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Pearson Longman PoliticalScience Interactive. Shea, Green, and Smith Living Democracy, Second Edition Chapter 4: The Judiciary. The Adversarial System Judges serve as relatively passive and detached referees who do not argue with attorneys or challenge evidence. The Inquisitorial System

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pearson longman politicalscience interactive

Pearson LongmanPoliticalScienceInteractive

Shea, Green, and Smith

Living Democracy, Second Edition

Chapter 4:

The Judiciary

the adversarial system
The Adversarial System

Judges serve as relatively passive and detached referees who do not argue with attorneys or challenge evidence.

The Inquisitorial System

Judges take an active role in discovering and evaluating evidence, will question witnesses, and will intervene as deemed necessary.

The Adversarial System
slide3

Court Structure and Processes

Dual Court SystemSeparate systems of state and federal courts

throughout the United States, each with

responsibilities for its own laws and constitutions.

trial courts
Criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits

Bench trials and jury trials

Court Structure and Processes

Trial Courts

Appellate Courts

  • Hear appeals from judicial decisions and jury verdicts in the trial courts
  • Divided into eleven circuits
united states supreme court

Court Structure and Processes

United States Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the final arbitrator for matters concerning federal laws and the U.S. Constitution.

slide8

Pathways Profile: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  • Director of the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU in the 1970s
  • As a lawyer, successfully argued to the Supreme Court to broaden the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause to include some types of gender discrimination
the power of american judges
The Power of American Judges

“The legitimacy of the Judicial Branch ultimately depends on its reputation for impartiality and nonpartisanship.”

–Late Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun

constitutional and statutory interpretation
Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation

What constitutes “cruel and unusual” punishment?

Whenever there are disputes about the meaning of the words and phrases in constitutions and statutes, judges are asked to provide interpretations that will settle the disputes.

judicial review
The Court has only exercised its power of judicial review of presidential actions a handful of times since its inception.

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Judicial Review

Chief Justice John Marshall

federal judges protected tenure
Federal Judges’ Protected Tenure

Federal judges can only be removed from office by impeachment by Congress if they commit a crime.

How does this lack of accountability shape their decisions?

judicial selection
Judicial Selection

The process of judicial selection is a highly partisan and political process.

judicial selection in the federal system
Judicial Selection in the Federal System

Because of the power wielded by the Supreme Court, presidents take a personal interest in selecting appointees.

George W. Bush and Harriet Miers

judicial selection in the states
Judicial Selection in the States
  • Partisan elections
  • Nonpartisan elections
  • Merit selection
  • Gubernatorial or legislative appointment

Four methods of judicial selection

judges decision making
Judges’ Decision Making

Case Precedent

The body of prior judicial opinions, especially those from the U.S. Supreme Court and state supreme courts, that establishes the judge-made law that develops from interpretations of the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, and statutes

political science and judicial decision making
Political Science and Judicial Decision Making

Approaches to constitutional interpretation

  • Legal Model
  • Attitudinal model
  • Rational Choice
  • New institutionalism
slide20

Pathways Profile: John G. Roberts, Jr.

  • First nominated for a judgeship by George H. W. Bush but Senate did not vote on his nomination.
  • Nominated for second time after death of Rehnquist in 2005.
interest group litigation
Interest Group Litigation

Court-centered pathway

  • More attractive to smaller interest groups because it takes fewer resources.
  • Requires:
      • Litigation resources
      • Expertise
      • Patience
slide22

Pathways of Action: The NAACP and Racial Segregation

  • NAACP began litigation in the 1930s to end segregation.
  • Succeeded in 1964 with Brown v. Board of Education.
elements of strategy
Elements of Strategy
  • Selection of Cases
  • Choice of Jurisdiction
  • Framing the Arguments
  • Public Relations and the Political Environment
slide24

Student Profile: Tyler Deveny

  • Challenged permitting prayers at public school graduations
  • Supported by ACLU
implementation and impact
Implementation and Impact

Courts cannot automatically ensure that their decisions are enforced and obeyed.

The “Trail of Tears”

judicial policymaking and democracy
Judicial Policymaking and Democracy

Although Alexander Hamilton expected the judiciary to be the weakest of the three branches, public policy can be shaped by the courts.

pathways of change from around the world pakistan
Pathways of Change From Around the World:Pakistan
  • President Pervez Musharraf attempts to remove chief Supreme Court justice.
  • Law students protest the interference with the independent judiciary.