About This Chapter
The Judicial Branch of the US Government - Chapter Summary
If you need an overview of the judicial branch of the U.S. government, you're in the right place. This convenient chapter includes a series of short lesson that break down the different types of U.S. court systems, the power of the Supreme Court, the process of selecting federal judges and other relevant topics. Each lesson comes with a short quiz to help you check your understanding of key terms and concepts. You can review the chapter material on any Internet-connected device, or you can print the included lesson transcripts to study offline. When you're finished with the chapter, you should be able to:
- Compare the different types of courts in the court system
- Outline the structure of the federal and state court systems
- Describe the sources of the federal judiciary's power
- Recognize the steps of the judicial decision-making process
- Understand how constitutional checks and balances affect the Supreme Court's power
- Differentiate between original and appellate jurisdiction
- Summarize the process of selecting federal judges and Supreme Court justices
- Explain how interest group litigation influences policy
1. The Court System: Trial, Appellate & Supreme Court
There are three separate levels of courts in our legal system, each serving a different function. Trial courts settle disputes as the first court of instance, appellate courts review cases moved up from trial courts and supreme courts hear cases of national importance or those appealed in the court of appeals.
2. The 3 Levels of the Federal Court System: Structure and Organization
The federal court system has three main levels: U.S. District Court, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Each level of court serves a different legal function for both civil and criminal cases.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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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