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Flashcards in Judiciary Deck (17):

What powers do the judicial branch have?

Their powers are stated in Article 3, Section 1 of the US Constitution.
"The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in One Supreme Court and in such inferior Courts"


Describe the composition of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is made up of 9 judges:
1 Chief Justice (The courts named after Chief Justice - The current court is Roberts Court)
8 associate judges


What powers do the Supreme Court have?

To interpret the U.S. Constitution
Judicial Review
To interpret laws to ensure they are constitutional
To ensure laws are faithfully applied
To rule on cases involving the Constitution, federal laws, treaties and disputes between States


What are the roles of the Supreme Court?

Constitutional Interpretation
Judicial Review
Judicial Activism
Judicial Restraint


What is Judicial Activism?

Decisions made by the court that depart from established precedent.
Usually they are protecting or expanding individual rights and independent or in opposition to supposed constitutional or legislative intent.
Loose Constructionist


What is judicial restraint?

A refraining in the judiciary from departure from precedent. They believe that a judge should defer decisions to the legislative and executive branches.


What is precedent?

Precedent isn't a law but is an message that sticks over time.


Explain how appointments are made to the US Supreme Court

Vacancy occurs: Due to death,retirement or impeachment of a judge
Next: A search is instigated over the nominations made (advice is collected from advisors, Congress and professional bodies and votes are collected in?


What are the limitations on the powers of the Supreme Court?

Constitutional Amendment: Supreme Court judgements can be over turned by a constitutional amendment
Precedent: Decisions are guided by previous rulings reached by lower courts
Public Opinion: Public opinion will impact upon the Court
Law Modification: Congress can modify laws which have been declared unconstitutional therefore a law will continue to play in an altered form.
Powers of initiation: The Supreme Court cannot initiate a case, cases must be brought to them.


State two examples of Judicial Review?

Plessy v Ferguson(1856): Upheld segregation as constitutional with the reference to separate but equal
U.S. v Nixon(1974): Ruled that no person not even the President is above the law. Also ruled that the President can't use executive privilege as an excuse to withhold evidence in criminal trials.


Are the Supreme Court too politically powerful?

Yes because:
Justices have life tenure
Appointed by Presidents which aim to get justices that reflect their own political views
Judicial Review
Judicial Activism


Are the Supreme Court too powerful politically?

No because:
Presidential nominations have been rejected e.g. Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork
The Supreme Court can only deal with cases that are passed to them
Supreme Court judges are constrained by precedent


What is the 14th Amendment

The constitution restricted the actions the states could take against individual citizens
It prevented states from depriving persons of life liberty or property without due process of law enabling the Court to review and strike down a wide range of state legislation


What is a loose constructionist?

They are usually liberals that tend to be appointed by Democratic Presidents
They make interpretations based on what they believe the constitution means
They favour federal government power


What is a strict constructionist?

They are usually conservative and tend to be appointed by Republican Presidents.
They have a strict/literal interpretation of the Constitution and favour states rights.


Describe a liberal view politically

A view that seeks to favour the well - being, rights and liberties of the individual and especially those who are generally disadvantaged.


Describe a conservative view politically

A view that seeks to oppose changes in the institutions and structures of society.