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Courts MC Test

1) 1b. What did the framers of the Constitution do on purpose? Insulated federal judges from the influence of public opinion.
1) 5c. What is true of the "vast majority of criminal and civil cases?" Involve state law and are tried in state courts.
1) 10a. Amicus curiae means what? friend of the court
1) 10b. What do amicus curiae briefs do and how are they used by interest groups? Influence a court's decision by raising additional points of view and presenting information not contained in the briefs of the formal parties.
1) 10c. Amicus curiae briefs always come from where? Outside of the court (friends of the court, interest groups, etc.)
2) 1a. How was the SC created? The Constitution specified that there would be a SC.
2)1b. How were the "lower federal courts" created? It was left up to Congress, who in 1789 created the lower federal courts
2) 2. What are the three "levels" of the federal or "constitutional" courts? district, courts of appeals, and the SC
2) 3. Contrast original and appellate jurisdiction. Original - hear a case first and determine the facts about a case (90%). Appellate - hear cases brought to them on appeal from a lower court. Do not review the factual record, only the legal issues involved.
2) 4c. What is their (district courts) jurisdiction (original or appellate)? original
2) 4d. They (district courts) are the only federal courts which do what two things? hold trials and impanel judges
2) 5b. How do most federal criminal cases end? Many don't have a trial, and most enter guilty pleas as part of a bargain to receive a lighter punishment
2) 8e. What is the jurisdiction of the courts of appeals (original or appellate); what do they not do? appellate; they do not hold trials or hear testimony
3) 2a. How is the number of SC justices determined? Congress decides
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 (when SC has original jurisdiction)? rare
3) 4c. Where does "almost all" of the Court's business come from? The appellate process
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 federal judges and justices 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 federal judges and justices protected from political pressure? Congress cannot reduce their salaries/they are not elected
3) 6a. How is the president's discretion somewhat limited? The Senate must confirm each nomination by majority vote
3) 6b. Provide the two constitutional steps to become a federal judge or justice Nominated by the president then confirmed by the Senate
3) 9b. What is the role of the Senate Judiciary Committee? Probes a nominee's judicial philosophy in great detail
4) 3. Explain the connection between partisanship and SC nominations. Only 13 of 112 members of the SC have been nominated by presidents of a different party. Presidents will nominate with their party
4) 4a. Why is ideology so important to presidents in nominating judges/justices? Want people who share their views, so they "pack" the courts wanting more than just "justice", but policies they agree with.
4) 4b. How can presidents check the ideology of nominees? Their aides survey candidates' decisions (if they have served on a lower court), speeches, political stands, writings, and other expressions of opinion.
4) 7. How has political party tended to influence the decision made by judges? Republican judges in general are somewhat more conservative than are Democratic judges.
4) 8a. Approximately how many cases are submitted annually to the SC? 8000
4) 8b. How many cases does the SC generally hear? <100
4) 9. Explain the rule of four. If four justices agree to grant review of a case, it is placed on the docket and scheduled for oral argument.
4) 10b. What is its role in the process of the SC accepting a case? Sometimes the Court will decide a case on the basis of the written record already on file with the Court.
5) 4a. Define stare decisis 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 (stare decisis) role in court decisions? Judges and justices settle the vast majority of cases on this principle
5) 7a. Describe the theories of original intent/meaning. Interpretation of written Const. or law should be consistent with that was meant by those who drafted and ratified it
6) 3b. Define judicial review. The power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress and, by implication, the executive are in accord with the US Constitution.
6) 3c.What case established judicial review? Marbury v. Madison
6) 4. How does judicial review give the judicial branch power, with regards to the other two branches? Can strike down an act from Congress if it is not constitutional, and can make sure the executive is in accord with the Constitution.
6) 6a. Provide four ways the Warren Court was very active in shaping policy. segregation of public schools - unconstitutional, + rights of criminal defendants, + right to counsel & protections against unreasonable s&s & self-incrimination. States to reappotrtion their legislatures and it prohibited organized prayer in schools.
6) 6b. What was the conservative response to the Warren Court? Put billboards up around the US urging Congress to "Impeach Earl Warren"
6) 7a. What was decided in Roe v. Wade (1973)? Abortion was constitutional
6) 7c. Who was the chief justice during these decisions? Warren E. Burger
7) 2a. Provide three ways the federal courts aren't very democratic. Federal judges are not elected and are almost impossible to remove
7) 5b. Define judicial restraint including who the courts should defer to. An approach to decision making in which judges play minimal policymaking role and defer to legislatures whenever possible
7) 6a. Define judicial activism. An approach to decision making in which judges sometimes make bold policy decisions, even charting new constitutional ground
7) 6b. Provide one argument of its advocates Emphasize the courts may alleviate pressing needs-especially needs of those who are politically or eco. weak - left unmet by the majoritarian political process.
8) 2. How can both the executive and legislative branch control activist courts through the nomination process? President and the Senate determine who sits on the federal bench
8) 3a. How can the amendment process control activist courts? Congress, with or without the president's urging, can begin the process of amending the Constitution to overcome a constitutional decision of the SC
8) 4a. With its ability to create/abolish lower federal courts, how can Congress strongly influence the courts and their decisions? It can alter the appellate jurisdiction of the SC to prevent it from hearing a case.
8) 5a. How can Congress use its ability to make laws to influence court decisions that have already been made? They pass legislation that clarifies existing laws to overturn the courts.
Created by: Matti



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