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Courts 3

pg. 515-21

QuestionAnswer
3) 1a. How does the SC "ensure uniformity?" It interprets national laws
3) 1b. Provide an example. In 1984, Congress created a federal sentencing commission to write guidelines aimed at reducing the wide disparities in punishment for similar federal crimes tried in federal courts. 1989 - +150 fd judges unconstitutional, 115 valid. SC solved problem.
3) 2a. How is the number of SC justices determined? 7 for Johnson because Congress didn't want him to pick 2 more, 9 for Grant because Congress trusted that he would nominate member to its liking, and it is still 9.
3) 2b. How many SC justices are there? 9
3) 3. "Unlike other federal courts," what is true of the SC? It decides what cases it will hear
3) 4a. Provide the two general circumstances under which the SC has original jurisdiction. foreign diplomats and involving a state (state v. gov., state v. state, state v. citizens of another state, or state v. foreign country).
3) 4b. Is the above common or rare? rare
3) 4c. Where does "almost all" of the Court's business come from? The appellate process
3) 4d. Specifically, where do most cases come from? The federal courts
3) 4e. Why are cases from the states not as common? They must involve a substantial federal question (federal law) after the petitioner has exhausted all the potential remedies in the state court system.
3) 5a. Why are federal judges and justices so important to presidents? Lets them leave a mark on the American legal system.
3) 5b. What are they guaranteed by the Constitution? The right to serve "during good behavior" or for life
3) 5c. Can federal justices and judges be removed? Yes by conviction of impeachment
3) 5d. How else are they protected from political pressure? Congress cannot reduce their salaries
3) 6a. How is the president's discretion somewhat limited? - include specific institution and percentage required. The Senate must confirm each nomination by majority vote
3) 6b. Provide the two constitutional steps to become a federal judge or justice ("why it matters to you" - pg. 516) Nominated by the president then confirmed by the Senate
3) 6c. What two things may be true if federal judges/justices were elected? Their decisions on highly visible issues might be more responsive to the public and less to the Constitution
3) 7a. Explain senatorial courtesy - just district court position is enough. The Senate does not confirm nominees if they are opposed by a senator for the president's party from the state in which the nominee is to serve.
3) 7b. What role do the other senators play in the process? They honor their colleague's views and oppose the nomination, regardless of their personal evaluations of the candidate's merits.
3) 7c. What does this informal practice cause presidents to do? And what power does it give senators? Check carefully with the relevant senator or senators ahead of time to avoid making a nomination that the Senate will not confirm, ultimately giving Senate the power to make nominations and the president then approving them.
3) 8a. The president can only alter the SC when what is true? There are vacancies to fill
3) 8b. Provide two examples illustrating the above (one "winner", one "loser") Richard Nixon nominated 4 justices in 3 years in office, and Jimmy Carter never got to nominate a justice.
3) 8c. What is true of when the chief justice position is vacant? The president may nominate either someone already on the Court or someone from outside to fill the position.
3) 9a. What is the primary reason senators play a lesser role in picking SC nominees? The jurisdiction of the SC goes beyond individual senators' states or regions.
3) 9b. What is the role of the Senate Judiciary Committee? Probes a nominee's judicial philosophy in great detail
3) 9c. How often has the Senate rejected SC nominees? 20%
3) 9d. What are two circumstances under which a nomination may run "into trouble?" Presidents whose parties are in the minority in the Senate or who make a nomination at the end of their term
3) 10 Who were the first - a. African American SC justice, b. Hispanic SC justice, or c. woman on the SC? a. Thurgood Marshall b. Sonia Sotomayor c. Sandra Day O'Connor
Created by: Matti