AP U.S. Government and Politics Notes- Chapter 10
Chapter 10 Identifications
Judicial review: Power of the courts to review acts of other branches of government and the states.
Judiciary Act of 1789: Established the basic three-tiered structure of the federal court system. At the bottom are federal district courts, then the circuit courts, and finally the Supreme Court of the United States.
Marbury v. Madison (1803) (s): Case in which the Supreme Court first asserted the power of judicial review in finding that the congressional statute extending the Court's original jurisdiction was unconstitutional. Opened up judicial review of congressional legislation and has since been utilized very often.
Jurisdiction: Authority vested in a particular court to hear and decide the issues in any particular case.
Original Jurisdiction (s): The jurisdiction of courts to hear a case first, usually in a trial. Courts determine the facts of a case under their original jurisdiction. Allows courts to hear cases in trial.
Appellate Jurisdiction (s): The power vested in an appellate court to review and/or revise the decision of a lower court. The court reviews the application of the law, not the factual record.
Criminal law: codes of behavior related to the protection of property and individual safety.
Civil Law: Codes of behavior related to business and contractual relationships between groups and individuals.
Constitutional Courts (e): Federal courts specifically created by the U.S. Constitution or by Congress pursuant to its authority in Article III. Ex. Supreme Court.
Legislative Courts (e): Courts established by Congress for specialized purposes. Ex. Court of Military Appeals.
U.S. District Courts: federal trial courts of original jurisdiction. Cases are heard here when they involve: The federal government, civil suits under federal law, civil suits between citizens of different states if the amount in issue is more than $75,000, or bankruptcy.
U.S. Court of Appeals: The intermediate appellate courts in the federal system. Established in 1789 to hear appeals from federal district courts. Appeals of cases come from: lower federal courts, U.S. regulatory commissions, legislative courts.
Brief: A document containing the legal written arguments in a case filed with a court by a party prior to a hearing or trial.
Precedents: Prior judicial decisions that serve as a rule for settling subsequent cases of a similar nature.
Stare decisis (s): In court rulings, a reliance on past decisions or precedents to formulate decisions in new cases. Allows for predictability in court rulings, however they don't always follow these decisions, leading to much litigation due to conflicting rulings.
U.S. Supreme Court (s): reviews cases from the U.S. Courts of appeals and state supreme courts, and acts as the final interpreter of the U.S. Constitution. This allows them to ensure national law is supreme, and ensures uniform interpretation of the constitution.
Senatorial Courtesy: Process by which presidents generally defer selection of district court judges to the choice of senators of their own party who represent the state where the vacancy occurs.
Strict Constructionist: An approach to constitutional interpretation that emphasizes the Framer's original intentions.
Senate Judiciary Committee (s): committee which investigates nominees, holds hearings, and votes on its recommendation for Senate action. They decide whether or not to recommend a nominee be appointed, this affects the senate's voting.
Writ of Certiorari: a request for the court to order up the records from a lower court to review the case.
Rule of Four: At least four justices of the Supreme Court must vote to consider a case before it can be heard.
Solicitor General: the fourth ranking member of the Department of Justice; responsible for handling all appeals on behalf of the U.S. government to the Supreme Court.
Amicus Curiae: “Friend of the Court”; amici may file briefs or even appear to argue their interests orally before the court.
Majority Opinion: Legal reasoning justifying a decision and sets the precedent for future cases.
Concurring Opinion: Differing approach to same conclusion as the Majority opinion. Used to express individual opinions.
Dissenting Opinion: Personal and legal disagreements with other members of the court. Important indicator of legal thought on the court.
Judicial restraint: A philosophy of judicial decision making that argues courts should allow the decisions of other branches of government to stand, even when they offend a judge's own sense of principles
Judicial Activism: A philosophy of judicial decision making that argues judges should use their power broadly to further justice, especially in the areas of equality and personal liberty.
Judicial Implementation (e): Refers to how and whether judicial decisions are translated into actual public policies affecting more than the immediate parties to a lawsuit. (Ex. Brown V. Board of Education)