US GOVT CHPT 8 -The Judicial Branch

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High School Government the Judicial Branch


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U.S. Government:

Chapter 8 The Judicial Branch U.S. Government

The Judicial Branch:

The Judicial Branch The Articles of Confederation did not work for many reasons. One reason was because the Articles did not set up a system of justice. Article III of the Constitution set up the third branch of the United States government, the judicial branch. The judicial branch includes all federal courts: district courts, courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court The most important court is the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is in Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court can decide if Congress or the president have acted according to the Constitution.

The Federal Court System:

The Federal Court System Federal Courts set up to interpret or explain the meaning of the United States Constitution. Cases that violate , or break, a federal law are heard in federal courts. district courts courts of appeals Supreme Court

What Are Federal District Courts?:

What Are Federal District Courts? federal district courts There are four districts in California. district courts Each state has at least one district court . There are 94 and more than 600 judges. Many of these judges are assigned to each district court. They are the only federal courts that use juries. Without a jury, the judges make decisions. 36th District Chief Judge Kenneth King Each district has a chief judge , like me. I usually hear a wide variety of cases without a jury. I have a jury with cases such as bank robbery, kidnapping, tax evasion, or counterfeiting money. I explain the law the defendant broke to the jury and the jury decides if the defendant is guilty and I decide on the punishment.

What Cases Are Heard in Federal District Courts?:

What Cases Are Heard in Federal District Courts? The Constitution gives federal courts the authority to hear cases that involve: a person, group, or company who disobeys any part of the Constitution a person, group, or company who breaks federal laws passed by Congress, such as tax, postal, banking, or military laws a foreign nation that sues the U.S or a citizen an ambassador accused of breaking the law of the country where she or he is serving a crime that occurs on an American ship at sea or on federal property disagreements between states lawsuits between citizens of different states.

Other Federal Courts:

cases involving money claims against the federal government a decision in favor of the person bringing the suit usually results in a sum of money being given that person. Approximately one-quarter of the cases before the Court involve tax refund suits Other Federal Courts Federal Claims Court The Court of International Trade hears cases where individuals and businesses concerning taxes collected by customs officials on imported good. The Territorial Courts hears cases from people who live in U.S. territories . They are the same as federal district courts. territories a part of the U.S. not included in any state but organized with a separate legislature .

Other Federal Courts:

Other Federal Courts The Court of Customs and Patent Appeals hears cases appealed from the Court of International Trade , from people applying for patents, and from people whose patent rights have been violated. The Tax Court hears appeals concerning payment of federal taxes . This court does not hear criminal cases, but settles disagreements about the amount or type of tax. appeal t o apply for review of a case or particular issue to a higher tribunal.

United States Supreme Court:

United States Supreme Court There are also the Courts of the District of Columbia, Military Courts, and the Court of Veterans Appeals. 1 2 3

Review Fun:

Review Fun Write the word from the Word Bank that best completes each sentence. Congress district federal judge juries Word Bank Cases that involve a violation of a _________ law are heard in federal courts. A_________ court is where federal cases are heard. District courts are the only federal courts that use____. Cases such as a bank robbery or kidnapping are heard in a district court with a ______and jury. ________has set up courts to handle special cases such as international trade, patent appeals, and taxes What do you think? Federal district courts hear cases about disagreements between states. What could states disagree about? Why are some federal cases, such as property damage or civil right issues, heard by a judge without jury?

United States Courts of Appeals:

United States Courts of Appeals Accused people who feel that their trial was unfair in a district court may appeal , or ask a higher court to review their case. Court of appeals review the case. Congress set up the U.S courts of appeals in 1891. U.S. is divided into 13 courts of appeals. Fifty states divided into 11 large judicial areas called circuits . There is also circuits for District of Columbia and a Federal Circuit that involves federal agencies.

How a Court of Appeals Works:

How a Court of Appeals Works Key Words Procedure a series of steps followed in a regular order Interpret to explain or tell the meaning of something Reverse To overturn or set aside Verdict The finding or judgment of a court When a court of appeals gets a case to review, the judges study the history of the case. Three or more judges do the following: review the legal procedures involved in the case interpret the laws cannot ask for new facts review only issues of law Next, they: listen to lawyers on each side check written records from the district court judges vote judges may reverse the decision if unfair trial judges may send case back for new trial or if fair, the verdict stands. appeals decisions are usually final


Review Write the best word to complete each sentence. The (Constitution, Congress, Senate) set up the United States courts of appeals in 1891. Every circuit has a United States court of appeals that reviews decisions made in (higher courts, state courts, district courts). The judges in a court of appeals listen to arguments presented by the (accused, judges, lawyers) from each side. A case may be sent back to a district court for a new trial if the judges decide that (justice, the procedure, the jury) was not done. If the court of appeals decides the verdict was fair, the (judge, argument, decision) of the district court will stand. What do you think? Do you think the court of appeals should use a jury along with the three judges?

The Supreme Court :

The Supreme Court The Supreme Court is the highest court in the nation. Its decisions are final and cannot be appealed, or heard again. Most cases reviewed by the Supreme Court come from a federal court of appeal and a special appeals court . The Supreme court may also hear cases brought from a district court . Often in these cases, an act of Congress was said to be unconstitutional by that court. Someone has to challenge, or question, the law involved in a case before it can come to the Supreme Court. In some cases the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction . This happens when a state is a party in a case, or an ambassador, minister, or consul is involved in a case.

The Supreme Court How it Works :

The Supreme Court How it Works Highest court in the Nation What cases are reviewed in the Supreme Court? An act by Congress was considered unconstitutional Someone challenges or questions the law involved in a case. Or, Supreme Court has original jurisdiction comes from federal court of appeal or special appeals Must be challenged in a case before it can come to the Supreme Court Happens when a state is a party in a case, or an ambassador, minister, or consul.

The Supreme Court :

The Supreme Court How it works Supreme Court decides whether to review a case Supreme Court makes a decision about the law involved . Rules whether law unconstitutional If law is unconstitutional, no longer used Nine Justices There is one chief justice. The president appoints the justices for life and Senate must approve! The Senate Judiciary Committee is in charge of approval. They may be impeached or brought to trial if they are not following the ethics of their duties. Congress can change the number of justices.

What Happens During Supreme Court Sessions?:

What Happens During Supreme Court Sessions? Terms, or periods of work for the justices starts first Monday in October each year until June or July. The justices in the first two weeks: hold public sessions or sittings listen to facts of several cases chief justice in center lawyers from both sides speak their case justices ask questions Next two weeks justices: study facts lawyers provide briefs about the cases period of study is called recess rotation of study and recess Brief short statement of the facts and point of law of the case Decisions made by majority vote. Six justices must be present to vote. Then an opinion is written explaining why decision is made . Opinions are published in United States Report

Is the Supreme Court Too Powerful?:

Is the Supreme Court Too Powerful? Do you think the Supreme Court is too powerful? Explain. Your Thoughts

What is Judicial Review?:

What is Judicial Review? judicial review The power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional. judicial restraint A policy that the Supreme Court should avoid questions related to politics or social questions. judicial activism A policy that the Supreme Court should take an active role in deciding questions related to politics and social issues.

Can Supreme Court Decisions Change the Constitution?:

Can Supreme Court Decisions Change the Constitution? Are Supreme Court Decisions Ever Changed? The Supreme Court decisions have brought about changes in the Constitution. For example, the Constitution states in Article I, Section 9, that direct taxes must be apportioned according to the population of each state. In 1895 the Supreme Court ruled that income taxes were unconstitutional because they did not come evenly from each state. As a result of this decision, the Sixteenth Amendment was written, passed by all states, and added to the Constitution. Congress was allowed to tax incomes without apportionment from the states. YES! As we evolve and become more educated, earlier decisions need to change. As an example, the issue of segregated schools separated African American children from white children. In the 1880s many southern states set these schools up. The next slide will explain this change.

Are Supreme Court Decisions Ever Changed? :

Are Supreme Court Decisions Ever Changed? Segregated Schools 14 th Amendment Segregated schools violated the 14 th Amendment: “…Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws.”

Are Supreme Court Decisions Ever Changed? :

Are Supreme Court Decisions Ever Changed? Segregated Schools 14 th Amendment Laws change as we grow and learn from each other. We develop a better understanding of what right and wrong are. We question our outdated beliefs and become more knowledgeable and understanding. In 1896 a case called for the end of segregated schools because separate was not equal. The Supreme Court at the time ruled in favor of segregated schools In 1954 a case known as Brown V. Topeka Board of Education was heard. The NAACP sued the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas and argued that separate schools were illegal. Schools for white students were better equipped. The NAACP state that this was a violation of the 14 th Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were illegal because they did not follow the idea of equality stated in the 14 th Amendment. The Court said the schools should be changed because it was not longer legal to keep schools segregated. The transition was an incredible challenge for African Americans as we can see here, this student is being yelled at by a woman. You can see the expression is rather hateful.

Chapter 8 Review:

Chapter 8 Review Write the word from the Word Bank that best completes each answer. Supreme Court decisions have sometimes brought changes in the _____. There are _______levels of federal courts. Supreme Courts justices are appointed by the _____and approved by the ______. The only federal courts to hold jury trials are _______courts. Tax Court is part of the district ________system. A decision from a district court may be________. At lest three _______review a case brought to a court of appeals. Word Bank appealed Constitution court district judges president Senate three

Chapter 8 Review:

Chapter 8 Review Federal district courts hear cases of persons accused of breaking laws passed by Congress. What are these laws? Why would a person go to an appeals court? If the judges in a court of appeals decide a case was not tried fairly, what happens to the case? What is included in an opinion of the Supreme Court? When does the Supreme Court hear cases? Should the Supreme Court be allowed to reverse an earlier decision? Explain your answer. Should the decisions of the Supreme Court be final? Explain your answer Would you like to serve on a jury? Explain your answer.

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