Ch 8: The U.S. Judicial Branch

About This Chapter

Let us show you how the judicial branch of the U.S. government is structured and functions. Get information on the process of checks and balances and hear about important U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

The U.S. Judicial Branch - Chapter Summary

The lessons in the chapter show you about the federal judicial system, including where it gets its power. Our instructors explain the various levels of the federal court system and steps in the judicial process as well as offer insight into terms such as original and appellate jurisdiction.

You will see how the Constitution imposes checks and balances on the Supreme Court and explore the ways justices and judges are appointed. Another lesson surveys some important court cases and their impact. After watching all these lessons, you will be prepared to:

  • Explain the sources of power of the federal judicial system
  • Outline the structure and levels of the federal court system
  • Differentiate between original and appellate jurisdiction
  • Give examples of Constitutional checks and balances on the judicial system
  • Describe the steps in judicial decision making
  • Review how federal judges and Supreme Court justices are selected and how long they serve
  • Examine some landmark Supreme Court cases and their impact

These engaging video lessons are brief but informative and led by instructors who are experts in the field. Every lesson is accompanied by a multiple-choice quiz that allows you to assess your knowledge. Video timelines let you quickly go back to parts of the lesson that require further review. Need more help? You can contact the instructor with questions.

8 Lessons in Chapter 8: The U.S. Judicial Branch
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Power of the Federal Judiciary: Sources & Consequences

1. 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

2. 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.

Original Versus Appellate Jurisdiction: Definition & Differences

3. 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.

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

4. 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.

Judicial Decision Making: Steps & Participants

5. 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.

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

6. 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.

Landmark Cases Based on Constitutional Articles

7. Landmark Cases Based on Constitutional Articles

This lesson will take a look at a collection of Supreme Court cases that have shaped how the Court has settled conflicts between different levels of government. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.

Landmark Cases Based on Constitutional Amendments

8. Landmark Cases Based on Constitutional Amendments

The following lesson will cover a set of landmark Supreme Court decisions that serve to protect the rights of citizens given to us through our Constitution's amendments. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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