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 ***Please note that a legal indv does NOT have to be a human being. A legal indv can be an indv, a business, a corp, a govt agency.***
How is the Judicial Branch Organized? • The Supreme Court is the highest court in the Judicial Branch. • The Supreme Court has 9 justices (judges) • The head of the Supreme Court is called the Chief Justice. • Justices are not elected! The President appoints Justices. • The Senate must approve a Justice appointment.
Term of Office • Justices serve for a life term. • They may resign or retire. They are in life until death otherwise. • Just like the President, Justices may be impeached, tried, and removed from office if found guilty.
Qualifications There are no constitutional requirements for becoming a US Supreme Court justice; however, the President usually considers the recommendation and evaluation of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. The ABA lists the following suggested minimum criteria for nomination to the US Supreme Court: • Member in good standing in the state bar for at least five years • Practicing trial attorney and/or trial judge for at least 12 years • Competent citizen of good character, integrity, reason, intelligence, and judgment • Distinguished accomplishments • Required to be legal scholar
JUDICIAL REVIEW • Judicial review is one of the most important powers of the Judicial Branch. It is the power of the courts to say that the Constitution does not allow the gov’t to do something. • The Supreme Court may rule that a law made by Congress is unconstitutional! • Jurisdiction- which cases each court is allowed to hear.
Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court • appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law • original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. Usually involving state disputes or when the U.S. is one of the participants in the case
FEDERAL COURTS • 1. Supreme Court-U.S. Supreme Court • 2. Appellate Courts-12 Regional Circuit Courts of Appeals and 1 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit • 3. Trial Courts-94 Judicial District Courts and 3 other specialized courts • 4. Other special courts for military, veterans, taxes, etc.
THE APPEALS PROCESS • 1. Begins at the district court • 2. Then proceeds on to the Court of Appeals • 3. Case could proceed on from their to the Supreme Court—the highest court in our country!
Poster Project • Objective: Students will create a poster demonstrating an understanding of all the information relevant to the Supreme Court • Instructions: Create a Poster based on the Supreme Court. The Poster should include the answers to the following list of questions.
Questions to Answer • Which Article does the Supreme Court appear in the Constitution? • Which Court is the highest court in the land? • How many members on the Supreme Court? • What do you call a member of the Supreme Court? • What is the lead member called? • How does a person become a member of the Supreme Court? What is the process? • What is the term of office? How long do they keep their job? • When does a member of the Supreme Court end his/her term? • What are the qualifications for a member of the Supreme Court? • What is Judicial Review? • What are the names of the Current members of the Supreme Court? • Write a summary of the qualificatins of each member of the Supreme Court
examples • Elena Kagan is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Kagan is the Court's 112th justice and fourth female justice. • Kagan was born and raised in New York City. After attending Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard Law School,. She began her career as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, leaving to serve as Associate to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which expired without action, she became a professor at Harvard Law School and was later named its first female dean.
Criteria • Title: the Supreme Court • Picture of the members of the Supreme court (as a group) • Picture of each individual member (small) • Picture of the “seal” of the Supreme Court • All questions answered completely and correctly • All information requested is visible on the chart • Phrase the question within the answer • Some color • Neat, organized, clean, visually pleasing • Printed with computer or by hand