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Supreme Court

Supreme Court

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Supreme Court

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Supreme Court In a flash

  2. Justices of the Court

  3. Supreme Court Justices • Composed of 9 justices • Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices • Duties have developed from laws/tradition /as needs of nation have developed • 3 decision making tasks • Deciding which cases to hear • Deciding the case itself • Determining court’s opinion

  4. Appointing Justices • Appointed by president and approved by Senate • Political considerations often influence president’s choice

  5. Appointing Justices Cont. • Background of Justices • Usually has law degree/legal experience • Most have been state/federal court judges • Not representative of general population in social class/background/gender/race

  6. Road to the Supreme Court

  7. Court Procedures • During the term the Court sits for 2 consecutive weeks each month. • Sessions begin 1st Monday in October through July/June

  8. Court’s Procedures • After 2 week sitting they recess • Work privately on paperwork • Consider arguments • Study petitions • Work on opinion

  9. How a Case Reaches the Courts

  10. Step 1 • Writ of Certiorari • Order from the Court to a lower court to send up the records on a case for review • Main route to the Supreme Court • On Appeal • Decision of a lower federal/state court has been requested to be reviewed • Few cases arrive this way

  11. Step 2 • Selecting Cases • Identify cases worthy of serious consideration • Put on ‘discuss list’ • “rule of four”- at least four justices need to agree to hear a case in order it to come before the Supreme Court

  12. Hearing and Deciding a Case

  13. Step 1 • Submitting Briefs • Written statement setting forth legal arguments • Oral Argument • Lawyer from each side presents oral argument before court for 30 minutes each

  14. Step 2 • Conference • Justices meet to discuss/debate cases have heard

  15. Step 3 • Writing Opinion (written decision of the Court) • Majority Opinion-Courts official decision and reasoning • Concurring opinion -written by a justice who agrees w/ the majority decision but wants to emphasize a point not made by the majority • Dissenting opinion- written by a justice who disagrees w/ majority decision

  16. What shapes Supreme Courts Decisions

  17. Items that Shape Supreme Court decisions • Judicial Review • Interpreting the Meaning of Laws • Overruling or Reversing its Previous Decision • Checks and Balances • Lack of Enforcement Power