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53 Cards in this Set

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1. (p. 469) A judicial decision that establishes a rule for settling subsequent cases of a similar nature is a 

A. writ of certiorari.

B. landmark decision.

C. writ of mandamus.

D. precedent.

E. writ of error.
2. (p. 469) The power of the Supreme Court is most apparent in its ability to 

A. issue advisory opinions when Congress is considering a new bill.

B. impeach federal judges who consistently ignore its rulings.

C. declare another institution's action to be unconstitutional.

D. override any decision of a state court.

E. issue advisory opinions to the president on a regular basis.
3. (p. 469) A writ of certiorari is 

A. a request to a lower court to submit to the Supreme Court a record of the case it has been requested to hear.

B. the statement explaining the reasoning behind a Supreme Court decision.

C. the official transcript of Supreme Court proceedings.

D. a statement from a group not directly involved in a Supreme Court case, indicating the group's opinion on the legal issue at hand.

E. an application for a waiver of court fees due to indigence.
4. (p. 471) A concurring opinion 

A. explains the chief justice's position on a case.

B. is a separate view written by a justice who votes with the majority but disagrees with its reasoning.

C. is delivered when the Court interprets a constitutional issue.

D. is delivered when at least two justices, but less than a majority, hold the same opinion in a case.

E. explains why the Court accepted the case in the first place.
5. (p. 471) Regarding Supreme Court procedures, which one of the following statements is NOT accurate? 

A. When part of the majority, the chief justice decides which justice will write the majority opinion.

B. A concurring opinion is a view written by a justice who votes with the majority and agrees with its reasoning.

C. A dissenting opinion is an opinion of a judge who votes against the majority.

D. Attorneys who argue a case before the Supreme Court operate under strict time limits.

E. The Court has broad standards in choosing the cases it will hear.
6. (p. 469) Compared with the decision in a Supreme Court case, the opinion is more significant because it 

A. determines the losing party in a case and the penalty to be imposed on this party.

B. reveals the conflicts between the justices, which the president and Congress can use in determining their position on judicial appointments and new legislation.

C. informs others of the Court's interpretation of the laws and thereby guides their decisions.

D. addresses the constitutional aspects of a case, whereas the decision addresses the statutory aspects.

E. None of these answers is correct.
7. (p. 471) A written Supreme Court opinion that, in the absence of a majority opinion, represents the reasoning of most of the justices who side with the winning party is a 

A. plurality opinion.

B. concurring opinion.

C. leading opinion.

D. prevailing opinion.

E. per curiam.
8. (p. 472) The federal district courts 

A. are the chief trial courts of the federal system.

B. are the only federal courts where the two sides present their case to a jury for a verdict.

C. are the courts that, in practice, make the final decision in most federal cases.

D. exist in each state.

E. All these answers are correct.
9. (p. 469) With regard to the lower courts, the Supreme Court's primary responsibility is 

A. establishing legal precedents that will guide their decisions.

B. correcting any technical mistakes the lower courts make in the cases they hear.

C. settling jurisdictional disputes among federal judges.

D. settling jurisdictional disputes between state and federal judges.

E. All these answers are correct.
they sometimes deviate because 

A. the facts of a case are seldom precisely the same as those of similar cases decided by the Supreme Court.

B. federal judges may misunderstand the Court's judicial reasoning or position.

C. ambiguities or unaddressed issues in Supreme Court rulings give lower courts some flexibility in deciding cases.

D. of all these factors: the facts of a case are seldom precisely the same as those of similar cases decided by the Supreme Court; federal judges may misunderstand the Court's judicial reasoning or position; and ambiguities or unaddressed issues in the Court's rulings give lower courts some flexibility in deciding cases.

E. None of these answers is correct.
11. (p. 473) The U.S. courts of appeals 

A. hear new evidence in appealed cases.

B. review trial court decisions.

C. are the highest courts to use juries.

D. decide for the Supreme Court the cases it will review.

E. None of these answers is correct.
12. (p. 477) The appointment of federal judges is influenced most substantially by 

A. partisanship.

B. logrolling.

C. pork barreling
D. affirmative action.

E. personal friendships.
13. (p. 476) The "federal court myth" overlooks the fact that 

A. most cases arise under state law, not federal law.

B. nearly all cases that originate in state courts are never reviewed by federal courts.

C. federal courts must normally accept the facts of a case as determined by a state court when reviewing its decision.

D. most cases arise under state law, not federal law; nearly all cases that originate in state courts are never reviewed by federal courts; and federal courts must normally accept the facts of a case as determined by a state court when reviewing its decision.

E. None of these answers is correct.
14. (p. 479) Senatorial courtesy refers to the tradition whereby 

A. nominees for federal judgeships are treated with respect during Senate confirmation hearings, even by senators who plan to vote against the nominee.

B. senators usually defer to the president's choice of Supreme Court nominees.

C. senators are consulted on the nomination of lower-court federal judgeships in their state.

D. nominations for the federal courts, once committee hearings are concluded, are scheduled for a vote ahead of other Senate business.

E. House members always defer to the Senate on matters dealing with the judiciary.
15. (p. 478) When asked if he had made any mistakes as president, ________ replied, "Yes, two, and they are both sitting on the Supreme Court". 

A. Ronald Reagan

B. Jimmy Carter

C. Richard Nixon

D. Lyndon Johnson

E. Dwight Eisenhower
16. (p. 481) According to the Constitution, the federal courts can issue a decision only 

A. in response to actual legal cases.

B. in cases where the U.S. government is one of the parties involved in the dispute.

C. on cases heard previously by a state court and appealed by the losing party.

D. in cases where the U.S. government is one of the parties involved in the dispute, and where the cases were heard previously by a state court and appealed by the losing party.

E. None of these answers is correct.
17. (p. 494) The long-serving chief justice that established the principle of judicial review was 

A. Charles Evans Hughes.

B. Hugo Black.

C. Clarence Thomas.

D. John Marshall.

E. Benjamin Cardozo.
18. (p. 482) The facts of a case 

A. are largely irrelevant, in that the judiciary has wide freedom with decisions.

B. affect which law or laws will apply to the case.

C. are important only if the case involves a statutory dispute.

D. are important only if the case involves a constitutional dispute.

E. are important about 50 percent of the time.
19. (p. 469) The judiciary's status as an independent branch of national government depends on judicial review, which grants the judiciary the authority to 

A. make political decisions; judges can overturn any congressional or presidential decision they personally dislike.

B. decide which laws apply to a particular case.

C. ignore public opinion when making decisions.

D. invalidate the actions of other institutions when judges believe they have acted unconstitutionally.

E. strike down certain sections of the Constitution.
20. (p. 483) The term stare decisis refers to 

A. adherence to precedent.

B. judicial activism.

C. judicial restraint.

D. judicial review.

E. excessive partisanship.
21. (p. 488) An amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief provides a court with the view held by 

A. an interest that is not a direct party to the case.

B. the Justice Department.

C. the House and Senate judiciary committees.

D. the American Bar Association.

E. the solicitor general.
22. (p. 488) With regard to public opinion, the Supreme Court 

A. ignores it in order to make decisions that are based on enduring values rather than the public's passing whims.

B. remains uninformed about it because justices stay on the bench for life and never face the public scrutiny of an election.

C. attempts to stay close enough to public opinion so as to avoid outright defiance of its decisions.

D. attempts to follow it very closely in order to create public enthusiasm for its rulings.

E. None of these answers is correct.
23. (p. 483) Precedent, while not an absolute constraint on the courts, is needed to 

A. preserve the courts as a counter majoritarian institution.

B. maintain legal consistency over time, so confusion and uncertainty about the law can be avoided.

C. check the president in the area of public law.

D. balance the policy making authority of Congress.

E. check the president in the area of foreign policy.
24. (p. 469) The Supreme Court decision in Marbury v. Madison is significant 

A. as the first instance of the court ruling on a state matter.

B. as the first use of judicial activism.

C. for the establishment of judicial review.

D. as the first instance of the Court ruling on a disagreement between states.

E. as the Court's first non-majority opinion.
25. (p. 465) In its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court 

A. invalidated the use of union money in federal election campaigns.

B. lifted restrictions in corporate and union spending in federal election campaigns.

C. placed restrictions on the amounts that individuals can donate to federal election campaigns.

D. placed limits on the amounts that corporations can donate to federal election campaigns.

E. eliminated the provision for matching federal campaign funds in presidential elections.
26. (p. 494) According to the doctrine of judicial restraint, the judiciary should 

A. defer to precedent and to decisions made by legislature.

B. deny most appeals for retrials.

C. deny individual rights when they conflict with the majority's desires.

D. decline to make any decision that requires judges to give added meaning to the words of the Constitution.

E. conform to the will of the people as measured by public opinion polls.
27. (p. 473) Of the thirteen U.S. courts of appeals, 

A. all thirteen are assigned geographically to groups of states to deal with disputes over state laws.

B. one is devoted to issues involving military tribunals and the District of Columbia.

C. five have jurisdiction over disputes involving foreign territories or countries and the District of Columbia.

D. eleven have jurisdiction over a "circuit" comprised of the district courts in anywhere from three to five states.

E. three are devoted to dealing with disputes involving the overlapping contradiction between state and federal laws.
28. (p. 494) Which legal doctrine holds that in nearly every instance, policy issues should be decided by elected lawmakers and not by appointed judges? 

A. judicial activism

B. judicial restraint

C. judicial legitimacy

D. appellate jurisdiction

E. judicial executive power
29. (p. 486) In Bush v. Gore (2000), the Supreme Court 

A. blocked a manual recount of the Florida presidential vote.

B. declined to get involved in the electoral process.

C. cast a unanimous vote.

D. deferred to the Florida Supreme Court in the election dispute between the two major party candidates.

E. decided that there was no federal question in the dispute.
30. (p. 477) The Lawrence v. Texas decision in 2003 involved 

A. the Supreme Court reinterpreting a provision of the Constitution.

B. the Supreme Court striking down federal law.

C. the Supreme Court invalidating state laws.

D. the Supreme Court striking down an executive action as unconstitutional.

E. a U.S. appeals court upholding a lower state court ruling.
31. (p. 479) Which of the following is a recent trend in the appointment of new federal judges and justices? 

A. a higher rate of appointment of judges that have served as political appointees

B. a lower rate of appointment due to longer serving times of federal judges and justices

C. an increase in the ease of Senate confirmation

D. a decrease in partisan reasons for nomination

E. an increase in the number of federal judges and justices with prior judicial experience
32. (p. 482) The laws applicable to a case 

A. reveal the relevant circumstances of the case, and are determined solely by trial courts.

B. are more important than the facts of a case, and supersede the facts when the two conflict.

C. constrain the judiciary, because court decisions must be based on applicable laws.

D. apply only in the area of criminal cases and not in the area of civil disputes.

E. None of these answers is correct.
33. (p. 467) The discretionary power of judges is less than that of elected officials because judges 

A. are prohibited from relying on personal judgment when deciding an issue.

B. must make decisions that can be justified in terms of existing provisions of the law.

C. are prohibited from addressing issues that have not been previously addressed by elected officials.

D. are prohibited from taking into account the political consequences of a decision.

E. must render rulings on all appeals.
34. (p. 479) Compared to Supreme Court nominations, those for the lower federal courts 
A. are, although much greater in number, irrelevant to a president's policy agenda.
B. are not subject to partisan consideration.
C. have typically involved nominees who held elective office, particularly a seat in the U.S. Senate.
D. are not subject to senatorial courtesy.
E. None of these answers is correct.
35. (p. 467) The constitutional provision that federal judges and justices hold office "during good behavior" has 

A. meant, in effect, that they will serve until they die or choose to retire.

B. provided them the opportunity to carry out their duties without immediate fear of reprisal by the president or Congress.

C. enabled presidents to influence judicial policy through their appointments long after leaving the White House.

D. had all these effects: Federal judges and justices serve, effectively, until they die or choose to retire; they are provided the opportunity to carry out their duties without immediate fear of reprisal by the president or Congress; and presidents are able to influence judicial policy through their appointments long after leaving the White House.

E. None of these answers is correct.
36. (p. 474) The United States has two court systems, state and federal. The federal system 

A. has discretionary jurisdiction over all cases arising in the state system.

B. is the only one with appellate courts.

C. is the only one based on the constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers.

D. is the only one that has judges who are appointed to office.

E. None of these answers is correct.
37. (p. 474) The Supreme Court is likely to grant a hearing when a case involves 

A. an issue of state law as opposed to an issue of federal law.

B. an issue of private law as opposed to an issue of public law.

C. an issue that is being decided inconsistently by the lower courts.

D. the possibility that an innocent person has been wrongly convicted of a crime.

E. an issue dealing with state constitutional law.
38. (p. 468) The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in legal disputes involving 

A. foreign diplomats.

B. the president.

C. the Congress.

D. private parties.

E. free speech and equal protection issues.
39. (p. 486) The Supreme Court invoked the ________ in Bush v. Gore (2000). 

A. free speech clause

B. establishment clause

C. assembly clause

D. voting clause

E. equal protection clause
40. (p. 476) About ________ percent of the nation's legal cases are decided in state court systems. 

A. 10

B. 25

C. 50

D. 75

E. 95
41. (p. 472) The lowest level of the federal court system is the 

A. circuit court of appeal.

B. highest level of the state courts.

C. district court.

D. justice of the peace.

E. supreme judicial tribunal.
42. (p. 474) The merit plan applies to ________ in the ________ court system. 

A. selection of judges; federal

B. selection of judges; state

C. jurisdiction; federal

D. jurisdiction; state

E. None of these answers is correct.
43. (p. 467) The number and types of lower federal courts is established by 

A. Congress.

B. the president.

C. the Constitution.

D. the Supreme Court.

E. the Justice Department.
44. (p. 494) Opposition to the judiciary's creative policy-making role is a consistent tenet of judicial 

A. activism.

B. liberalism.

C. restraint.

D. conservatism.

E. relativism.
45. (p. 469) The Supreme Court is most likely to grant ________ when the U.S. government—through the solicitor general—requests it. 

A. original jurisdiction

B. certiorari

C. a per curiam decision

D. a writ of error

E. mandamus
46. (p. 478) Which of the following Supreme Court justices was appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower? 

A. Sandra Day O'Connor

B. John Stevens

C. Earl Warren

D. Louis Brandeis

E. David Souter
47. (p. 468) Federal judges are 

A. nominated by the president.

B. confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

C. appointed for an indefinite period, providing they maintain "good behavior".

D. all of these: nominated by the president, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and appointed for an indefinite period providing they maintain "good behavior".

E. None of these answers is correct.
48. (p. 474) Fewer than ________ percent of the cases heard by federal appeals courts are later reviewed by the Supreme Court. 

A. 1

B. 10

C. 25

D. 33

E. 50
49. (p. 484) Why was the Supreme Court ruling in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, which relied on the context of the antidiscrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, demonstrative of the ambiguities of the law? 

A. The case arrived at the Supreme Court without the Court requesting a writ of certiorari.

B. The case involved administrative law, but the Court used statutory law as a basis for its decision.

C. It involved the votes of justices that had opposed the Civil Rights Act, but who used the Civil Rights Act in the justification for their ruling.

D. The minority dissenting opinion refused to use the Civil Rights Act as a justification.

E. The case dealt with sexual harassment in the workplace, which is not mentioned in the Civil Rights Act.
50. (p. 480) Which of the following Supreme Court justices was appointed during the Clinton administration? 

A. Sandra Day O'Connor

B. Clarence Thomas

C. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

D. Robert Bork

E. John Paul Stevens
51. (p. 474) In selecting judges, the states rely on what method? 

A. political appointment

B. competitive elections of a partisan nature

C. competitive elections of a nonpartisan nature

D. merit selection

E. All these answers are correct.
52. (p. 481) ________ was the first black justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

A. Clarence Thomas

B. Antonin Scalia

C. Robert Bork

D. Thurgood Marshall

E. Laurence Tribe
53. (p. 474) What is the most common method in the states for the selection of judges? 

A. appointment by the state supreme courts

B. promotion from within the legal establishment

C. appointment by the governor

D. election to office

E. appointment by state legislatures