Textbook Notes (363,041)
United States (204,367)
CAS PO 111 (17)
Chapter 14

Chapter 14 The Courts.pdf

3 Pages
Unlock Document

Boston University
Political Science
CAS PO 111
Graham Wilson

Chapter 14: The Courts Sunday, December 15, 2013 4:44 PM I. National Judicial Supremacy • The power of the courts to shape policy is a problem for democracy • Federal justices are appointed for life to be independent of popular influences • Period of profound change and long lasting justices began with John Marshall 1801 A) Judicial Review of the Other Branches • Marbury v. Madison: Established the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review ○ Constitution is the fundamental and paramount law of the nation ○ Supreme court can declare laws unconstitutional B) The Exercise of Judicial Review • Court can declare national, state and local law invalid if it conflicts with constitution • Supremacy of national law over state and local laws • Supreme Court is the final authority of the Constitution • Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 78 that it is the judiciary is the weakest because it lacks the sword and purse II. The Organization of Courts A) Some Court Fundamentals a) Criminal and Civil Cases • Maintaining public order; usually done by state and local government • Criminal cases: Involving crime and violation of public order • Civil cases: Private disputes involving accidents, contractual obligations, divorce b) Procedures and Policy Making • Plea bargain: Defendant's admission of guilt in exchange of no trial punishment • Adjudication: Court judgment resolving the parties’ claims and enforced by the government • Common/judgment law: Legal precedent derived from previous judicial decisions ○ Common law: Old English Law • Federal courts are organized in three tiers ○ US District Courts: Lowest tier and where litigation begins ○ US Courts of Appeals: Decisions can be reviewed ○ Supreme Court: Also an appellate court B) The US District Courts • Where trials occur; testimonies and cross examinations, etc a) Sources of Litigation • Federal criminal cases as defined by national law • Civil cases brought by individuals, groups and government • Civil cases brought against the national government • Civil cases between citizens C) The US Courts of Appeals • All cases in US district courts can be appealed in the appellate courts a) Appellate Court Proceeding • Judges need briefs of the past rulings • Questionable circumstances such as inadmissible evidence b) Precedent and Making Decisions • Precedent: Judicial ruling that serves as basis for ruling in similar cases ○ Requires justices to write their opinions • Stare Decisis: “Let the decision stand” ○ Making decisions according to precedent III. The Supreme Court III. The Supreme Court A) Access to the Court • Original Jurisdiction: Authority of a court to hear a case before any other does • Appellate Jurisdiction: Authority of a court to hear cases that have been tried, decided, or reexamined in other courts ○ Federal question: Issue covered by the US Constitution, national laws and treaties ○ The case much have reached the end of the line in the state court system • Courts have complete control over their docket (agenda) ○ Choose which cases to take from Certiorari or petitions ○ Rule of 4: Unwritten rule that requires at least 4 justices to agree that the case should be reviewed by the US Supreme Court B) The Solicitor General • 3rd highest ranking in the US Department of Justice and the one to represent the national government to the S
More Less

Related notes for CAS PO 111

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.