chapter 4-5 Government Political Law And Court Case

This chapter covers Government Political Law And Court Case.

trial court

the first court to hear a criminal or civil case

appellate court

The part of the judicial system that is responsible for hearing and reviewing appeals from legal cases that have already been heard in a trial-level or other lower court

judicial review

the power of the courts to review and, if necessary, declare actions of the legislative and executive branches invalid or unconstitutional; Supreme court asserted this in Marbury v. Madison


the sphere of a court’s power and authority


the county or place where the jury is gathered and the cause tried; the designation, in the pleading, of the jurisdiction where a trial will be held]

private law

a branch of the law that deals with the relations between individuals or institutions, rather than relations between these and the government

public law

the law of relationships between individuals and the government

in personam

made or availing against or affecting a specific person only; imposing a personal liability

in rem

made or availing against or affecting a thing, and therefore other people generally; imposing a general liability


the individual or organization that brings a complaint in court


the one against whom a complaint is brought in a criminal or civil case

legislative court

courts created by legislature, other than courts created by constitution; set up for some specialized purpose

US marshal

U.S. federal law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice; oldest American federal law enforcement agency; created by the Judiciary Act of 1789

solicitor general

the top government lawyer in all cases before the Supreme Court where the government is a party

US attorney

acting under the direction of the Attorney General, who enforces federal laws within his or her jurisdiction and represents the federal government in civil and criminal cases; appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a term of four years


a civil officer or lay judge who administers the law, especially one who conducts a court that deals with minor offenses and holds preliminary hearings for more serious ones

panel decision

decision made by a select groups of judges

en banc

a session where a case is heard before all the judges of a court – in other words, before the entire bench – rather than by a panel selected from them

oral argument

spoken to a judge or appellate court by a lawyer (or parties when representing themselves) of the legal reasons why they should prevail; accompanies written briefs at the appellate level

writ of certiorari

“to be informed of, or to be made certain in regard to” -name given to certain appellate proceedings for re-examination of actions of a trial court, or inferior appeals court


written document in which attorney explains, using case precedents, why the court should find in favor of their client

senatorial courtesy

the practice whereby the president, before formally nominating a person for a federal judgeship, seeks the indication that senators from the candidate’s own state support the nomination


prior case whose principles are used by judges as the basis for their decision in a present case

cert pool

a mechanism by which the U.S. Supreme Court manages the influx of petitions for certiorari to the court.; instituted in 1973, as one of the institutional reforms of Chief Justice Warren E. Burger

discuss list

a list of cases brought before the Supreme Court which are to be examined further by the Court

rule of fours

a Supreme Court of the United States practice that permits four of the nine justices to grant a writ of certiorari

amicus curiae briefs

“friend of the court”
-a person or group who is not a party to a lawsuit, but has a strong interest in the matter, will petition the court for permission to submit a brief in the action with the intent of influencing the court’s decision

majority opinion

a judicial opinion agreed to by more than half of the members of a court

dissent opinion

an opinion in a legal case written by one or more judges expressing disagreement with the majority opinion of the court which gives rise to its judgment

plurality opinion

opinion from a group of judges, often in an appellate court, in which no single opinion received the support of a majority of the court; did not receive the support of more than half the justices, but received more support than any other opinion

judicial restraint

judicial philosophy whose adherents refuse to go beyond the clear words of the constitution in interpreting the document’s meaning

judicial passivism

believes in neither restraint nor activism; courts should uphold all laws unless they are unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt

judicial activism

judicial philosophy that posits that the court should go beyond the words of the constitution or a statute to consider the broader societal implications of its decisions

civil law

the branch of law that deals with disputes that do not involve criminal penalties

criminal law

the branch of law that regulates the conduct of individuals, defines crimes, and specifies punishment for criminal acts

common law

law made through court precedent rather than legislative enactments

stare decisis

“let the decision stand”
-the doctrine that a previous decision by a court applies as a precedent in similar cases until the decision is overruled


Amendment-The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State

Judiciary act of 1789

United States federal statute adopted on September 24, 1789, in the first session of the First United States Congress.; established the federal judiciary of the United States

Marbury v. Madison

1803: establishes judicial review as a check on legislative power. Marshall: If the constitution is the supreme law of the land, something must ensure laws are in accordance with it. Judgment against commission.

Hopwood v. University of Texas

1996: Supreme Court case in which 2 white students sued University of Texas School of Law because they were allegedly denied admission because of the school’s affirmative action program; challenged the Bakke decision; use of race even as a means of achieving diversity on college campuses “undercuts the 14th Amendment”


the complex structure of offices, tasks, rules, and principles of organization that are employed by all large-scale institutions to coordinate the work of their personnel

spoils system

the practice of a successful political party giving public office to its supporters

civil service system

The system created by civil service laws by which many appointments to the federal bureaucracy are made.

independent executive agency

agencies that exist outside of the federal executive departments (those headed by a Cabinet secretary)

great society

a domestic program in the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson that instituted federally sponsored social welfare programs

“revolving door”

a movement of personnel between roles as legislators and regulators and the industries affected by the legislation and regulation

new deal

a series of domestic programs enacted in the United States between 1933 and 1938, and a few that came later. They included both laws passed by Congress as well as presidential executive orders during the first term (1933-37) of President Franklin D. Roosevelt

independent regulatory agency

a regulatory agency that is independent from other branches or arms of the government

government corporation

government agency that performs a market-oriented public service and raises revenues to fund its activities


a government-subsidized public corporation created by Congress in 1970 to operate a national intercity passenger railroad system through contracts with existing railroads


Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is an independent agency of the United States (U.S.) federal government that preserves public confidence in the banking system by insuring deposits


Tennessee Valley Authority: a three-member board, created in 1933, charged with developing the Tennessee River and its tributaries to promote their use for inexpensive electric power, irrigation, flood control, navigation

enabling statute

A law that permits what was previously prohibited or that creates new. powers; esp. a congressional statute conferring powers on an executive. agency to carry out various delegated acts


the efforts of departments and agencies to translate laws into specific bureaucratic rules and actions

iron triangle

the stable, cooperative relationship that often develops among a congressional committee, an administrative agency, and one or more supportive interest groups

issue networks

looses networks of elected leaders, public officials, activists, and interest groups drawn together by a specific policy issue


a rule or directive made and maintained by an authority

procedural rules

the rules by which a court hears and determines what happens in civil lawsuit, criminal or administrative proceedings

substantive rules

laws that define rights and duties, such as crimes and punishments (in the criminal law), civil rights and responsibilities in civil law


creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened


acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it


amendment that allows the federal US government to collect an income tax from all Americans

civil service reform act/ Pendleton act

Reform measure that created the Civil Service Commission to administer a partial merit system. The act classified the federal service by grades, to which appointments were made based on the results of a competitive examination. It made it illegal for federal political appointees to be required to contribute to a particular political party

political activities act of 1939/ hatch act

Law enacted in 1939 to prohibit civil servants from taking activist roles in partisan campaigns. This act prohibited federal employees from making political contributions, working for a particular party, or campaigning for a particular candidate

federal employees political activities act

1993 liberalization of the Hatch Act. Federal employees are now allowed to run for office in non-partisan elections and to contribute money to campaigns in partisan elections