The Judicial Branch Article III of the United States Constitution. Purpose of Courts A. Resolve legal disputes by applying the law to indv situations 1. Criminal law: the people vs an indv 2. Civil law: an indv vs an indv
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of the United States Constitution
1. Criminal law a. Prosecutor—represents the people b. Defendant—indv accused of breaking law
2. Civil law a. Plaintiff—indv who was wronged b. Defendant—indv accused of wrongdoing
3. Judge a. Applies the law b. Instructs the jury c. Keeps proceedings fair and neutral d. May decide case if no jury
4. Jury a. Decides facts of case b. Determines innocence or guilt
“Rule of Four”—four of the nine justices must agree to hear the indv case out of the 1000s of cases appealed to them.
JUDICIAL PHILOSOPHY: An ongoing “discussion” in American politics about the extent to which justices/judges should involve themselves with setting policy. Judges don’t make laws so how does a judge set policy?
JUDICIAL ACTIVISM: the Jud branch is an equal partner with the Leg and Exec and should be actively involved in interpreting and applying laws. Strong belief in judicial review.
JUDICIAL RESTRAINT: the Jud branch should let the Leg and Exec branches set policy and only get involved if that policy is a flagrant violation of Constitution. Not a strong belief in judicial review.
*NEITHER VIEW IS LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIVE*
b. Examples American politics about the extent to which justices/judges should involve themselves with setting policy. Judges don’t make laws so how does a judge set policy?
1. Dred Scott (1857) decision: Slave was property and not free just because he had lived in a free state. As property, and not a US citizen, he had no right to sue in federal court.
14th Amendment (1868) : Declared former slaves to be US citizens with all rights of citizenship.
This amendment nullified the Dred Scott decision.
Abortion???? American politics about the extent to which justices/judges should involve themselves with setting policy. Judges don’t make laws so how does a judge set policy?
Stem cell research????
The president CANNOT propose a constitutional amendment. WHY??