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Chapter 9 Notes Political Science

by: Sierra Crumbaugh

Chapter 9 Notes Political Science POLI 201 001

Marketplace > University of South Carolina > Political Science > POLI 201 001 > Chapter 9 Notes Political Science
Sierra Crumbaugh

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These notes cover all of the chapter 9 lecture slides as well as any other material covered by the professor during lecture.
American National Government
Class Notes
chapter 9, political, Science, american, National, Government, notes
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sierra Crumbaugh on Monday March 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLI 201 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Darmofal in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 57 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 03/21/16
Chapter  9 Tuesday,  March  15,  2016 10:50  AM Judicial  Independence  and   the  Political  Judiciary Tuesday,  March  15,  2016 • Courts  serve  the  essential  functions  of   settling  disputes  and  interpreting  the  law • The  most  distinctive  feature  of  the  federal   judiciary  is  its  independence;  it  is  separate   from  the  other  branches,  and  federal   judges  are  appointed  for  life. • Because  judges  have  preferences  about   what  government  should  do,  courts  are   fundamentally  political  institutions The  Judicial  Process Tuesday,  March  15,  2016 • While  judges  are  political  actors,   they  are  constrained  by  institutions   and  norms  just  as  other  political   actors  are. • The  main  constraints  are  the   Constitution  and  the  laws,  common   law,  legal  precedents,  and   established  judicial  procedures • Three  Broad  Categories  of  Cases: ○ Criminal  law  -­‐ disputes  or   actions  involving  criminal   penalties ○ Civil  law  -­‐ a  system  of   jurisprudence  for  settling   disputes  that  do  not  involve   criminal  penalties penalties ○ Civil  law  -­‐ a  system  of   jurisprudence  for  settling   disputes  that  do  not  involve   criminal  penalties ○ Public  law  -­‐ cases  involving   the  action  of  public  agencies   or  officials • There  are  specialized  courts  for   different  types  of  cases The  Judicial  Process:   Precedents  and  Stare   decisis Tuesday,  March  15,  2016 11:01  AM • In  addition  to  the  law,  courts  apply   legal  precedents-­‐  prior  cases   whose  principles  are  used  by   judges  as  the  bases  for  their   decisions  in  present  cases • Stare  decisis  -­‐ Latin  for  "let  the   decision  stand,"  is  a  judicial   doctrine  that  a  previous  decision  by   a  court  should  apply  as  precedent   in  similar  cases  until  that  decision  is   overruled   The  Organization  of  the   Court  System:  Types  of   Courts Tuesday,  March  15,  2016 • There  are  generally  three  types  of   courts ○ Trial  court:  the  first  court  to   hear  a  criminal  or  civil  case ○ Appellate  court:  a  court  that   Tuesday,  March  15,  2016 • There  are  generally  three  types  of   courts ○ Trial  court:  the  first  court  to   hear  a  criminal  or  civil  case ○ Appellate  court:  a  court  that   hears  the  appeals  of  trial-­‐court   decisions ○ Supreme  Court:  the  highest   court  in  a  state  or  the  nation,   which  primarily  hears  cases  on   appeal • They  are  functionally  difference  and   hierarichally  organized The  Organization  of  the   Court  System:  Federal   Courts Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:06  AM • Most  cases  are  heard  in  state  courts • Cases  are  heard  in  federal  court  if  they   involve  federal  laws,  treaties,  or  the   Constitution. • Article  III  of  the  Constitution  gives  the   U.S.  Supreme  Court  appellate  jurisdiction   in  most  federal  cases  and  gives  the   Congress  power  to  create  lower  federal   courts • For  the  most  part,  Congress  has  assigned   original  and  appellate  jurisdiction  to   federal  courts  on  a  geographic  basis: ○ There  are  94  judicial  districts ○ There  are  11  regional  appellate   circuits,  plus  the  D.C.  circuit • There  are  also  several  specialized  federal   courts  that  have  nationwide  jurisdiction   for  particular  kinds  of  cases Caseload  in  Federal   courts  that  have  nationwide  jurisdiction   for  particular  kinds  of  cases Caseload  in  Federal   Courts Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:12  AM • The  caseload  for  federal  courts  has   ballooned  in  recent  decades  to  more   than  450,000  cases  per  year • About  80%  of  cases  end  in  district   courts   • About  2,000  cases  from  the  appellate   courts  are  appealed  to  the  Supreme   Court  each  year • The  Supreme  court  dismisses  most  of   these  cases  without  a  ruling  on  the   merits Federal  Trial  Courts  and   Federal  Appellate  Courts Thursday,  March  17,  2016 • District  judges  are  assigned  on  the   basis  of  workload;  the  busiest  federal   district  court  has  28  judges • Circuit  courts  of  appeal  have  between   3  and  28  permanent  judgeships,   depending  on  workload The  Supreme  Court Thursday,  March  17,  2016 • Article  III  of  the  Constitution  states:   "The  judicial  power  of  the  United   States,  shall  be  vested  in  one  Supreme   Court." • By  law,  the  Supreme  Court  has  one   Chief  Justice  (now  titles  Chief  Justice   • Article  III  of  the  Constitution  states:   "The  judicial  power  of  the  United   States,  shall  be  vested  in  one  Supreme   Court." • By  law,  the  Supreme  Court  has  one   Chief  Justice  (now  titles  Chief  Justice   of  the  United  States)  and  eight   Associate  Justices • The  Chief  Justice  presides  over  the   Court's  public  sessions,  gets  to  speak   first  during  deliberations,  and  gets  to   vote  last How  Judges  are  Appointed Thursday,  March  17,  2016 • The  president  nominates  federal  judges,   and  the  Senate  must  confirm • Senatorial  courtesy:  Before  nominating  a   person  for  federal  judgeship,  the   president  finds  out  whether  the   candidate's  home -­‐state  senators  support   the  nomination Supreme  Court   Appointments Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:21  AM • Since  the  1950s,  nominees  to  the   Supreme  Court  have  been  questioned  in   depth  by  the  Senate  Judiciary  Committee • Recent  nomination  fights  have  been   intensely  ideological • Presidents  have  turns  more  and  more  to   sitting  federal  appellate  court  judges,   who  have  proven  records  that  can  be   read.   Courts  as  Political   Institutions read.   Courts  as  Political   Institutions Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:25  AM • Three  roles  for  courts  in  the  political   system: ○ Dispute  resolution:  fact  finding  and   judgment   ○ Coordination:  providing  before-­‐ the-­‐fact  incentives  and   disincentives  for  behavior ○ Rule  interpretation:  filling  in  "gaps"   in  the  law • This  is  the  Institution  Principle  at  work The  Power  of  Judicial   Review Thursday,  March  17,  2016 • Judicial  Review:  the  power  of  the  courts  to   declare  actions  of  the  legislative  and   executive  branches  invalid  or   unconstitutional • Judicial  review  is  not  explicitly  granted  to   the  Court  in  the  Constitution  but  was   asserted  by  the  Court   arbury  v.   Madison  (1803). Marbury  v.  Madison  (1803) Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:29  AM • William  Marbury  had  been  granted  a   judicial  commission,  but  the  commission   had  not  been  delivered  in  time • Marbury  sued,  and  the  Court  ruled  that  the   portion  of  the  Judiciary  Act  of  1789  that   gave  the  Court  power  to  compel  Madison   to  deliver  the  commission  was  invalid judicial  commission,  but  the  commission   had  not  been  delivered  in  time • Marbury  sued,  and  the  Court  ruled  that  the   portion  of  the  Judiciary  Act  of  1789  that   gave  the  Court  power  to  compel  Madison   to  deliver  the  commission  was  invalid • The  Court  thus  asserted  that  it  had  the   power  to  rule  a  law  unconstitutional The  Use  of  Judicial  Review Thursday,  March  17,  2016 • The  Court  did  not  use  judicial  review  much   right  after  Marbury  v.  Madison,  but  it  has   used  it  quite  a  bit  more  frequently  in  recent   decades. • Judicial  Review  has  been  used  to: ○ Reverse  state  actions ○ Overturn  federal  agency  actions ○ Challenge  presidential  action ○ Overturn  federal  law The  Supreme  Court  in   Action:  Access Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:35  AM • The  Constitution  defines  judicial  power  as   extending  to  "cases  and  controversies" • This  means: ○ No  advisory  opinions ○ Parties  must  have  standing   -­‐ the   right  of  an  individual  or  organization   to  initiate  a  case ○ The  issue  must  not  be -­‐  a  case   that  no  longer  requires  resolution • Beyond  those  rules,  the  Court  chooses  to   hear  cases  based  on  the  preferences  and   priorities  of  the  justices • The  justices'  clerks  pore  over  all  petitions   and  generate  memos  on  the  various  cases,   and  any  one  justice  can  ask  that  a  case  be   considered  for  a  hearing hear  cases  based  on  the  preferences  and   priorities  of  the  justices • The  justices'  clerks  pore  over  all  petitions   and  generate  memos  on  the  various  cases,   and  any  one  justice  can  ask  that  a  case  be   considered  for  a  hearing • The  nine  justices  meet  to  decide  which   cases  will  be  grantedc  ertiorari • Writ  of  certiorari    formal  request  by  an   appellant  to  have  the  Supreme  Court   review  a  decision  of  a  lower  court • Generally,c  ertiorari  is  granted  when: ○ There  are  conflicting  decisions  by   two  or  more  lower  courts ○ There  are  conflicts  between  a  lower   court  decision  and  a  previous   Supreme  Court  decision Controlling  the  Flow  of   Cases Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:43  AM • Solicitor  General:  the  Solicitor  General  (an   officer  in  the  Justice  Department)  screens   out  many  cases  in  which  the  federal   government  is  a  party • Law  clerks:  Each  justice  has  four  clerks,   drawn  from  the  top  law  schools  in  the   country,  who  screen  cases  for  justices  and   assist  in  general  legal  research. The  Supreme  Court's   Procedures Thursday,  March  17,  2016 • Parties  to  the  case  file  briefs ○ Briefs  are  documents  in  which  the   attorneys  explain  why  the  Court   should  rule  in  their  favor ○ Amicus  curiae   briefs  are  filed  by  those   who  are  interested  in  the  case  but  not   • Parties  to  the  case  file  briefs ○ Briefs  are  documents  in  which  the   attorneys  explain  why  the  Court   should  rule  in  their  favor ○ Amicus  curiae   briefs  are  filed  by  those   who  are  interested  in  the  case  but  not   a  party  to  it • Oral  arguments  come  next ○ Attorneys  appear  before  the  Court,   present  their  arguments,  and  answer   questions  from  the  justices • Conference   ○ The  case  is  discussed  and  a   preliminary  vote  taken • Opinion  writing ○ One  of  the  members  of  the  majority  is   assigned  the  task  of  writing  a  majority   opinion ○ Drafts  of  the  opinion  are  circulated,   and  changes  may  be  suggested ○ Justices  in  the  minority  write  one  or   more  dissents Judicial  Decision  Making:   Restraint  vs.  Activism Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:50  AM • Judicial  Restraint:  the  judicial  philosophy   whose  adherents  refuse  to  go  beyond  the  text   of  the  Constitution  in  interpreting  its  meaning • Judicial  Activism:  the  judicial  philosophy  that   posits  that  the  Court  should  see  beyond  the   text  of  the  Constitution  or  a  statute  to   consider  the  broader  societal  implications  for   its  decisions   Judicial  Decision  Making:   Political  Ideology Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:52  AM Judicial  Decision  Making:   Political  Ideology Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:52  AM • The  extent  of  the  liberal  or  conservative   attitudes  of  justices  plays  an  important  role   in  their  decisions • Activism  and  restraint  are  not  synonymous   with  liberal  and  conservative The  Expanding  Power  of   the  Judiciary Thursday,  March  17,  2016 10:54  AM • During  the  1960s  and  1970s,  the  courts   liberalized  standing-­‐  more  could  sue • The  courts  also  broadened  the  scope  of   relief  by  allowing  fo-­‐action  lawsuits • The  courts  also  began  to  employ   structural  remedies,  sometimes  retaining   control  of  a  case  until  a  mandate  was   implemented • All  are  expansions  of  judicial  power


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