Understanding the Supreme Court and Legal Concepts

Questions:1) What does the Constitution say about the Supreme Court? Be sure to discuss terms, salary, appointment etc.2) How do cases get before the Supreme Court? (i.e., jurisdiction). What steps are taken up to SCOTUS?3) Define the following terms Precedent • Certiorari • Rule of Four • Opinions . Majority/Opinion of the Court . Concurring . Dissenting • Judicial Review–what is it? . Marbury v. Madison (1803): importance of this case? • Originalism/Original Intent/Strict Constructionism4) Do you think the Court should use INTENT OF THE FRAMERS for current interpretation of our rights and freedoms? Why or why not? Share on Facebook Tweet Follow us Sample Answer   Understanding the Supreme Court and Legal Concepts What the Constitution Says About the Supreme Court The United States Constitution outlines the structure and functions of the Supreme Court in several key provisions. Article III establishes the Supreme Court as the highest judicial body in the land, with the power to interpret federal law and the Constitution. Here are some key aspects regarding the Supreme Court as per the Constitution: – Terms: Justices of the Supreme Court serve for life unless they resign, retire, or are impeached. This lifetime tenure is intended to insulate them from political influence and ensure judicial independence. – Salary: The Constitution specifies that the salaries of Supreme Court Justices shall not be diminished while they are in office, safeguarding their financial independence. – Appointment: Justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. This process ensures a balance of powers and prevents any one branch of government from having unchecked authority over judicial appointments. How Cases Get Before the Supreme Court Cases reach the Supreme Court through a process known as “jurisdiction.” The Supreme Court has both original jurisdiction, where it hears cases for the first time, and appellate jurisdiction, where it reviews decisions made by lower courts. To reach the Supreme Court, cases typically go through the following steps: 1. Petition for Certiorari: Parties file a petition for certiorari, requesting the Supreme Court to review a lower court’s decision. 2. Rule of Four: If four of the nine Justices agree to hear the case, the Court grants certiorari, and the case is scheduled for oral arguments. 3. Oral Arguments: Attorneys present their case before the Justices, who then deliberate and issue a written opinion. 4. Opinions: The Court releases its opinions, which include the majority opinion (the decision of the majority of Justices), concurring opinions (agreeing with the majority but for different reasons), and dissenting opinions (disagreeing with the majority). Key Legal Terms Defined – Precedent: A legal principle established in a previous case that is used to guide decisions in similar cases in the future. – Certiorari: A writ issued by a higher court to review a decision of a lower court. – Rule of Four: The requirement that at least four Justices must agree to hear a case before it is accepted for review. – Opinions: Written explanations of a court’s decision, including majority opinions (reflecting the view of the majority of Justices), concurring opinions (agreeing with the outcome but for different reasons), and dissenting opinions (disagreeing with the majority). – Judicial Review: The power of courts to review and invalidate actions by the legislative and executive branches that are deemed unconstitutional. – Marbury v. Madison (1803): This landmark case established the principle of judicial review, empowering the Supreme Court to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional. Originalism/Original Intent/Strict Constructionism – Originalism: A judicial philosophy that interprets the Constitution based on its original meaning at the time it was adopted. – Original Intent: Interpreting laws or legal documents based on the original intentions of those who wrote them. – Strict Constructionism: A method of interpreting legal texts narrowly, focusing on the exact words and their original meaning. Should the Court Use Intent of the Framers for Interpretation? Whether the Court should use the intent of the Framers for interpreting rights and freedoms is a subject of debate. Proponents argue that understanding the original intent provides a stable foundation for legal interpretation and preserves constitutional principles. However, opponents contend that society has evolved since the framing of the Constitution, and interpretations should adapt to modern contexts and societal values. Ultimately, striking a balance between original intent and contemporary relevance is essential to uphold constitutional principles while addressing current challenges and advancing justice in a changing world.   This question has been answered. Get Answer


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