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47 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
11th Amendment
Suits against states by a resident or by another state must be heard in state courts, not federal court: repealed part of Article III (establishment of the Judicial Branch)
American Bar Association, consulted for the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices
amicus curiae
"Friend of the Court": a third party to a lawsuit who diles a legal brief for the purpose of raising additional points if view in an attemt to influence the court's decision
apellate court
Court that generally reviews only findings of law maed by lower courts
apellate jurisdiction
The power vested in an appellate court to review and/or revise the decision of a lower court
A document containing the legal written arguments in a cased filed with a courty by a party prior to a hearing or trial
Chief Justice
The judge who presides over the supreme Court
civil law
codes of behavior related to businesses and contractual relationships between groups and individuals
Clarence Thomas
2nd black justice on the supreme court, appointed by Bush
concurring opinion in SC
Written by a justice who agrees the the outcome of the case but not the legal rationale for the decision
constitutional courts
Federal courts specifically created by the US constitution or by congress
criminal law
Codes of behavior related to the protection of property and individual safety. Criminal law assumes that society itself is the victim of the illegal act, and the government therefore prosecutes, or brings an action, on behalf of the injured party.
Every civil and criminal case has a plaintiff, which is a petitioner who brings charges against a defendant. A defendant is a respondent.
dissenting opinion in SC
The opinion written by one or more justices who disagree with the opinion of a majority or plurality of the Court.
in forma pauperis
A way for an indigent or poor person to appeal a case to the Supreme Court.
influences on SC opinions
judicial philosophy (judicial activism? Restraint?), precedent, national ideology/beliefs, public opinion
judicial activism
judicial principle that judges should use influence and decision-making power to further justice (equality, personal freedoms)
judicial implementation
whether or not (and if so, to what extent) court decisions should become public policy
judicial policy making
federal courts can overrule themselves (change ruling, like in Plessy v. Ferguson), declare legislative decisions unconstitutional (INS v. Chadha), can choose not to hear cases that are not under jurisdiction of court
judicial restraint
opposite of judicial activism; idea that judges should defer to other branches of government and put aside personal beliefs
judicial review
est. by Marbury v. Madison (1803); court had to decide whether or not Adams’ midnight appointments stood under Jefferson administration; gave courts the power to deem constitutionality and jurisdiction for themselves and for other branches
Judiciary Act of 1789
established 3-tier system of judiciary: federal district courts, federal circuit courts, Supreme Court
authority of a court to hear and rule on cases
legislative courts
courts assigned by Congress for specialized purposes (Ct. Of Military Appeals)
majority opinion in SC
written by one justice, reflects majority; plurality opinions can be added
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
: judicial review; Marshall court asserted ability to judge Congress’ acts unconstitutional
Marshall Court
(1801-1835) Time period under which the Supreme Court was lead by John Marshall, an eager Federalist who instituted innovations to establish the court as a co-equal branch of government. This period marked the end of seriatim opinions, the Court's claiming of the right to judicial review (Marbury v. Madison, 1803), established both the authority of the Supreme Court over state judiciaries and the supremacy of federal government and Congress over state governments through the necessary and proper clause (McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819).
minority opinion in Supreme Court
An opinion than is written by one or more justices that disagrees with the opinion of a majority or plurality of the Court.
oral arguments
After a case is accepted by the court for full review, and after briefs and amicus briefs are submitted on each side.
original intent theory of judicial interpretation
The idea that the court should, when arguing the constitutionality of a statute or policy, rely on the explicit meanings of the clauses in the Constitution, which can be clarified by looking at the intent of the framers.
original jurisdiction
The jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first, usually in a trial. Courts determine tha facts of a case under their original jurisdiction.
per curiam opinion in SC
An unsigned opinion issued by the court. Justices may disent from per curiam opinions, but do so very rarely.
One who presents a petition.
Person who brings an action in a court of law
plurality opinion in SC
The opinion that attracts the support of three or four justices. Generally this opinion becomes the controlling opinion of the court. Usually one or more justices agree with the outcome of the decision in a concurrign opinion, but there is no solid majority for a legal reasoning behind the outcome. Plurality opinions do not have the presedential value of majority opinions.
Prior judicial decision that serves as a rule for setting subsequent cases of a similar nature.
Robert Bork
Bork was a conservative supreme court justice nominee in 1987 and was nominated by a Republican but had a distinguished record. Interest groups on both sides of the political spectrum were highly active, working for and against his nomination. Liberal interest groups finally won the day against Bork's "original intent" approach to constitutional interpretation and his nomination was turned down.
role of Supreme Court clerks
They search for facts and do research, they read and summarize cases, go over writs of cert, help write opinions and more. Sometimes they play tennis and take walks with their justices as well. It is unclear how much influence clerks have on the writing of opinions. Relationships tend to be close and confidential.
Rule of Four
If four Supreme Court justices want to hear a case, cert is granted.
selection of federal judges
The federal judges are nominated by the president and approved by the Senate; the president's selections are based on the candidate's competence, ideology/policy preferences, religion, race, and gender; other factors the president may take into consideration are whether he has someone who he could reward with the nomination, and whether a nomination would boost the president's political support.
solicitor general
The fourth-ranking member of the Department of Justice; responsible for handling all appeals of behalf of the U.S. government and the Supreme Court.
stare decisis
In court rulings, a reliance on past decisions or precedents to formulate decisions in new cases.
strict constructionist
An approach to constitutional interpretation that emphasizes the Framers' original intentions.
supreme court confirmation process
While the president is selecting his appointees, their names are sent to the FBI before the nomination is formally named, the Senate then conducts hearings under the Senate Judiciary Committee in which they discuss and investigate the backgrounds of each individual. Then the Judiciary Committee makes a formal recommendation to the entire Senate, and the Senate votes.
supreme court nomination criteria
The president's selections are based on the candidate's competence, ideology/policy preferences, religion, race, and gender; other factors the president may take into consideration are whether he has someone who he could reward with the nomination, and whether a nomination would boost the president's political support.
trial court
court of original jurisdiction where a case begins
writ of certiorari
a request for the court to order up the records from a lower court to review the case