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Written Homework:

1. Explain the difference between criminal law and civil law.

Civil law protects individuals against one another, specifying their rights
and duties while criminal law ensures that every citizen knows the boundaries of
acceptable conduct in the US.
2. List three regular participants in the judicial system other than
1) litigants: plaitiff(charging), defendent(being charged)
2) jury: representing avg person (12 people), they decide the outcome
3)attorneys: 1. prosecuting-reps plaintiff 2. defense attorney-reps defendent
4)audience: interest groups that support one side or the other, dont have to
be physically present
3. What are justiciable disputes?
something that has to be settled by legal methods; can be settled by a law,
4. What are the differences between constitutional courts and legislative
A constitutional court is one exercising the judicial powers found in Article III
of the constitution, and therefore its judges are given constitutional protection:
they may not be fired nor may their salaries be reduced while they are in office.
A legislative court is one set up by Congress for some specialized purpose
and staffed with people who have fixed terms of office and can be removed or
have their salaries reduced.
5. Complete the following table on the structure of the federal judicial

Number of

Number of



Court of
6. What is the role of a U.S. attorney?
prosecute violations of federal law and represent the u.s. government in
civil cases
7. Explain the practice of senatorial courtesy.
unwritten tradition where nominations for state level federal judicial posts
are not confirmed if they are opposed by the senator from the state in which the
nominee will serve
8. Name three conditions under which nominations to the Supreme
Court are more likely to run into trouble.
1)pres has minority party in senate
2)something questionable about nominee
3)if the pres's nomination is put in at end of term and has not been reelected
9. Present a demographic profile of the "typical" federal judge.

white male, 50's-60's, protestant, previously a lawyer, judge

10. List six criteria that have been important in choosing Supreme Court
justices over the years.
1) political ideology
2) party and personal loyalties
3)acceptability to the senate
4)judicial experience
5) race and gender
6)litmus test (ideological purity) what would you do if...
11. What are the four key functions of the solicitor general?
1) to decide to appeal cases the gov has lost in lower courts
2) to review and modify briefs presented in gov appeals
3) to represent gov at supreme court
4) to submit a brief on behalf of a litigant in a case where the gov isnt
directly involved
12. What are the functions of amicus curiae briefs?
legal briefs given by friend of the court to bring up more points of view and
influence court's decision
13. What are the differences between a majority opinion, a dissenting
opinion, and a
concurring opinion?
Majority opinion: if the chief justice is in majority, chief justice writes why
they are right
Dissenting opinion: written by justices opposed to majority's decision
Concurring opinion: written to support a majority decision (just another
reason the chief justice has)
14. What is the difference between stare decisis and precedent?
Stare decisis: "let the decision stand" , most cases reaching appellate
courts and settled on this
Precedent: how similar cases have been decided in the past (cases that
back up your case)
15. List and explain the three elements of judicial implementation
according to Charles Johnson and Bradley Canon.
1)interpreting population 2) implementing population 3)consumer
16. Explain the principle of judicial review.
the power of the courts to determine whether acts of congress or executive
are in accord with u.s. constitution
17. Complete the following table on public policy and the Supreme
Key Cases
t Court

18. In what ways might it be said that courts are not a very democratic
In some ways, the courts are not a very democratic institution, but the
courts are not entirely independent of popular preferences and are not as
insulated from the normal forms of politics as one might think. Courts can also
promote pluralism. When groups go to court, they use litigation to achieve their
policy objectives.
19. Explain the difference between judicial activism and judicial
Judicial activism: judges make bold policy decisions, even charting new
constitutional ground
Judicial restraint: judges play minimal policymaking roles, leaving that
strictly to legislatures