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23 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

advice and consent

(art 2 sec 2)the U.S. senates power to review and approve treaties and presidential appointments or advice and consent.

amicus curiae brief

latin for "friend of the court" referring to an interested group or person who shares relevant info about a case to help the court reach a decision.

appellate jurisdiction

the authority of the court to hear appeals from lower courts and change or uphold (confirm) the decision

"gang of 14"*

bipartisan senators (two parties compromise that usually don't agree) -7 repub 7 dem in the 109th us congress who all agreed to oppose the nuclear option and oppose the filibusters of judicial nominees, only to rid of nuclear option, except in extraordinary circumstances. they set an example that they expected the rest of the senate to follow. prevented filibuster of Alito's nomination.

judicial activism

the idea that the supreme court should assert (declare) its interpretation of the law even if it overrules the elected legislative and executive branches of govt.

judicial parsimony

the court tends to use simpler uncomplicated grounds rather than interpreting the constitution

ex: procedural, statuary/anytime congress passes a law it gets a statue number

judicial restraint

the idea that the supreme court should defer (delay/hold off on) to the democratically elected executive and legislative branches of government rather than contradicting existing laws.

judicial review

the supreme court's power to strike down a law or an executive branch action that it finds unconstitutional.

marbury vs. madison

john marshall 1803 ruled that a certain law passed by congress should not be enforced because the law violates the constitution.

original jurisdiction

the authority of the court to handle a case first as in the supreme court's authority to initially hear disputes between two states. however, original jurisdiction for the supreme court is not exclusive; it may not assign such a case to a lower court

plea bargains

an agreement between a plaintiff and a defendant to settle a case before it goes to trial or the verdict is decided. In a civil case, this usually involves admission of guilt and an agreement on monetary damages. In a criminal case, it often involves an admission of guilt in return for a reduced charge or sentence.


a legal norm established in court cases that is then applied to future cases dealing with the same legal questions

senatorial courtesy

a norm in the nomination of district court judges in which the president consults with his party's senators from the relevant state in choosing the nominee.


legitimate justification for bringing a civil case to court.

stare decisis

the court tends to rule on current cases set by precedents from previous cases. (tends to follow precedents)

writ of certiorari

the most common way for a case to reach supreme court in which at least 4 of the 9 justices agree to hear a case that has reached them through an appeal of the losing party in a lower court's ruling.

What is judicial review power? How/why is it viewed by some to be an undemocraticexercise of power by the Supreme Court? What other reasons are offered for concludingthe Court is undemocratic?

the court's power is unchecked, insulated by the people (not chosen by the people and does not rule on public opinion), unrepresentative/unresponsive, life term for judges (unaccountable/not expected to justify decisions), the court chooses which cases it will hear and appeal (rule of 4), exercise of judicial review is an abuse of power (not enumerated in the const./more extensive than powers exercised, used by activist judges to legislate from the bench)

the court uses judicial review to make policies instead of strictly interpreting the laws in the const. or congress.

In what ways was the Court’s role in our democracy designed to be different from that ofthe Congress or President?

not to be close to the people, not a popular branch, independence, protect minority rights within a larger system of majority rule, restrains itself with internal norms that limits is exercise of power.

Based on data presented in Table 14.1 on p. 518 of your textbook, has the SupremeCourt, over time, become more or less inclined to overrule earlier precedents?

more inclined to overrule earlier precedents

How has the filibuster been used regarding judicial nominees? What is the “nuclearoption”?

source of intense partisan battles, 41 senators could stop action on any nomination through a filibuster, determined by which party controls the senate and the presidency. nuclear option would prevent filibusters on judicial nominations.

According to your textbook, which part of the judicial process did U.S. Supreme CourtJustice William O. Douglas find “in many respects the most important and interesting ofall our functions”?

writ of certiorari

What evidence is presented in defense of the Court as a democratic institution i.e.,whatspecific internal restraints on Court power exist? external limits on Court power?

internal restraints; stare decisis (courts rule on current cases set by precedents from earlier cases), judicial parsimony (court rules on uncomplicated grounds rather than interp. the const.), presumption of constitutionality (court puts burden of proof-obligation to prove ones claim- on those challenging congress and the pres.)

What is the difference between an “original intent” approach versus a “living Constitution”approach to interpreting the Constitution?

living constitution; a way of interpreting the const that takes into account evolving national attitudes and circumstances rather than the text alone.

original intent: (strict construction) a way of interpreting the constitution on its language alone