Ch 13: The Federal Judicial System

About This Chapter

Watch online political science video lessons to learn about federal court jurisdiction, the selection of Supreme Court justices, interest group litigation strategies and more. These video lessons are short and engaging and make learning easy!

The Federal Judicial System - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Get some insight into the function of the federal judicial system with the lessons in this chapter. Our instructor shows you which types of cases reach the Supreme Court and delves into theories explaining constitutional interpretation. Lessons included here might also prove useful if you'd like to examine the effect of justices' decisions on public policy or investigate the litigation strategies of interest groups looking to change it. After finishing this chapter, you should be familiar with the following:

  • Structure of the federal court system
  • Jurisdiction of federal district and appeals courts
  • Steps in the judicial decision-making process
  • Limitations on Supreme Court power

Video Objective
The State Court System of the United States: Definition & Structure Identify the structure and jurisdiction of state court systems.
The Power of the Federal Judiciary: Sources & Consequences Discuss different theories of judicial interpretation of the Constitution. Assess the courts' ability to make policy through judicial review and judicial activism.
The Federal Court System of the United States: Definition, Structure & Levels Describe the structure and function of the U.S. District Court, U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Get an introduction to some of the special U.S. Courts.
Judicial Decision Making: Steps & Participants Learn the steps court cases go through before being appealed to the Supreme Court. Explain the decision making involved at each level.
Constitutional Checks & Balances on the Power of the Supreme Court: Definition & Examples Identify major checks and balances on Supreme Court power.
Original Versus Appellate Jurisdiction: Definition & Differences Examine the limitations of federal jurisdiction. Differentiate between original and appellate jurisdiction.
The Selection of Supreme Court Justices and Federal Judges: Process & Tenure Explain the selection process and tenure of Supreme Court justices and federal judges.
Interest Group Litigation Strategies: Ways to Influence Policy Discuss interest groups' use of strategic litigation as a means of influencing policy.

8 Lessons in Chapter 13: The Federal Judicial System
The State Court System of the United States: Definition & Structure

1. The State Court System of the United States: Definition & Structure

The United States has two separate court systems: the federal and the state. Each state has its own set of state courts. This lesson explains state courts, including the structure and jurisdiction of state court systems.

The Power of the Federal Judiciary: Sources & Consequences

2. The Power of the Federal Judiciary: Sources & Consequences

Federal judges and Supreme Court justices make their decisions using different rationales and theories. This lesson explores the power of the federal judiciary, including a discussion of judicial review and judicial activism.

The Federal Court System of the United States: Definition, Structure & Levels

3. The Federal Court System of the United States: Definition, Structure & Levels

The United States has two separate court systems: the federal and the state. This lesson explores the federal court system of the Unites States, including its structure and jurisdiction.

Judicial Decision Making: Steps & Participants

4. Judicial Decision Making: Steps & Participants

A case will go through several steps before it can reach the U.S. Supreme Court. This lesson explains the participants, steps, and decision making involved in the appellate process. We will examine how a case can end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Constitutional Checks & Balances on the Power of the Supreme Court: Definition & Examples

5. Constitutional Checks & Balances on the Power of the Supreme Court: Definition & Examples

Our federal government is divided into three branches. Each of the three branches holds certain checks and balances on the other two branches. This lesson explores the major checks and balances on the power of the United States Supreme Court.

Original Versus Appellate Jurisdiction: Definition & Differences

6. Original Versus Appellate Jurisdiction: Definition & Differences

Federal courts can have either original jurisdiction or appellate jurisdiction. Some courts have both types of jurisdiction. This lesson explains the difference between original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction in the federal court system.

The Selection of Supreme Court Justices and Federal Judges: Process & Tenure

7. The Selection of Supreme Court Justices and Federal Judges: Process & Tenure

All federal judges are appointed by the United States President, and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, including the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. This lesson explains the process of selecting federal judges and their tenure once selected.

Interest-Group Litigation Strategies: Ways to Influence Policy

8. Interest-Group Litigation Strategies: Ways to Influence Policy

Interest groups achieve their goals through a number of different ways. One strategy uses litigation in order to influence policy. This lesson explains the use of litigation by interest groups.

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