Flashcards in Chapter 14 Deck (35):
An approach to judicial review holding that judges should discover the general principles underlying the Constitution and apply them to cases.
A Latin term meaning “friend of the court,” referring to interested groups or individuals, not directly involved in a suit, who may file legal briefs or oral arguments in support of one side.
A legal document submitted by lawyers to courts, setting forth the facts of a case, lower court decisions, the lawyer's argument, and the influence of other cases.
Rules defining relationships among private citizens.
class action suit
A case brought into court by a person on behalf of not only himself or herself but all other persons in similar circumstances.
An opinion by one or more justices who agree with the majority’s conclusion but for different reasons, that they wish to express.
Lower federal courts created by Congress which exercise the judicial powers laid out in Article III of the Constitution.
courts of appeals
The federal courts that have the authority to review decisions by federal district courts, regulatory commissions, and certain other federal courts. Can only hear appeals.
A body of rules defining offenses that are considered to be offenses against society as a whole.
The opinion of the justices on the losing side.
The lowest federal courts where federal cases begin. Only court where trials are held.
Jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution on federal courts to hear cases involving citizens of different states.
A doctrine holding that state and federal authorities can prosecute the same person for the same conduct, each under its own law.
federal question cases
Constitutional jurisdiction conferred to federal courts to hear all cases “arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties.”
A practice that enables plaintiffs to collect their costs from a defendant if the defendant loses.
in forma pauperis
A petition filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by an indigent person.
The right of federal courts to declare laws of Congress and acts of the executive branch void and unenforceable if they are judged to be unconstitutional.
A lower federal court created by Congress for specialized purposes, with fixed terms of office, and changeable salaries.
A test of ideological purity used by recent presidents and senators in selecting and confirming judges to nominate to federal courts.
Marbury v. Madison
A decision of the Supreme Court in 1803 which established the principle of judicial review.
McCulloch v. Maryland
A Supreme Court decision which established the authority of Congress to exercise powers implied by the Constitution, granted by the "necessary and proper" clause. Also decided the federal government was immune to state taxation.
opinion of the Court
An opinion by the Supreme Court that reflects the majority’s view.
per curiam opinion
A brief and unsigned opinion by the Supreme Court.
The party that initiates a civil lawsuit.
An issue that the Court refuses to consider because it believes that it is not their decision.
A judicial order setting forth what must be done to correct a situation a judge believes to be wrong.
Section 1983 case
A provision in the U.S. Code which allows a citizen to sue state and local government officials who have deprived the citizen of some constitutional right or withheld some benefit.
The tradition by which the Senate will not confirm a district court judge if the senator who is from that state and of the president’s party objects.
The third-ranking officer in the Justice Department, who approves every Supreme Court case and decides what cases the federal government will appeal from lower courts.
A legal concept that forbids a person from suing the government without its consent.
A legal concept that refers to who is entitled to bring a case. There must be an actual controversy between real adversaries, the person bringing suit must prove they have been wronged, Merely being a taxpayer does not entitle a person to challenge the constitutionality of a governmental action.
An informal rule of judicial decision making in which judges try to follow precedent in deciding cases. That is, a court case today should be settled in accordance with prior decisions on similar cases.
strict constructionist approach
An approach to judicial review holding that judges should confine themselves to applying only rules directly stated or clearly implied by the Constitution.
Supreme Court of the United States
The highest court in the federal judiciary, composed of 9 justices, with appellate jurisdiction over lower courts.