A2 Key Terms Government & Politics Unit 4a,Topic 4 (Judiciary) AQA

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Supreme Court
Highest court of appeal in the US. Ultimate (largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts. 9 Justices (one chief justice - currently John Roberts). Current 5-4 conservative block on the SC
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Courts of Appeals
(Circuit courts) intermediate appellate courts of the US federal court system. Decides appeals from the district courts within its federal judicial circuit
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District Courts
94 of them. General trial courts of the US federal court system. Civil and criminal cases are filed here
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Strict Constructionists
Justice in SC who interprets the constitution in its literal sense. Often in a conservative fashion. Stresses the retention of as much power as possible by the governments of the states
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Loose Constructionists
Justice who interprets constitution in a loose/liberal fashion. Who tends to stress the broad grants of power to the federal gov't
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Judicial restraint
Approach to judicial decision-making which holds that a judge should defer to the legislative and executive branches which are politically accountable to the voters, and should put great stress on the precedent established in previous Court decisions
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Judicial activism
Judicial decision-making which holds that a judge should use his/her position to promote desirable social ends
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American Bar Association (ABA)
Voluntary bar association of lawyers/law students. Sets academic standards for law schools+formulates model ethical codes in the legal profession.Unofficial role in the appointment of a SC justice-rates them well qualified/qualified/not qualified
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Judicial review
Power of SC to declare acts of Congress/Executive/Actions of state gov'ts unconstitutional -- thereby null and void
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Civil rights
Positive acts of gov't designed to protect individuals against arbitrary/discriminatory treatment by gov't or individuals
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Civil liberties
Mostly enshrined in the Constitution. Guarantee protection of individuals, expression and property from arbitrary interference by gov't
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Due Process
No legal definition has been made understood to relate to principle of limited gov't
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Card 2

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Courts of Appeals

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(Circuit courts) intermediate appellate courts of the US federal court system. Decides appeals from the district courts within its federal judicial circuit

Card 3

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District Courts

Back

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Card 4

Front

Strict Constructionists

Back

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Card 5

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Loose Constructionists

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