Justice requires an impartial judge to determine guilt and innocence and if the accused is found guilty, the appropriate punishment.
When there are questions about the meaning of the Organization of the Court System of those laws, we rely on the wisdom of judges.
It is not possible to pass a law to cover every contingency.
There was a need for an arbiter and interpreter in the system of courts.
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The federal courts are a separate branch of government from Congress and the president.
Second, authority among the courts, with federal courts able to overturn state courts in the U.S.
Congress, the president, and the states can be struck down by the Supreme Court and other federal courts of appeals if they are found to be in violation of the Constitution.
Federal judges are appointed for life.
One of our government's most successful institutions is an independent judiciary.
When Congress and the president are at odds, it has settled constitutional crises.
No one is above the law, even members of Congress and the president.
Equal protection of the laws has been ensured by it.
Judges in many state and local courts are elected, so it has enabled small businesses, large corporations, and workers to engage in economic activities and agreements.
It has ensured that the branches of government are run in a way that is democratic and that every citizen's vote is counted.
The independence of the judiciary has ensured a stable and prosperous economy.
Although granting judges lifetime appointments and the power to strike down acts of Congress might seem to permit tyranny by courts, Congress's power of the purse, the president's ability to move troops or order other branches of the executive to act, or the bureaucracy's power to police are all Courts are passive because they have to wait for people to file lawsuits in order to make decisions.
Judicial power in American government is democratic and subtle.
The ability of the courts to interpret the laws in a way that society accepts is the real power of the courts.
The people and groups involved in the case accept the judges' decisions.
The judicial function in our society is at risk if people ignore the orders of judges in local courts or if Congress passes legislation that conflicts with the Supreme Court.
The judiciary has the ability to make law.
The passage of a statute by the legislature is just as important as the court decision or settlement.
Judges have preferences about what government should do, and they use their power to shape public policy.
Judicial decisions are constrained by the past in the form of common law and precedents, but they also contribute to the evolution of the law.
Federal judges are appointed for life and not elected, so the courts maintain their independence.
The courts can act as a check on the branches of government.
Judicial review is a power that courts can use to block or overturn political decisions of the legislature or executive.
The checks and balances built into the institutional setting constrained the courts.
All past agreements that we accept when making a decision are common law.
There are many pages of language in a real estate sale contract that deals with contingencies and who is responsible.
Past legal decisions dating back to ancient Rome have been used to develop each clause.
Past decisions constrained the Supreme Court.
When a majority of justices issue an opinion interpreting the law in a particular way, that opinion has the standing of precedent.
If judges were to ignore precedent, they would undermine the power of the courts and their own authority.
A judge is constrained by the past and contributes to the future meaning of the law.
The courts' influence on American politics is usually small.
At times, courts have made sweeping changes to the country's law.
New ideas about the enforcement of contracts dominated the courts' thinking in the late 19th century.
The New Deal won the support of the Supreme Court, which eventually accepted government's role in the economy and society.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Supreme Court wrestled with conflicts over racial and gender equality.
In the past, the courts have settled cases that addressed these questions, and how the courts do so will shape the meaning of the law.
The judiciary's role in our system of government shows that courts are fundamentally political.
Like presidents and legislators, judges have preferences about what government should do, and they use their powers to interpret, apply, and review laws to shape public policy.
Judges are constrained by the institutional setting that they operate in.
They know that other people in the political process may try to change a court's ruling.
The judicial process and the structure of the federal court system are examined in this chapter.
We look at courts as political institutions and consider their roles in the political system.
Judicial review makes the Supreme Court a lawmaking body.
We look at the flow of cases through the courts and the influence on Supreme Court decisions.
A court was once the place where a king ruled.
governing includes judging-settling disputes between citizens.
The function of resolving disputes was slowly separated from the king's court and became a separate institution of government.
Courts are able to decide which side has more merit by hearing the facts on both sides.
Judges must have a basis for their authority because they are not kings.
The law and the Constitution are the basis of the United States.
Courts apply the law to the facts.
authority is derived from past law and social compacts.
As common law and past precedents evolve on their own, it provides a basis for continuing judicial independence.
There are two broad categories of law in the United States.
Public law is so important that we consider it a separate category.
Cases arise out of brings charges and claim that a named defendant has committed criminal actions that violate laws.
Criminal cases range from traffic offenses to robbery and murder in state and municipal courts.
Penalties may include fines or imprisonment for defendants found guilty of criminal violations.
Monetary damages may be required in cases of disputes.
In a civil case, the one who brings a group of people together is the one against whom the complaint is brought.
The two most common types of civil cases involve contracts and are handled by state courts.
Smith Manufacturing Corporation may charge Jones Distributors for failing to honor an agreement to deliver raw materials at a specified time, causing Smith to lose business.
Smith wants the court to order Jones to pay for the damage he allegedly caused.
There are obligations inherent in social life that lead to lawsuits.
Negligence and slander are examples of the things that can go wrong.
The government is being sued.
Administrative law deals with disputes over authority, jurisdiction, and procedures of administrative agencies.
There are medical malpractice suits.
The bases for contracts are often governed by state and federal statutes.
Jones distributors might argue that they did not have to fulfill their contract with Smith Manufacturing because of actions cases.
One major form of public law is constitutional law, which requires a court to decide if the government's actions conform to the Constitution as decision is overruled.
Administrative law involves disputes over jurisdiction, procedures, or authority of cases involving the powers of government administrative agencies.
Landowners claim that federal and state administrative regulations on land use constitute violations of the Fifth Amendment's restrictions on the government's ability to take private property.
The Supreme Court has recently been sympathetic to such claims, which transform an ordinary civil dispute into a major issue of public law.
Most of the Supreme Court cases we examine involve judgments regarding the constitutional or statutory basis of the actions of government agencies.
The consequences of court decisions in public law can be significant.
The federal government and individual state governments have established court systems in the United States.
The one federal system and the 50 state systems are all distinctive in a number of ways.
Most of the court cases in the United States are heard in state courts.
Most criminal cases involve violations of state laws prohibiting murder, robbery, fraud, theft, and assault.
In civil cases, most litigation is brought in the courts established by the state in which the activity occurred.
The judge hearing the case would apply state law to the matter.
The highest court in a special military tribunal can hear cases that are inappropriate for the civil state or the courts.
Nazi saboteurs were tried in the United States.
Special courts have been created to hear criminal cases involving military veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The U.S. Supreme Court does not have to accept an appeal.
This is also true of the state supreme courts.
The U.S. Supreme Court does not have to accept an appeal.
This is also true of the state supreme courts.
The charges would be brought to a federal judge by a federal prosecutor.
Civil cases involving the citizens of more than one state may be heard in either the federal or state courts.
How do we know which federal court has jurisdiction over the matter?
Each federal court's jurisdiction is derived from the Constitution and federal statutes.
The Supreme Court may be the initial destination of cases involving a state that may be taken directly or an ambassador.
Original jurisdiction is assigned to a federal court.
The D.C. is a circuit in the District of Columbia.
The jurisdiction of each type of court was specified by Congress as it created the federal judicial system.
Congress assigns jurisdiction on the basis of geography.
The nation is divided into 94 judicial districts, with one court for each of the three U.S. territories: Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Marianas.
jurisdiction over federal cases arising within its territorial domain is exercised by each of the 94 U.S. district courts.
The District of Columbia circuit is one of the 11 regional circuits organized by the judicial districts.
Appellate jurisdiction is exercised by each circuit court.
Federal court jurisdiction is not limited to geography.
Congress has established specialized courts for certain types of cases.
Damage suits against the United States are handled by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Congress established the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears appeals involving patent law and those arising from the decisions of the trade and claims courts.
Questions of law arising from trials by court martial are addressed in appeals for the armed forces.
The courts were created by Congress on the basis of the powers the legislature exercises under the constitution.
It was designed to protect judges from political pressure by granting them life tenure and prohibiting reduction of their salaries while they serve.
The judges of Article I courts are not protected from salary reduction because they are appointed by the president for 15 years.
Legislative courts are viewed as less independent than courts established under the constitution.
The judges of the territorial courts are appointed for 10-year terms.
The federal courts have jurisdiction over cases from the state courts.
Civil and criminal cases can be appealed to the Supreme Court by raising a federal issue.
The Supreme Court will only accept such appeals if it believes that the citizens are being treated fairly.
A court order raising issues not previously raised by an individual in their state appeals demands exhausted all available state remedies.
The Constitution and federal law can be used to prosecute behavior that was once a state criminal matter.
In 1999, Chief Justice William Rehnquist only suspended in cases that criticized Congress for federalizing too many offenses.
Thousands of circuit court decisions are appealed to the Supreme Court each year.
The Supreme Court does not rule on the merits of most cases.
The Court has the ability to decide what cases it will hear and listen to only those that raise the most important issues.
Although the federal courts only hear a small amount of civil and criminal cases each year, their decisions are very important.
The meaning and significance of the Constitution and federal laws governing Americans is established in the federal courts.
The powers and limitations of the national government are tested in the federal courts.
The federal courts have the power to review the decisions of the state courts.
The cases in federal district courts are indistinguishable from those in state trial courts.
There are 89 district courts in the 50 states, 1 each in the District of Colum bia and Puerto Rico, and 1 in each of three U.S. territories.
There are many district judgeships.
Through the political process, district judges are assigned to district courts.
The busiest district court may have as many as 28 judges.
Statutes provide for 3-judge courts to deal with special issues, but only 1 judge is assigned to each case.
The procedures of the federal district courts are the same as those of the lower state courts, except federal procedural requirements are more strict.
States don't have to provide a grand jury, a 12-member trial jury, or a unanimous jury verdict.
Federal courts have to give these.
Cases are handled by several specialized courts, including the U.S.
Roughly 20 percent of federal lower-court cases are reviewed by a federal appeals court.
The country is divided into 12 judicial circuits with the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The circuit in the continental United States is closest to every state and the District of Columbia.
The 13th appellate court is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The decisions made by the appeals courts are final.
There are certain safeguards built into the system.
More than one judge is important for every case.
There are 28 permanent judgeships for the court of appeals.
In some cases, a larger number of judges sit in 4 U.S. Courts.
Some cases and decisions are more important than others.
A landmark case is a decision that changes an area of law or has political consequences.
The Judiciary Act was declared unconstitutional by the Court.
The implied powers of the government under the Constitution were justified by the Court.
The supremacy of the federal government over the states in the regulation of commerce is established by this decision.
The people of African origin brought to the United States as part of the slave trade were not given the rights of citizenship that the Constitution provides.
Congress may make laws and reasonable regulations that are required for interstate commerce.
The right to purchase and sell labor was established by the court.
It was more difficult for unions to form because of the decision.
The internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War II was allowed by the court.
All evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the federal Constitution is not allowed in a court of law.
Even though legislative districting is a political matter, the justices established that the Court had the authority to hear the cases.
The Bill of Rights implied a right to privacy when the Court struck down a Connecticut law prohibiting counseling on contraceptives.
The court ruled that inflammatory speech can't be punished by the government.
The right to privacy and the right to enter freely into contracts were violated by any law passed by a state or Congress that was inconsistent with the holding of the Court.
The court held that universities have an interest in promoting diversity.
It is cruel and unusual to execute people for crimes they committed before the age of 18.
The power of local government to seize property was upheld by the court.
Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in states that allow it, and same-sex marriages must be recognized in other states.
The circuit justice for each of the 12 circuits is assigned to a Supreme Court justice.
Special action by the Supreme Court is addressed by the circuit justice.
When the full Court can't, the circuit justices review requests for stays of execution.
The Supreme Court of the United States is vested with "the judicial Power of the United States" in the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has a chief justice and eight associate justices.
The chief justice has no more authority than his colleagues in the actual deliberations and decisions of the court.
The justice casts a single vote.
When the Supreme Court deliberates, the chief justice speaks first.
If the chief justice has voted with the majority, there will be public sessions.
The influence of the chief justice is dependent on his leadership ability.
Some chief justices, such as Earl Warren, have led the Court in a new direction, while others, such as Felix Frankfurter, are the dominant figure.
Congress has the power to change the Supreme Court's size, even though the Constitution doesn't specify how many justices should sit on the court.
The number nine was set by Congress in 1869.
In 1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Congress to enlarge the Court so that he could add sympathetic justices to the bench after several Court decisions struck down New Deal programs.
The Court began to view Roosevelt's policy initiatives more favorably after relenting to Roosevelt's pressure.
The president dropped his efforts to enlarge the court.
The switch in time that saved nine was known as the Court's surrender to Roosevelt.
Federal judges are appointed by the president.
Nominees are typically prominent or politically active members of the legal profession--former state court judges or state or local prosecutors, prominent attorneys or elected officials, or highly regarded law professors.
Many of the Supreme Court justices had no experience as judges.
They were both political and intellectual.
John Adams had a secretary of state named Marshall.
He was a prominent Boston lawyer and policy advocate.
In 1948, Warren was a Republican vice presidential candidate.
In general, presidents try to appoint judges who possess legal experience and good character and who have similar ideological views to their own.
Most federal judicial appointees were conservative Republicans.
Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama's appointees were liberal Democrats.
George W. Bush wanted to appoint Hispanics.
Women and African Americans were appointed to the federal courts by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Neil Gorsuch was a federal court judge.
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has a practice.
Before the president formally nominates a candidate for a fed, senators from the nominee's state must indicate that they support her.
Felix Frankfurter was an adviser to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
An important U.S. was Hugo Black.
Because the president's party in the Senate will rarely support a nominee opposed by a home-state senator from their ranks, these senators hold virtual veto power over appointments to the federal bench in their own states.
Senators see this power to grant their support as a way to reward important allies and contributors in their states.
The governor or members of the state's House delegation can make suggestions if the state has no senator from the president's party.
Senateial courtesy is not consequential for appellate court appointments.
Once the president has formally nominated an individual, the appointment must be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee and confirmed by a majority vote in the full Senate.
The politics and rules of the Senate affect the fate of a president's judicial nominees and influence the types of people the president selects for judicial positions.
The approval of a nomination must come from the relevant committee, be brought to the Senate floor, and get a majority of votes.
There used to be a risk of a filibuster in which the affirmative vote of three-fifths of the senators was needed.
The possibility was eliminated from Senate rules.
The composition of the Senate Judiciary Committee is important in determining whether a nominee succeeds.
In recent years the media has given intense scrutiny to the most important judicial nominations, thus engaging the broader public in the process.
The Senate Judiciary Committee rarely questioned nominees on their judicial views before the 1950s.
President Eisenhower nominated John Marshall Harlan II to succeed Robert Jackson on the Supreme Court in 1954.
The Senate did not act on his nomination, and Eisenhower had to give him a second chance.
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a southerner, and several other southern Democratic senators delayed any hearings because they were afraid that Harlan would support school integration and strengthen the Court's efforts to desegregate the South.
The Judiciary Committee questions Supreme Court nominees about their views.
Judicial appointments have become more partisan and ideological.
Nominees for the federal judiciary are subject to lengthy questioning about issues ranging from gun rights to abortion to federal power under the commerce clause.
Reagan and Bush wanted appointees who believed in reducing government intervention in the economy and who supported the Republican Party's stance on abortion.
Some Reagan and Bush appointees did not live up to their expectations.
The Supreme Court was created by Bush.
President Clinton tried to counteract the influence of their appointees by appointing liberal justices.
President George W. Bush had an opportunity to make his mark on the Supreme Court after Chief Justice William Rehnquist died.
After Rehnquist's death, Bush nominated federal appeals court judge John Roberts to replace O'Connor.
Roberts was confirmed with minimal opposition.
When Bush named White House counsel Miers to replace O'Connor, there was an intense battle within the president's own party.
She withdrew from consideration because of the intense opposition she faced from Republicans who felt she lacked judicial qualifications and was too conservative.
Bush turned to a more conventional nominee, the federal appeals court judge Samuel Alito.
Thanks to a strong Democratic majority in the Senate, Barack Obama's nominations of Elena Kagan to the Court were easily approved.
The balance of power on the Court was not affected by the new justices.
Several important Supreme Court cases ended in 4-4 ties in 2016 because there were only eight justices.
A tie allows the lower court decision to stand.
The strategy of the Repubicans paid off when Neil Gorsuch was nominated by Donald Trump.
When multiple women accused him of sexual assault, he came under intense scrutiny from both sides.
Republicans were accused of trying to push through their candidate no matter what, and Democrats were accused of trying to push through their candidate.
The intensity of partisanship is reflected in the struggles over judicial appointments.
They show how important Supreme Court appointments are to competing forces.
The court system is at risk due to the increasing role of partisanship in the nomination process.
As nonpartisan arbiters in our society, courts derive considerable authority from their position of political independence.
The individuals appointed to the federal judiciary tend to have an independent sense of themselves and their mission.
The role of judges in political institutions makes them politicians.
We need to consider the role of the courts in the political system in order to understand what causes judicial behavior.
The courts' role as dispute resolvers, coordinators, and interpreters of rules is emphasized.