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Govt. 2304 -- Exam 2

Chapter 15, 25, 3 and 4

U.S. Judicial System Consists of 2 parts: Federal Courts and State Courts
U.S. Federal Courts an independent and passive branch of the U.S. government. Decisions independent of other 2 branches. Court rules over disputes b/w executive/legislative branches. court rulings have the force of law and are enforce by the executive branch.
Participant of the U.S. Judicial System Litigants and Groups.
Litigants plaintiff (somebody who files suit) + defendant (person being sued).
"Standing to Sue" rule serious interest in a case, facing direct or imminent dangers/injuries from another party/government action.
Justiciable Dispute one that can be handled by the court.
Groups interest groups funding law suits for policy change.
Attorneys independent actors of the judicial system..fastest growing longer serve the rich only.
Citizens participants as jurors, witnesses, etc.
Common Law Tradition the body of judge-made law used to decide on a case w/ similar situations; prior decisions reached by a judge, precedent, used in future cases.
Stare Decisis Doctrine "stand on decided cases" ... obliges judges to follow the precedent set by own courts or higher courts.
Sources of Law Constitutions (national and state). Federal and State Constitutions.
Federal Constitution stands ABOVE all laws!
State Constitution stands ABOVE all laws in that state!
Federal Statutes criminal codes, commercial laws, Clean Water Act, etc.
ordinances statutes passed by city, county, and other local political bodies..rules on zoning, public safety regulations.
Administrative Rules and Regulations industrial regulations; farming (livestock) regulations; executive orders (issued by the President).
Case Laws decisions & judicial interpretation made by the court (precedent) also form an important body of law.
Categories of Laws: Civil Law laws governing relations b/w private parties where no criminal act is alleged, parties are making conflicting claims, parties are seeking to establish a legal relationship (ex: marriage, divorce).
Tort a civil wrong in which a victim seeks monetary compensation.
Examples of Tort PERSONAL INJURY (auto accident, slip/fall, dog bite). MEDICAL MALPRACTICE (plastic surgery infection, unnecessary hip replacement, extraction of wrong teeth, amputation of wrong legs). PRODUCT LIABILITY (air bag failure, toys hurting children).
Examples of Tort WRONGFUL DEATH (toddler killed by 8 yr. old finding his dad's gun). DEFAMATION (PETA vs. Rosie O'Donnell) WRONGS INVOLVING REAL ESTATE (nuisance against nearby landowner). WRONGS AGAINST BUSINESSES (unfair competition, trademark infringement).
Parties to a Civil Law Case individual vs. Individual (divorce)...individual vs. business (suing Wendy's, etc.)...Individual vs. Government
Civil Law: Penalties FINE ($ collected by govt.) ... MONETARY COMPENSATIONS ($ collected by case winner).
Criminal Law laws governing acts deemed illegal and punishable by government.
Parties to Criminal Cases GOVERNMENT vs INDIVIDUALS accused of law violation.
Criminal Law: Penalties jail terms, capital punishment, fines.
Procedural Law laws concerning the legal process that define proper courses of action by government/private parties.
Examples of Procedural Law police failure to inform detainee of Miranda rights; police failure to have warrant when collecting evidence; detainees denied attorney during interrogation; endless cross-examination of a hostile witness.
Federal Court System CONSTITUTIONAL and LEGISLATIVE courts
Legislative Courts U.S. Territorial Courts; U.S. Court of Veteran's Appeal (courts created by Congress based on Article 1 of Constitution.)
Judge Appointment & Office Term (both) judges appointed by president and confirmed by senate; constitutional=serve lifetime...legislative=15 yr. terms
Federal Districts Courts created by Judicial Act (1789); 94 district courts (2001); 653 judges; each state has at least 1; TX, CA, NY have 4 each.
Cases for Federal District Courts Federal Government is a party; Case presents a federal question based on CONSTITUTION, INTERNATIONAL TREATY, or FEDERAL STATUTE.
Cases for Federal District Courts civil suite involving citizens from different states, and amount of money more than $75,000; juries used are used and presided by single judge.
Federal District Courts (trial) busiest of the 3 levels of federal statutes.
Judge Appointment & Office Term (Federal District Courts) recommendation by senator/representative from the president's party; nomination by president, confirmation by senate; serve lifetime.
Federal Appeals Court 13 courts in U.S., second level of federal court system; no new evidence is introduced, and all facts found by district courts are presumed to be correct.
Federal Appeals Court decisions based on a review of lower court records; no juries; 3 judges as a panel hear an appeal case; less than 1% of cases reviewed by the appeals court are appealed to the Supreme Court.
Judge Appointment & Office Term (Federal Appeals Court) recommendation by senator/representative from the president's party; nomination by president, confirmation by senate; serve lifetime.
U.S. Supreme Court only court mentioned in the Constitution; 9 justices; voting power for chief justice is the same as associate justices; original jurisdiction over cases appealed from lower federal/state courts.
U.S. Supreme Court accepts... only cases from FEDERAL APPEALS COURT or STATE SUPREME COURT.
Justice Appointment & Office Term (Supreme Court) highly political; nomination by president and confirmation by senate; serve lifelong terms.
Supreme Court Jurisdiction congress decides court jurisdiction, size & power.
Which cases go directly to the Supreme Court? U.S. vs. STATE ... cases between 2 or more states; disputes over land/water.
How does the Supreme Court handle cases? appoint a "special master" (from retired federal judges); "special master" hears the case; "special master" writes a report & presents the arguments.
Appellate Jurisdiction authority to review lower court decisions if it involves a substantial issue.
Judicial Review authority to review lower court decisions (Federal Circuits or Federal State Supreme Court), state legislature decisions, and/or acts of congress.
Created by: kserrano005



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