Political Science Final Set 3

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created 10 years ago by torbon
updated 10 years ago by torbon
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District Courts? How many are there?

The first tier of the federal judiciary where most cases are decided.

How many: 94

Every state contains @ least one and the most populous states like CA, TX and NY contain as many as 4.


How many circuit courts?



Writ of certiorari?

a formal acceptance by the supreme court to review a decision of a lower court


Original jurisdiction?

the right of the court to be the first to hear a case rather then simply review the decision of a lower court



the confidential gathering of justices in which they discuss their thoughts about the case and cast preliminary votes.


Majority opinion? Who writes majority and minor it opinion?

the written document that reflects the collective judgement of the justices who are on the majority side of a ruling.

If the chief justice is part of the majority he appoints which justice will write the majority opinion.


How does the US approach cases?

Rather than encouraging the 2 parties in the dispute to behave cooperatively, US courts encourage the parties to behave adversarially. The US adversarial system finds its historical roots in English common law, whereas inquisitorial systems of Germany and France originate in Roman law.



the requirement establishing that for a plaintiff to bring a case to court, he or she must have suffered a well defined injury that is in result of violation of the civil code.


Ripeness Doctrine?

principle by which the courts will accept only cases where the actual harm has already taken place


Common Law?

law made by judges when no legislation currently exists


Public Law?

those laws enacted by presidents and congress that define the relationship btwn. individuals *and organizations) and the state


Judicial review?

the power of the judiciary to interpret and overturn actions taken by the legislative and executive branches of gov't


Stare decisis?

the principle that judges deciding a case must carefully weigh the decisions of their predecessors in similar cases and come to the same decision if the basic elements of the case before them are the same


Judicial restraint VS. Judicial Activism

Judicial restraint: the practice judges engage in when they limit the exercise of their own power by overturning past decisions only when they are clearly unconstitutional

Judicial activism: the tendency of judges to give themselves leeway in deciding whether to abide by past court decisions , which allows them to consider possible outcomes, public opinion and their own preferences before issuing a ruling


amicus curiae?

a brief written by someone who is not a party tp a case but who submits information or an argument related to the dispute on hand


How do Judicial Appointments occur?

The president appoints judges and justices with the advice and consent of the congress.


Senatorial Courtesy?

the custom by which the senior senator from the state in which there is a district court vacancy assists the president in selecting a replacement for that seat.