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How the Supreme Court Shapes Public Policy

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How the Supreme Court Shapes Public Policy – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: How the Supreme Court Shapes Public Policy


1
How theSupreme CourtShapesPublic Policy
2
How Is Policy Made In U.S.?
3 ways
1st
  • Congress
  • Passes laws
  • Passes appropriations bills
  • President
  • Carries out laws
  • Draws up national budget

2nd
3
How Is Policy Made In U.S.?
3rd
  • The Supreme Court
  • Uses judicial review to determine
    constitutionality
  • Interprets the meaning of laws
  • Overrules or reverses its previous decisions

4
Judicial Review
  • The power to examine the laws and actions of
    local, state and national governments and to
    cancel them if they violate the Constitution.
  • Marbury v. Madison 1803

5
Judicial Review
  • Throughout U.S. history, the Supreme Court has
    only ruled about 200 federal laws
    unconstitutional.
  • But each of these 200 cases had a major impact
    on public policy.

6
Judicial Review
  • The Supreme Court has ruled over 1000 state and
    local laws to be unconstitutional.
  • This power to review state and local laws has
    been felt most strongly in the area of civil
    rights.
  • Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka
    (1954)
  • Miranda vs. Arizona (1966)

Examples
7
Interpretation of Laws
  • Congress often uses very general language in
    writing laws. This leaves it up to the President
    or Supreme Court to apply the law to a specific
    situation.

8
Interpretation of Laws
Example
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • (Using general language, this law prohibits
    discrimination on the basis of disability in
    places of public accommodation)
  • Therefore, the PGA has to provide accommodations
    for disabled spectators.
  • But does the PGA have to provide accommodations
    for disabled players?

?
9
Interpretation of Laws
Example
PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin (2001)
  • Court ruled PGA must accommodate Casey Martin by
    allowing him to ride in a golf cart during the
    tournament.
  • This ruling could affect players
  • in many different kinds of sports.

Casey Martin
10
Interpretation of Laws
Example
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • (Prohibited discrimination based on race, color,
    or national origin.)
  • Supreme Court required schools to provide
    special instruction in English to immigrant
    students and this became the basis for classes
    taught in Spanish.

Lau v. Nichols (1974)
11
Interpretation of Laws
  • In the end, the Supreme Court decides what
    Congress meant when it passed a law.
  • The impact of the Supreme Courts rulings are
    felt across the nation.

12
Overturning Earlier Decisions
Stare Decisis
  • Latin let the decision stand
  • Once the Supreme Court rules on a case, the
    decision becomes a precedent on which to base
    other decisions.
  • This makes the law predictable.

13
Overturning Earlier Decisions
  • Justices are appointed for life but not forever.
  • As justices die or retire, new justices may have
    a different opinion on an issue.
  • Times change and the Court may shift its position
    over time.

14
Limits on Types of Cases
  • The Supreme Court will only hear cases that meet
    certain criteria
  • The decision must make a difference.
  • The person or group bringing the case must have
    suffered real harm.
  • The case must involve a substantial question.
  • The Court refuses to deal with political
    questions.

15
Limited Control Over Agenda
  • Always remember
  • The Supreme Court cannot create the cases. It
    can only react to cases brought before the Court.
  • The Supreme Court has no enforcement power.

1st
2nd
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