American Government Laws and Institutions
American Government Laws and Institutions PSCI 1040
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This 23 page Class Notes was uploaded by Destinee Reichel on Sunday October 25, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 1040 at University of North Texas taught by John Books in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 36 views. For similar materials see /class/229176/psci-1040-university-of-north-texas in Political Science at University of North Texas.
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Date Created: 10/25/15
PSCI 1040 004 Jim Battista University of North Texas The Judicial System Federal courts types 0 3 main types of federal courts 0 District courts a Courts of appeals circuit courts a Supreme Court Federal courts types 0 Also a few legislative courts 0 Created under different provisions of the Constitution 0 Specialized and technical matters 0 US Court of Military Appeals 9 Tax Court 0 Litigants can appeal to normal court structure Federal judges 0 Article III Normal courts 0 All are appointed for good behavior a All are confirmed by the Senate a Senatorial courtesy for District Court appointments 0 All have salary protection 0 Article legislativejudges have fewer protections District courts a 94 including 5 territorial amp DC 0 Courts of original jurisdiction trial courts a Decide matters of fact did Mr X whack Mr Y 0 Decide matters of law should this bit of evidence be admitted o 13 Circuits o Appellate courts 0 Decide review only matters of law 0 Look at lower court decisions 0 Did the lower court interpret the law correctly o Did the lower court admit evidence that was inadmissible 0 Did the lower fail to follow important precedents a Is the law in question constitutional Supreme Court 3 Just the one 9 Original jurisdiction sometimes 0 One state suing another MDVA oyster wars 0 Cases involving foreign ambassadors in Others in general not really important 0 Mostly appellate court 2 Appeals from lower federal courts 0 Appeals from highest state courts 0 What we care about Judicial review a Doctrine that the courts can overturn laws that violate the Constitution 0 Nowhere specifically granted in Constitution 0 Arises from Marbuty v Madison 1803 9 Established doctrine Federalist 78 just not yet used 9 Real importance Jefferson Madison Congress abided by decision to the extent they had to a US SupCt avoids overturning federal laws when it can a Prefers statutory interpretation Getting a case heard 0 Many requirements to get a case heard by any court 0 Actual controversy 0 Standing 9 Must show that you personally have been harmed 0 Or that you are in imminent danger of harm a Doesn39t need to be great grievous harm but must be real 0 Not political question a Is question justicibe Supreme Court 0 Getting your case heard Supreme Court does not normally have to hear your case 0 Can choose to by issuing a writ of certiorari a Latin Make more certain 0 Court uses Rule of Four to grant certiorari it Why four Getting cert Supreme Court is more likely to hear a case if 0 A lower court has ignored Supreme Court precedent in Federal district or circuit courts disagree 0 A federal law has been held unconstitutional in a lower court 0 A federal law was upheld against a strong constitutional claim a A state law or constitution was upheld against the challenge that it violates federal law or the US Constitution Supreme Court procedure 0 Submit briefs 0 Must be brief preferable 25 pages or less 0 Including amicus curiae brie s o Briefs get read or not Supreme Court procedure 0 Oral argument 9 Relatively rare in general legal world 0 Generally half hour to hour for each side 0 Including questions and interruptions o Stricty enforced o Opportunity to fail in Voting and opinion circulation How do Justices decide How should they decide Several competing arguments 0 Judicial restraint vs judicial activism 9 Original intent o Whose intent How to divine a Masking of disagreements by vagueness o Literalism a Can lead quickly to weirdsilly results 0 lnterpretivism living Constitution 0 Don39t we have a Congress and President for policymaking There are several kinds of opinions o Court39s opinion 0 Concurring opinion a Dissenting opinion a Mix concur in part dissent in part o Carries legal decision and orders 0 Assigned by most senior Justice in majority o All manner of strategic concerns 0 May be per curiam Concurring opinion 9 Agrees with the decision affirmreverse o Disagrees with the reasoning in the Court39s opinion Dissenting opinion 0 Disagrees with both decision and reasoning 9 Appeal to the future 0 John Marshall Harlan in Pessy v Ferguson The last stage 3 Compliance 2 Court has no army no navy effectively no police a Must rely for enforcement on the political branches 9 How forthcoming will this enforcement be 3 Worcester v Georgia 1832 a Brown v Board ofEducarion 1954 State courts State courts have similar structure to the federal courts 9 Court of final appeals 0 Highest court o TX has two one criminal Ct of Crim App and one civil Supreme Ct 0 Go by various names a Usually Court of Appeals Court of Final Appeals Supreme ourt 0 Lower appeals courts a TX Court of Appeals 0 Other names in other places FL District courts State court structure cont 9 Normal original jurisdiction courts 0 TX District Courts 3 Often County Courts in other states a Felonies serious civil cases 0 Lower courts a TX County Courts Municipal Courts JoP Courts 0 Other small courts like Traffic Court 0 Misdemeanors small civil cases Selecting state judges Selecting federal judges is a relatively simple process 0 Still plenty of politics in it But selecting state judges is a whole different world Different states use the following schemes 9 Partisan election TX 0 Nonpartisan election a Election but partisan affiliations not on ballot 9 Selection by sitting judges some in AK LA 9 Appointment by governor in Election by legislature Selecting state judges cont 0 Merit plan n Governor appoints from list or with approval of commission 9 After sewing a term judge sits for a retention election 9 Shall name be elected to the office for the term prescribed by law Costs and benefits of electing judges
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