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Courts 5

pg. 527-30

QuestionAnswer
5) 1a. When does the Supreme Court meet? From the first Monday in October until June (conferences weekly)
5) 1b. Describe their two week cycles. 2 weeks of courtroom arguments then 2 weeks of reflecting on cases and writing opinions about them.
5) 2a. Before "entering the courtroom," what have the justices done? They have received elaborately written briefs from each party involved.
5) 2b. How long does each lawyer have to argue before the Supreme Court? called oral argument 30 minutes
5) 2c. What do the justices do during this time? They may listen attentively, interrupt with penetrating or helpful questions, request information, talk to one another, read (briefs), or simply gaze at the ceiling.
5) 3a. Define an opinion (often called majority opinion), with regards to the SC. A statement of legal reasoning behind a judicial decision. The content of an opinion may be as important as the decision itself.
5) 3b. Define a dissenting opinion. Opinons written by justices opposed to all or part of the majority's decision
5) 3c. What is necessary to "win" a case in the SC? At least 6 justices must participate, and decisions are made by majority vote
5) 4a. Define stare decisis - be complete A Latin phrase meaning "let the decision stand" Most cases reaching appellate courts are settled on this principle. Means that an earlier decision should hold for the case being considered.
5) 4b. What is true of its role in court decisions? Judges and justices settle the vast majority of cases on this principle
5) 5a. Define a precedent The way similar cases were handled in the past
5) 5b. What is required of lower courts with regards to precedent? They are expected to follow the precedents of higher courts in their decision making.
5) 5c. Can the SC overturn its own precedent? Yes, it has done it more than 200 times
5) 5d. Provide an example of the above. Brown v. Board of Education which overruled Plessy v. Ferguson and found that segregation in the public schools violated the Constitution
5) 6. Does the Constitution set any requirements about how judges should interpret it? What is true as a result? It does not specify a set of rules which justices are to interpret it. Giving rise to a number of approaches to decision making like originalism
5) 7a. Describe the theories of original intent/meaning. Intent - interpretation of written Const. or law should be consistent with that was meant by those who drafted and ratified it. Meaning - judges should base interpretations on what reasonable persons living at time of adoption would have declared meaning.
5) 7b. Those of which ideology are most likely to support this view? Supported by conservatives mostly
5) 7c. Provide one argument of those who support this theory. It's a means of constraining the exercise of judicial discretions, the foundation of liberal Courts decisions, especially on matters of civil liberties, civil rights and defendant's rights.
5) 7d. Provide two arguments of those who oppose it. The founders embraced not specific solutions but general principles. There is often no record of their intentions, nor is it cleat whose intentions should count.
5) 7e. What type of issues could the framers "not have imagined?" Campaign financing, abortions, the Internet, and wiretapping
Created by: Matti