About 90% of cases start in district courts
   300,000 cases per year (criminal and civil)

 District courts have original jurisdiction **
   Original jurisdiction = to hear cases for the first time **

 District court judges are appointed by President and have
  lifetime terms
 Other people in District Courts
 Magistrate – person who issues court orders and has a pre-
  trial to determine whether a case should be taken to actual

 US Attorney – The lawyer on behalf of the U.S.
   In criminal cases, he/she will always be on the side of the

 Marshal – arrests suspects and delivers people to district
   Issue subpoenas - an order requiring you to go to trial
                US Appeals Court
 Where cases go after district courts

 Appellate jurisdiction –to hear cases that have already been
  decided in lower courts. Why?
     Wrong procedure
     Error on part of judge, jury, or lawyer
     New evidence brought forth
     Violation of the Constitution

 Lifetime appointments for judges
           An important note:
 Appeals courts ARE NOT deciding cases to determine
  whether the party is innocent or guilty

 INSTEAD, they’re trying to determine whether an error or
  mistake was made
   If so, the sentence can be revoked or changed
   Or, it could go to the Supreme Court
                 Appeals Cases
 There is no jury in an appeals case.

 Only the judges decide!
   U.S. Court of Appeals
 The accused can appeal to
  a higher court if they can
  find a legal reason to do
 3 Justices (judges)
 No jury
 Appellate Jurisdiction
 Uphold or overturn
      U.S. Supreme Court
 Final court of appeals if unhappy with ruling in
  District Court of Appeals

 Meets in Washington, DC

 9 Justices

 No Jury

 Appellate jurisdiction

 Very little original jurisdiction
     U.S. Supreme Court
 Highest Court in the land
 The only court mentioned in
  Article III
 Judges (justices) appointed by
  the President and approved by
  the Senate
 Terms last a lifetime
 Can be impeached by Congress
     Judicial Review

Supreme Court’s power to determine if:
    1.) laws passed by Congress are
          constitutional (Article I)
2.) President’s actions are Constitutional
                 (Article II)
           Established the idea of
Marbury     judicial review (J.R)

  v.       Allowed the Supreme
            Court to determine J.R.
Madison    The first time that the
 1803       Supreme Court deemed a
            law unconstitutional
            (threw it out)
The Supreme Court exists to
  guard the Constitution. It
  checks the power of the
executive/legislative branches
   and interprets the law.

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