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Flashcards in baron's Deck (35):
1

The power of a court to refuse to enforce a law or government regulation that in the opinion of the judges conflicts with the U.S. Constitution or, in a state court, the state constitution.

Judicial review

2

A judicial system in which the court of law is a neutral arena where two parties argue their differences.

Adversary system

3

A law that defines crimes against the public order.

Criminal law

4

A law that governs relationships between individuals and defines their legal rights.

Civil law

5

A dispute growing out of an actual case or controversy and that is capable of settlement by legal methods.

Justiciable dispute

6

In a criminal action, the person or party accused of an offense.

defendent

7

Agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser offense to avoid having to stand trial for a more serious offense.

Plea bargain

8

Arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys.

Public defender system

9

The authority of a court to hear a case “in the first instance.”

Original jurisdiction

10

The authority of a court to review decisions made by lower courts.

Appellate jurisdiction

11

A court with appellate jurisdiction that hears appeals from the decisions of lower courts.

Court of appeals

12

A decision made by a higher court such as a circuit court of appeals or the Supreme Court that is binding on all other federal courts.

precedent

13

A court order requiring explanation to a judge why a prisoner is being held in custody.

Writ of habeas corpus

14

Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.

Senatorial courtesy

15

Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect what the framers intended and what its words literally say.

Judicial restraint

16

Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect current conditions and values.

Judicial activism

17

The rule of precedent, whereby a rule or law contained in a judicial decision is commonly viewed as binding on judges whenever the same question is presented.

Stare decisis

18

A formal writ used to bring a case before the Supreme Court.

Writ of certiorari

19

The list of potential cases that reach the Supreme Court.

Docket

20

Literally, a “friend of the court” brief, filed by an individual or organization to present arguments in addition to those presented by the immediate parties to a case.

Amicus curiae brief

21

An explanation of the decision of the Supreme Court or any other appellate court.

Opinion of the court

22

An opinion disagreeing with a majority in a Supreme Court ruling.

Dissenting opinion

23

An opinion that agrees with the majority in a Supreme Court ruling but differs on the reasoning.

Concurring opinion

24

Officer of the Senate selected by the majority party to act as chair in the absence of the vice president.

President pro tempore

25

A permanent committee established in a legislature, usually focusing on a policy area.

Standing committee

26

A congressional committee created for a specific purpose, sometimes to conduct an investigation.

Special or select committee

27

A committee composed of members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate; such committees oversee the Library of Congress and conduct investigations.

Joint committee

28

Special spending projects that are set aside on behalf of individual members of Congress for their constituents.

Earmarks

29

Those citizens who follow public affairs closely.

Attentive public

30

Petition that, if signed by majority of the House of Representatives’ members, will pry a bill from committee and bring it to the floor for consideration.

Discharge petition

31

A provision attached to a bill – to which it may or may not be related – in order to secure its passage or defeat.

Rider

32

A formal agreement between a U.S. president and the leaders of other nations that acquires approval by both houses of Congress.

Congressional-executive agreement

33

The constitutional requirement (in Article II, Section 3) that presidents take care that the laws are faithfully executed, even if they disagree with the purpose of those laws.

Take care clause

34

The tendency of presidents to lose support over time.

Cycle of decreasing influence

35

A rising public approval of the president that follows a crisis as Americans “rally ’round the flag” and the chief executive.

Rally point