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The LAST Unit of the Year!! Article III – Judicial Branch. Chapter 14 – Structure Chapters 15 and 16 – Cases, Rights, Amendments, Etc. My “legal” caveat….

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the last unit of the year article iii judicial branch

The LAST Unit of the Year!!Article III – Judicial Branch

Chapter 14 – Structure

Chapters 15 and 16 – Cases, Rights, Amendments, Etc.

my legal caveat

My “legal” caveat…..

Unfortunately I didn’t go to law school….I am a wannabe lawyer  ….this stuff is occasionally tough to grasp, (especially when we get to case law, court logic is goofy at times)

original jurisdiction

Original Jurisdiction

Appellate Jurisdiction

The authority of a court to hear a case before any other court does.

The authority of a court to hear cases that have been tried, decided, or reexamined in other courts.


How do Judges decide constitutionality?

  • Use the exact words of the Constitution or try to determine the intent of the words. (Marbury v. Madison, 1803)
  • Precedents. What were previous decisions made by the court?
  • Rely on their own principles and judgment. Sometimes #1 and #2 will not work

*REMEMBER, the courts do not make law or decide if laws are wise. Their job is to determine the constitutionality of existing laws.

oversimplified view
Oversimplified View

State Courts

(state law & civil cases)

Federal Courts (Fed Law and

Constitutional Issues)

US Supreme Court

Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

Federal District Courts

  • Ohio Supreme Court
  • Ohio Appeals Courts
  • Common Pleas, Municipal Courts

Ohio State Supreme Court

Ohio Court of Appeals

(Green: Test Worthy!)

Common Pleas

County Courts



Court of Claims

Ohio’s Court Structure

Mayor’s Courts

state level courts ohio
State Level Courts - OHIO
  • All Judges in Ohio are electedto 6 year terms from non-partisan ballots
  • Attorneys who have passed the Bar
  • 6 years of “practice”

- Fairborn


Beth Root

Municipal Court :

Mostly traffic court & misdemeanor crimes

greene county common pleas

Original jurisdiction in all criminal felony cases and original jurisdiction in all civil cases in which the amount in controversy is more than $500.

Greene County Common Pleas


Xenia -


Stephen Wolaver and Michael Buckhalter

common pleas 4 divisions
Common Pleas – 4 Divisions
  • General Division – Civil and Criminal
  • Domestic Relations – Divorces, dissolutions; child custody cases
  • Juvenile Division
  • Probate Court – Descendants’ estates; mental illness; adoptions; marriage licenses

Ohio’s 2nd District Court of Appeals

(Located in Dayton, travel among six counties they serve)


Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor

First Elected in 2002; became Ohio’s First Female Chief Justice Jan. 1, 2011

landmark us cases from osc
Landmark US Cases from OSC
  • Mapp v. OH
  • Terry v. OH
  • Brandenburg v. OH

The United States Court System

U.S. Supreme Court

Court of Claims

U.S. Court of Appeals -

12+1 Circuits

Court of Customs and Patent Appeals

Customs Court

U.S. District Courts

Federal and Local Jurisdiction

U.S. District Courts

Federal Jurisdiction


Administrative Agencies

(Tax Courts, etc…)

Appeals from State Supreme Courts

article iii

Article III

“The Judicial Power of the U.S. shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as the Congress may…..establish”

judiciary act 1789
Judiciary Act 1789
  • Creates the Federal Court system as well as an Attorney General
  • “Ride the Circuit”
  • John Jay
  • John Marshall – 4th CJ - 1801-1835
  • 112 Justices on the Supreme Court in all of American History including 17 Chief Justices.
congress and the federal courts
Congress and the Federal Courts
  • Determines number of judges and where they work
  • President chooses, Senate Confirms
  • Congress controls the court’s budget (less than 1% of federal budget)

Alito (C)

Breyer (L)

Sotomayor (L)

Kagan (L)

Ginsburg (L)

Scalia (C)

Roberts (C)

Kennedy (M)

Thomas (C)

The Roberts Court 2013


Chief Justice

John Roberts


1 – Roberts (2005 W. Bush)

  • 2 – Scalia (1986 - Reagan)
  • 3 – Kennedy (1988 - Bush)
  • 4 – Thomas (1991 - Bush)
  • 5 – Ginsburg (1993 - Clinton)
  • 6 – Breyer (1994 - Clinton)
  • 7 – Alito ( 2006 – W Bush)
  • 8 – Sotomayor (2009 - Obama)
  • 9 – Kagan ( 2010 - Obama)
u s supreme court s original jurisdiction
U.S. Supreme Court’s ORIGINAL Jurisdiction
  • a case between the U.S. and a state
  • a case between two or more states
  • a case brought by a state against a citizen of another state
  • a case involving an ambassador or foreign minister or consul

Today many of the original jurisdiction cases start in lower courts Because of this, there are relatively few "original jurisdiction" cases Usually a couple of cases a year out of 5000-7000 requests, sometimes none at all (jury on request)

u s supreme court s appellate jurisdiction
U.S. Supreme Court’s APPELLATE Jurisdiction
  • “Discretionary”
  • A case on appeal from the lower federal courts. (most common)
  • A case from the "highest" state court (state supreme courts)

Opinion of the Court: A signed opinion of a majority of the Supreme Court. Concurring Opinion: A signed opinion in which one or more justices agree with the majority view but for different reasons. Dissenting Opinion: A signed opinion in which one or more justices disagree with the majority view.

u s district courts
U.S. District Courts
  • 94 Districts contained in 13 circuits
  • 650+ Judges (Thomas Rose)
  • “Trial” Court of the Federal government
  • Branch in Dayton; central court in Cincy
u s district court s jurisdiction 3 types
U.S. District Court’s Jurisdiction (3 types)
  • Federal Question Jurisdiction: cases that involve issues concerning the Constitution or other federal laws
u s district court s jurisdiction 3 types cont
U.S. District Court’s Jurisdiction (3 types) (CONT)
  • Diversity Jurisdiction: plaintiff and the defendant have different state citizenships.
  • there are exceptions to diversity jurisdiction for some cases, including probate cases and family law cases
u s district court s jurisdiction 3 types cont1
U.S. District Court’s Jurisdiction (3 types) (CONT)
  • Supplemental Jurisdiction: federal court can hear a claim that would normally come under the jurisdiction of a state court if it is related to a claim already before that court.
  • NOTE: supplementary jurisdiction is discretionary -- a court can choose whether or not to exercise it in a given case.
u s court of appeals
U.S. Court of Appeals
  • 179 Judges contained in the 13 circuits
  • 16 Judges in the 6th circuit court of appeals located in Cincinnati
  • First circuit has 6 judges; ninth has 29
u s court of appeals circuit courts cont
U.S. Court of Appeals (circuit courts) CONT.
  • The circuit courts do not handle jury trials.
  • 3 judge panels
  • They only handle cases where a party argues that a district court judge made an error in handling their case.
all of these federal courts discussed are known as article iii courts other article iii courts
All of these Federal Courts discussed are known as “Article III” courts.Other “Article III” courts:
  • The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (13th): a specialized circuit court with national jurisdiction. The Federal Circuit hears appeals on most patent issues. It also serves as an appellate court for many of the "Article I” courts
  • Bankruptcy Court
article i courts judges not all life appointees
“Article I” Courts – judges not all life appointees
  • The United States Tax Court handles cases involving the federal tax system.
  • The United States Court of International Trade has jurisdiction over cases involving the international trade laws.
  • The United States Court of Federal Claims hears cases involving claims for money damages against the Federal government. (tax refunds, etc… civil
  • The United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has worldwide jurisdiction over appeals of military court-martial cases
executive branch and the federal courts
Executive Branch and the Federal Courts
  • Appoints all federal judges
  • Department of Justice (Attorney General, Solicitor General)
  • U.S. Marshall’s provide security for courtrooms and judges