AP Gov. Ch.9 Viridian Leal Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in AP Gov. Ch.9 Viridian Leal Deck (34):

lame duck

an executive or legislature during the period just before the end of a term of office, when its power and influences are considered to be diminished.

The 20th Amendment is known as the "lame duck amendment" because it shortened the period of time lame duck Members of Congress could stay in office after an election had been held.



Authority vested in a particular court to hear and decide the issues in a particular case.

If a court does not have jurisdiction, it can not pass legal judgment on the case.


original jurisdiction

the jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first, usually in a trial. These courts determine the facts of a case.

The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to hear disputes between different states.


appellate jurisdiction

The power vested in particular courts to review and or revise the decision of a lower court.

Appellate jurisdiction does not allow a court to hear/obtain new evidence through witnesses or such.


Federalist No.78

A Federalist Papers essay authored by Alexander Hamilton that covers the role of the federal judiciary, including the power of judicial review.

Federalist No.78 saw the judicial branch as the "least dangerous" of the three branches because it is "independent".


Judiciary Act of 1789

Legislative act that established the basic three-tiered structure of the federal court system.

The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the Supreme Court and Appellate as well as District Courts which deal with different-leveled cases.


John Jay

A member of the Founding generation who wants the Chief Justice of the United States. A diplomat and a co-author of The Federalist Papers.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice was founded as the only liberal arts college in the U.S.


Whiskey Rebellion

A civil insurrection in 1794 that was put down by military force by President George Washington, thereby confirming the power of the new national government.

After the American Revolution, many states were led in debt and Alexander Hamilton suggested to impose tax on whiskey which caused the Whiskey Rebellion (with farmers)


Chrisholm v. Georgia (1793)

A Supreme Court case that allowed U.S. citizens to bring a lawsuit against states in which they did not reside; overturned by the 11th Amendment in 1789.

In Chrisholm v. Georgia, in a 4-to-1 decision, the Court ruled for the plaintiff, reasoning that Article 3, Section 2, of the Constitution abrogated the states’ sovereign immunity and granted federal courts the affirmative power to hear disputes between private citizens and states.


11th Amendment

An amendment adopted in 1789 protecting states from being sued in federal court by a citizen of a different state or country.

The 11th Amendment was adopted after Chrisholm v. Georgia.


John Marshall

The longest serving Supreme Court chief justice, Marshall served from 1801 to 1035. Marshall's decision in Marbury v. Madison (1803) established the principle of judicial review in the U.S.

John Marshall was guided by a strong commitment to judicial power and by a belief in the supremacy of national over state legislatures


judicial review

Power of the courts to review acts of other branches of government and the states.

During the judicial review, the judge considered all of the evidence that had been presented to the lower court judge.


Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Case in which the Supreme Court first asserted the power of judicial review by finding that part of the congressional statue extending the Court's original jurisdiction was unconstitutional.

In Marbury v. Madison, John Marshall expanded that a writ of mandamus was the proper way to seek a remedy, but concluded the Court could not issue it and established the principal of judicial review.


trial court

Court of original jurisdiction where cases begin.

Illinois Central District Court is the federal trial court which serves the forty-six counties in the heart of Illinois.


appellate court

Court that generally reviews only findings of law made by lower courts.

There are 13 total appellate courts under the Supreme Court.


constitutional (or Article 3) courts

Federal courts specifically created by the U.S. Constitution or by Congress pursuant to its authority in Article 3.

Constitutional courts usually deal with cases involving the constitutional law their main authority is to rule on whether laws that are challenged are unconstitutional, whether they conflict with constitutionally established rules, rights, and freedoms, among other things.


legislative courts

Courts established by Congress for specialized purposes, such as the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Legislative courts are also known as "special courts" because they were created by congressional action.



A document containing the legal written arguments in a case filed with a court by a party prior to a hearing or trial.

Policy briefs advocate a certain position or describe a policy issue AND the options available.



A prior judicial decision that serves as a rule for setting subsequent cases of a similar nature.

An example of precedent is the legal decision in Brown v. Board of Education guiding future laws about desegregation


stare decisis

In court rulings, a reliance on past decisions or precedents to formulate decisions in new cases.

Under the doctrine of stare decisis, a lower court must honor findings of law made by a higher court that is within the appeals path of cases the court hears.


senatorial courtesy

A process by which presidents generally allow senators from the state in which a judicial vacancy occurs to block a nomination by simply registering their objection.

Senatorial courtesy plays an important role in appointing official positions and has the power to make or break a nomination.


Sandra Day O'Connor

An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1981-2005 who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the first woman to serve on the court.

Sandra Day O'Connor was a result of President Ronald Reagan's campaign promise to appoint the first female onto the court.


Elena Kagan

An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, appointed by a President Barack Obama in 2009 while she was serving as solicitor general in his administration.

Barack Obama chose Elena to serve as the fourth woman on the higher court after Justice John Paul Steven's retirement.


writ of certiorari

A request for the Supreme Court to order up the records from a lower court to review the case.

To grant a writ of certiorari, 4 of the 9 justices must vote yes.


Rule of Four

At least four justices of the Supreme Court must vote to consider a case before it can be heard.

The rule of four is used to determine whether writ of certiorari will be granted or denied.


Solicitor General

The fourth-ranking member of the Department of Justice; responsible for handling nearly all appeals on behalf of the U.S. government to the Supreme Court.

Noel Francisco is the solicitor general of the U.S. as of 2019


amicus curiae

"Friend of the court"; amicus may file briefs or even appear to argue their interests orally before the court.

The amicus briefs urged the court to consider a reduction in the defendant's murder sentence.


plurality opinion

A type of judicial opinion, the reasoning of which is agreed by fewer than a majority of judges on a court; although it resolve the particular case, the opinion does not establish a binding precedent.

A plurality opinion is in certain legal systems the opinion from a group of judges, often in an appellate court, in which no single opinion supports a majority of the court.


concurring opinion

A type of judicial opinion issued by a minority of judges on a court who agree with the outcome of a case, but wishes to express different legal reasoning.

A concurrence can transform a majority opinion into a plurality.


dissenting opinion

A type of judicial opinion issued by a minority of judges on a court who disagree with the outcome of a case and wish to explain their legal reasoning.

Any dissenting opinion shall accompany the majority decision.


Judicial restraint

A philosophy of decision making that posits courts should allow the decisions of other branches of government to stand, even when they offend a judge's own principles.

Gibbons v Ogden showed judicial restraint as the court ruled that Congress could interfere in interstate commerce.


judicial activism

A philosophy of judicial decision making that posits judges should use their power broadly to further justice.

In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court determined that a Texas law criminalizing abortion was unconstitutional therefore, these facts should not appear in a legal decision.


strict constructionist

An approach to constitutional interpretation that emphasizes interpreting the Constitution as it was originally written and intended by the Framers.

In Scott v Sandford showed that the decision was wrong because it was based off of "personal opinions" and judges should be strict constructionist.


judicial implementation

How and whether judicial decisions are translated into actual public policies affecting more than the immediate parties to a lawsuit.

The success of judicial implementation depends on how well crafted or popular it is.