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The Judicial Branch


The Judicial Branch Lower Courts, Supreme Court Judicial Branch The Constitution establishes a Supreme Court the top of the American judicial system. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch
  • Lower Courts, Supreme Court

Judicial Branch
  • The Constitution establishes a Supreme Court
    the top of the American judicial system.
  • Article III of the Constitution describes the
    Judicial Branch.
  • The Constitution also authorized Congress to
    establish any other courts that are needed
  • Under the Judiciary Act of 1789, Congress set up
    the system of federal courts that is still in
    place today

Lower Courts
  • Most cases begin in district court where evidence
    is presented and a jury or judge decides the
    facts of the case.
  • A party that disagrees with the decisions may
    appeal it ask the decision to be reviewed by a
    higher court.
  • Next level is the appellate court where the judge
    reviews decisions of district courts to make sure
    the right decision was made.

Supreme Court
  • The Court is made up of a Chief Justice and eight
    Associate Justices
  • Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
  • Justices John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia,
    Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader
    Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Sonia
  • The President appoints the justices but Congress
    must approve the appointment
  • Justices serve for life
  • The main job of the Court is to serve as the
    nations final court of appeals

Supreme Court Contd
  • Hears and decides fewer than 100 cases per year
  • Usually involve federal laws
  • The justices hear oral argument and then vote
    must have the majority of at least 5 justices.
  • Greatest power is to decide what the Constitution
  • Declare whether acts of the President or laws
    passed by Congress are unconstitutional not
    allowed under the Constitution

  • Refers to the right of a court to hear a case
  • Federal courts have jurisdiction over cases that
    involve the Constitution, federal laws, treaties,
    foreign ambassadors and diplomats, naval and
    maritime laws, disagreements between states, and
    disputes between a state or citizen and a foreign
    state or citizen
  • In Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court
    established the right to judge whether or not a
    law is constitutional
  • Called Judicial Review

Historic Supreme Court Cases
  • McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) -- A conflict arose
    between a state government and the Federal
    government, with the state government being
    declared subordinate to the Federal government
    where laws conflict.
  • Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) -- Slaves were
    classified as property. This case fueled the
    flames that began the Civil War

  • Schenck v. United States (1919) -- "Clear and
    Present Danger" was established in this case as
    an acceptable reason for the limiting of free
  • Powell v. Alabama (1932) -- The Supreme Court
    ruled here that the right to counsel was required
    by law in death penalty trials.
  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) -- A
    tremendous step in the direction of equal rights
    for all citizens. Separate but equal is no longer

  • NAACP v. Alabama (1958) -- Freedom of association
    (the right to assemble in groups) was protected
  • Miranda v. Arizona (1966)- that a person accused
    has the warning that statements given can and
    will be used against you in a court of law
  • Roe v. Wade (1973) -- In this highly
    controversial case the Supreme Court laid down
    what states can and cannot control in regards to