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8 Cards in this Set

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Federalism
System of government in which policy making autority is divided between a central government and regional government and that division is backed by Constitutional guarantees
3 levels of law at State Level
1) state constitutional law (and judicial interpretation)
2) statatuory law (legislation)
3) local laws (ordinances)
Typical Judiciary Levels
4)General court
3)Circuit court
2)Intermediate court of appeals
1)Supreme Court
Reform ideal: State/Local Constitution/Charter
brief documents (so people can understand), flexible and clear
Reform ideal: Courts
use of elected judges minimized; should be powerful, appointed by the executive and often confirmed later by vote
Reform ideal: Legislature
small, perhaps one house, if 2 keep as small as possible with equal representation; small helps voter pin accountablility; legislators need staffs to be effective; should be free of executive domination
Methods of revising State Constitution
1)constitutional convention
2)constitutional commission
3)constitutional initiate
4)constitutional amendment
5)legislative proposal
Major trial courts
limited to hearing less serious criminal and civil cases; many states have abolished justices of the peace and courts presided over by mayors and magistrates and have replaced them with county/municipal courts