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Chapter 14- The Judicial Branch. General Terms. Common Law- Judges make decisions according to prevailing customs which are then applied to similar situations and become common to nation Precedent- decide new cases with reference to former decisions

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general terms
General Terms
  • Common Law- Judges make decisions according to prevailing customs which are then applied to similar situations and become common to nation
  • Precedent- decide new cases with reference to former decisions
  • Stare Decisis- Latin for “to stand on decided cases” sets doctrine for a precedent
warren and rehnquist
Warren and Rehnquist
  • Seen as more liberal
  • 1953-1969
  • Known as conservative
  • Followed by more conservative appointments
  • Reduce federal power and states’ rights
    • Commerce Clause- guns in school zones

Articles on my website for more details

Chief Justice Earl Warren

Chief Justice William Rehnquist

executive checks on judicial power
Executive Checks on Judicial Power
  • Supreme court has no enforcement powers and depend on cooperation of other 2 branches
  • Andrew Jackson “John Marshall has made his decision; not let him enforce it.” (regarding Worcester v. Georgia)
  • Appointment of judges- help shape the philosophy of the court
  • US Solicitor General- presidential appointee who is actively involved in about 2/3 of Supreme Court cases
legislative checks on judicial power
Legislative Checks on Judicial Power
  • Appropriate funds to carry out rulings
  • Propose and pass amendments that overturn court rulings
  • 14th, 15th, 26th- discrimination
  • Pass or rewrite laws
    • Flag burning
    • Pornography on Internet
public opinion
Public Opinion
  • Exert Pressure
    • State and Local officials enforcement of decisions
    • Drive agenda of Supreme Court (determine cases that are heard)
    • Decisions- cautious to make rulings at odds with public opinion
traditions and doctrines
Traditions and Doctrines
  • Hypothetical Issues
  • Disputes that arise out of actual cases
  • Political Question- one that should be decided by the elected branches of government (ex. Gays and lesbians in the military)