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The Judiciary. Two Types of Cases Criminal The government charges an individual with violating one or more specific laws. Civil The court resolves a dispute between two parties and defines the relationship between them. Nature of the Judicial System. Question :

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the judiciary

The Judiciary

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

nature of the judicial system

Two Types of Cases

Criminal

The government charges an individual with violating one or more specific laws.

Civil

The court resolves a dispute between two parties and defines the relationship between them.

Nature of the Judicial System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

nature of the judicial system1

Question:

Are most cases tried and resolved in state or federal courts?

Answer:

State courts.

Nature of the Judicial System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

nature of the judicial system2

Participants in the System

Litigants

The party bringing a charge is known as the . . .

PLAINTIFF

The party being charged is known as the . . .

DEFENDANT

Nature of the Judicial System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

nature of the judicial system3

Participants in the System

Deciders

People who often decide the outcome of a case . . .

JURY

Although, in some cases the “decider” is the . . .

JUDGE

Nature of the Judicial System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

nature of the judicial system4

Participants in the System

Legal Issues

In order to be able to be a plaintiff, one must have sustained, or is likely to sustain, a direct injury . . .

“Standing to sue”

In addition, a case must be capable of being settled as a matter of law. . .

“Justiciable”

Nature of the Judicial System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

nature of the judicial system5

Participants in the System

Groups

Non-party groups use the courts to influence policies.

File legal briefs to influence court decisions . . .

“Amicus Curiae” . . . friend of the court.

Nature of the Judicial System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

nature of the judicial system6

Participants in the System

Attorneys

About 800,000 in the U.S.

Issue: access is not equal

Nature of the Judicial System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

structure of the federal system

Three Levels of FederalCourts

Structure of the Federal System

Supreme Court

Courts of Appeal

District Courts

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

structure of the federal system1

District Courts

Are courts of “original jurisdiction” . . .

Are the trial court: hear cast first and determine the facts.

  • Total = 91 Courts & 678 Judges

Structure of the Federal System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

structure of the federal system2

Courts of Appeal

Have appellate jurisdiction . . .

Review legal issues in cases brought from lower courts

  • Do not hear testimony or hold trials, instead focus on errors of procedure and law
  • Total = 12 & 178 Judges

Structure of the Federal System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

structure of the federal system3

The Supreme Court

The number of justices is . . .

NINE

  • Mostly appellate jurisdiction (hears appeals)
  • Most cases are:
  • * appealed from Federal Courts of Appeal
  • * Civil cases

Structure of the Federal System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

structure of the federal system4

The Supreme Court

A few key functions:

* Ensures uniformity in interpreting national laws

  • * Resolves conflicts among states
  • * Maintains national supremacy in the law

Structure of the Federal System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary

structure of the federal system5

Reminder: “Supremacy Clause”

Article VI, Clause 2

  • This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof;
  • and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States,
  • shall be the supreme law of the land;
  • and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Structure of the Federal System

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS - Judiciary