Pt 2: Chapter 14 Vocab Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Pt 2: Chapter 14 Vocab Deck (17):

A separate opinion written by a Supreme Court justice who cites with the majority in the decision on a case but who disagrees with their reasoning

Concurring opinion


A vote of the Supreme Court in a particular case that indicates which party the justices side with and by how large a margin



The opinion of a justice in a Supreme Court case that explains his or her reasons for disagreeing with the majority's decision

Dissenting opinion


The relevant circumstances of a legal dispute or offense as determined by a trial court. The facts of a case are crucial because they help determine which law or laws are applicable in the case

Facts (of a court case)


The doctrine that the courts should develop new legal principles when judges see a compelling need, even if this action places run in conflict with precedent or the policy decisions of elected officials

Judicial activism


The doctrine that the judiciary should broadly defer to precedent and the judgement of legislatures. It claims that the job of judges is to work within the confines of laws set down by tradition and lawmaking majorities

Judicial restraint


The power of courts to decide whether a governmental instruction has acted within its constitutional powers and, if not, to declare its action null and void

Judicial review


A given court's authority to hear cases of a particular kind. Jurisdiction may be original or appellate.

Jurisdiction (of a court)


A method of interpreting the Constitution that emphasizes the principles it embodies and their application to changing circumstances and needs

Living constitution theory


A court opinion that results when a majority of the justices is in agreement on the legal basis of the decision

Majority opinion


A court's written explanation of its decision, which serves to inform others of the legal basis for the decision. SC opinions are expected to guide the decision of lower courts

Opinion (of a court)


The authority of a given court to be the first court to hear a case

Original jurisdiction


A method of interpreting the Constitution that emphasizes the meaning of its words at the time they were written

Originalism theory


A court opinion that results when a majority of justices agrees on a decision in a case but do not agree on the legal basis for the decision. In this instance, the legal position held by most of the justices on the winning side is called this

Plurality opinion


A judicial decision that serves as a rule for settling subsequent cases of a similar natures



Permission granted by a higher court to allow a losing party in a legal case to bring the case before it for ruling. When it is requested of the US Supreme Court, four of the 9 justices must agree to accept the case before it is this

Writ of certiorari


The authority of a given court to review cases that have already been tried in lower courts and are appealed to it by the losing party

Appellate jurisdiction