Salerno's Classroom Celebrates America!
AP Chapter 10
AP Government Summer Assignment
AP Chapters 1,2
AP Chapter 3
AP Chapter 4
AP Chapter 5
AP Chapter 6
AP Chapter 7
AP Chapter 8
AP Chapter 9
AP Chapter 10
AP Chapter 11
AP Chapter 12
AP Chapter 13
AP Chapter 14
AP Chapter 15
AP Chapter 16
U.S. History Chapters 1, 2, 3
U.S. History Chapter 4
U.S. History Chapter 5
U.S. History Chapter 6
U.S. History Chapter 7
U.S. History Chapter 8
U.S. History Chapter 9
U.S. History Chapter 10
U.S. History Chapter 11
U.S. History Chapter 12
U.S. History Chapter 13
U.S. History Chapter 14
U.S. History Chapters 16,17,18
U.S. History Chapters 19,20,21
U.S. History Chapters 22,23
U.S. History Chapters 24,25
U.S. History Chapters 26,27
U.S. History Chapters 28,29,30
U.S. History Chapter 31
U.S. History Chapter 32
U.S. History Chapter 33
US Government Chapters 1,2
US Government Chapter 3
US Government Chapters 10,11,12
US Government Chapters 13,14
US Government Chapter 18
US Govt Chapters 19,20,21
Remembering 9/11/01
The Civil Rights Movement
Economics Chapters 1,2,3
Eco Chapt 9
Eco Chapters 6,7,8
Eco Chapt 13
Eco Chapter 15
Eco Chapt 21

Chapter 10

The System of Justice


The Judicial Branch - Courts


From England       *Common Law

                  *stare decisis

(let the decision stand)    


    *statutory law        



Civil Cases - concerned with relations between individuals or   between organizations


Criminal Cases - against public order


A unified, orderly judiciary’s purpose was originally thought to

strengthen the new federal government which was weak under the Articles of Confederation.


New government needed a high court to interpret and apply the law.




The Supreme Court - stands as the last resort in answering any questions and all questions involving Federal Law and the Constitution.


        *The Final Authority*


Miller v Johnson (1995)

Race cannot be a factor in Georgia redistricting ( v affirmative action)


Capitol Square v Pinette(1995) Review Board

Columbus Ohio- Klan was allowed to demonstrate.......


but cross burnings and dummy

lynching are prohibited (2002)


US v Nixon (1974)

Executive privilege is allowed until it obstructs justice.  (tapes)



Power of Judicial Review

Marbury v Madison (1803)


Marbury sought a writ of mandamus, forcing James Madison to deliver his appointment.


Result -

Marshall's 3 principles were           established


1)       The Constitution is the Supreme law of the land.


2)       legislative enactments are subordinate


3)       Judges are sworn at all cost to uphold the law.



The President appoints all federal judges subject to the confirmation of the Senate.


Term - Judges of Constitutional Courts are appointed for life, removed only through the impeachment process.

Supreme Court Justices are appointed to life-time terms on the bench

Federalist 78 - Alexander Hamilton


Litmus test

Measuring stick;

a test of ideological purity




The Court has both appellate and original jurisdiction.

1) hears controversies between 2 or more states

2) all cases against ambassadors and public ministers



4-5000 cases reach the court each year but only 120 cases are heard


They are returned REMAND to the lower courts for reconsideration.


Cases may reach through

1) appeal - petition by a party asking the court to review a lower courts decision


2) certiorari - the Supreme Court directs the lower court to send up records of a case because of an error.  Writ of Certiorari


3) certification - when the lower court is not clear on law and asks for help.


Court is in session 9 months a year

6 justices make up a quorum



A brief

    The legal argument in a case


amicus curiae briefs

friend of the court attempting to influence the court’s decision


Majority Opinion - a majority decision.  A justice writes for the majority.  8-1, 7-2.


Dissenting Opinion – disagreeing with the majority opinion


Concurring Opinion – justices who agree or disagree with different reasons


Per Curiam Opinion

An opinion that is short in brevity and unsigned



Supreme Court

                                                   Chief Justice


John Paul Stevens                  John Roberts                Antonin Scalia

Ruth Bader Ginsberg               

David Souter                            Clarence Thomas

Stephen Breyer                         Anthony Kennedy           Sam Alito





Judicial Activism v Judicial Restraint




Judicial Implementation

How and whether the court’s decisions are translated into actual policy


Enduring Question

Should the Supreme Court play and active, creative role in shaping our destiny?


The Supreme Court is the final authority over Constitution and federal law….however

A Court’s decision

    Chisolm v Georgia (1795)


Was reversed by the Eleventh Amend.

Permitting an individual to sue a state in a federal court.



Dred Scott v Sanford (1857)

Reversed by Fourteenth Amendment




The Court’s restraint in the

19th century


Anti-Trust Suits              

Labor Strife              Laissez-faire



Plessy v Ferguson (1896)






The New Deal

FDR and Court Packing-

leave conservatism behind         

"maximize" court to 15 members




The Warren Court (1953-1969)


 Baker v Carr (1962)

 Wesberry v Sanders (1964)



 Brown v Board of Ed (1954)


-right to Of the Accused- counsel

 Mapp v Ohio (1961)


 Gideon v Wainwright (1963)

    in forma pauperis


Miranda v Arizona (1966)

 Escobedo v Illinois (1967)






The Burger Court  (1969-1986)


Chief Justice Warren E. Burger

Nixon's appointments were intended to be conservative in nature

           "strict constructionist"


(Nixon 4 judges,  Ford 1 Judge)

a majority


 re-defined the 4th Amendment (exclusionary rule)


 re-defined the Miranda Rule


 restored the death penalty




*Justice Harry Blackmun

Roe v Wade (1973)


  -promoted desegregation


-allowed the publishing of the     Pentagon Papers


-defined speech


-US v Nixon


-First Women







The Rehnquist Court

William Rehnquist (1986- 05)


7 out of nine justices were appointed by Republican Presidents


Conservative in Nature?




Hazelwood School District

v Kuhlmeier (1988)

-allowed a school to censor its    newspaper



California v Greenwood (1988)

allows for the searching without a warrant for evidence found in trash





Hustler Magazine v Falwell (1988)

-declined to curb criticism on public figures



US v Eichman

(1990)       Flag burning

US v Haggerty



Simon and Schuster v

NYS Crime Victims Board (1991)

Struck down "Son of Sam" Law



The Roberts Court ??


Article III created the Supreme Court



-Court sits in session from

October to June


-Congress created the lower federal courts (Judiciary Act of 1789)


-Its size (9 members fixed in 1869)


-Congress can control the

Supreme Courts' Jurisdiction

(11,14,16,26 Amendments were ratified in spite of former SC decisions)




-Other attempts for Amendments

(abortion, school prayer, )


-Congress has passed civil rights laws that have overturned

civil rights decisions


Chief Justice, if in majority, assigns the writing of the opinion


Dual Court System


Two types of Federal Courts


a) Constitutional Courts- federal courts created under Article III,

Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of International Trade, District Courts


b) Special Courts- do not exercise broad judicial power of the United States.  They are a narrower range.

Court of Military Appeals, Claims Court, Tax Court, Territorial Courts, Courts of District of Columbia



Constitutional Courts


Jurisdiction-the power to say the law


Subject matter

a)       any federal statute or provision of the Constitution

b)       maritime law


Federal Courts hear cases involving

1) the U.S. or an official

2)       Ambassador or consul to foreign government or its representative

3) State v State (11th Amendment)

4)       citizens of one state suing another

5)       American citizen suing a foreign government or one of its subjects

6) Land grants


exclusive jurisdiction- cases can only be heard in a Federal Court


concurrent jurisdiction - where cases can be tried in both courts

eg. cases that can be tried on state level.


District Courts

approximately 650 judges handle 300,000 cases per year

(90% case load)


91 District Courts were created by Congress in 1789.




-50 states - 89 judicial districts

 - 1 court in D.C.

 - 1 court in Puerto Rico



Appeals Court - created in 1891


12 Courts of Appeals(circuits)


11 Judicial circuits - 50 states

1 - District of Columbia


each circuit 4-23 judges

-about 179 circuit court judges



The decisions heard in these courts are final.


They also hear cases for the Court of International Trade, and the US Claims Court.



State Judicial System


NYS Court of Appeals

NYS Supreme Court

Westchester County Court

City Court - New Rochelle


The People of NY v Salerno






Grand Jury - hears evidence and decides if there is enough to indict





Petit Jury - actual trial by Jury




Civil Cases


Plaintiff - files a suit in court

To sue, you must have standing

(entitled to start a law suit)




Defendant - may move it to the Federal Level.


Fee Shifting

The winner of a civil suit does not pay for court costs.


Class-Action Suit

A Case that is brought to court on behalf of the plaintiff and for others with a similar circumstance.


Case against the United States

(sovereign immunity)cannot sue without the government’s consent






Special Courts


The US Claims Court - the government cannot be sued without its consent

(sovereign immunity)

function is to hear claims against the US Government

16 judges are appointed by the President and Senate for 15 year terms


Territorial Courts-  courts created by Congress for the nation's territories,  Virgin Islands, Guam, North Mariana Islands


District of Columbia- has both a Federal District and an Appellate District Court.


Military Court of Appeals- 1 Chief Judge, 2 associates, appointed for 15 year terms.  Court Martial, serious convictions.


US Tax Court- hears tax cases involving tax laws.  12 year terms.





Court Officers- Each Federal Court (91) has a Magistrate, a court officer who handles a number of legal matters once dealt with by the judges themselves.  They : issue warrants, hear evidence that decides grand jury presentation; set bail in federal criminal cases; try minor offenses


Bankruptcy Judge - for each federal judicial district.


US Attorney - their assistants are responsible for prosecution of all persons charged with Federal Crimes

-They represent the US in all civil actions brought by or against the government in their district.


US Marshall - serves each district court.  They are appointed for 4 year terms.  They make arrests, serve papers, and keep courtroom order and execute court orders.

They serve the Attorney General and are officials of the Department of Justice





The Department of Justice

Headed by the Attorney General

About 73,500 employees


Its function is to provide legal advice to the President and the heads of the vast executive department.


-   Represents the US in court-

(suits v US)


-   Handles Anti-Trust violations


-   US Property cases

(land grants, acquisitions)


-   Tax Division


-   Civil Rights Division-    discrimination


-   Immigration and Naturalization Service(administers and enforces immigration laws)



**Organized Crime

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)


Enabled law enforcement to use wiretapping and established a witness protection program




FBI  - Involving Federal violations and Federal Criminal Law


-   DEA - Federal Narcotics Violations





- Bureau of Prisons - Penal System

Federal and State