The judiciary
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The Judiciary. The Judiciary. Trial Courts vs Appellate Courts (original jurisdiction vs appellate jurisdiction). Overview of the Federal court system :. Specialized courts US Claims Court US Court of Military Appeals US Court of International Trade US Tax Court.

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The Judiciary

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The judiciary

The Judiciary


The judiciary1

The Judiciary

  • Trial Courts vs Appellate Courts

    • (original jurisdiction vs appellate jurisdiction)


Overview of the federal court system

Overview of the Federal court system:

  • Specialized courts

    • US Claims Court

    • US Court of Military Appeals

    • US Court of International Trade

    • US Tax Court


Overview of the federal court system1

Overview of the Federal court system:

District Courts (94)

  • 1 to 28 judges in each District

  • Total of 649 judges

  • 300,000 civil and criminal cases

    Circuit Courts(12)

  • Hears civil and criminal cases appealed from the U.S. District Courts

  • Total of 179 judges

  • 50,000-60,000 cases


Nominating federal judges

Nominating Federal Judges

  • Overview

    • Nominated by President with advice and consent of the Senate (role of Senate Judiciary Committee)

  • Concept of “Senatorial Courtesy”

    • The Senate as a whole will reject the nomination of any candidate that is opposed by a senator of the President’s party from the nominee’s state


The u s supreme court

The U.S. Supreme Court

  • Original and Appellate Jurisdiction

  • Congressional Controls over the federal court system

    • Number of members

    • Jurisdiction

    • Initiating amendments to the Constitution

    • Role in nominating Federal Judges


The u s supreme court1

The U.S. Supreme Court

  • The workings of the Supreme Court

    • Writs of Certiorari

    • The Rule of Four

  • The Supreme Court in Session

    • Oral Arguments

    • Amicus Curiae Briefs

    • Majority, Dissenting, and Concurring Opinions


The u s supreme court2

The U.S. Supreme Court

  • Origins of the Supreme Court

    • Concept of Judicial Review – Marbury v. Madison (1803)

  • The powers (and limits) of the Supreme Court


Judicial activism versus judicial restraint

Judicial Activism versus Judicial Restraint

  • Arguments for judicial restraint:

    • Lack of expertise in non-judicial matters

    • Judges can be immune from popular control – act as “unelected legislators”

    • Coincides with a strict interpretation of the Constitution

  • Arguments for judicial activism:

    • Judges don’t have to get re-elected so they can speak their conscience

    • Often this is the last resort for justice to be achieved

    • Coincides with a loose interpretation of the Constitution


Missouri s judicial system

Missouri’s Judicial System

  • Circuit courts - (trial courts)

    • Most elected for a 6 year term

  • Appellate courts - 3 Districts

    • Eastern, Western, and Southern

    • 32 judges

    • Elected for 12 year terms

  • MO Supreme Court

    • 7 members, 12 year terms


The missouri plan applies to appellate judges

The Missouri Plan – applies to Appellate Judges

  • Role of the Governor and the “Appellate Judicial Commission”

  • Voter Approval

  • Advantages and Disadvantages?

    • The larger issue: how accountable should judges be to the political process?


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