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5-23 The Judicial System

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The Legislative Branch of government in the United States is the branch that makes the laws.  It is the job of the Judicial Branch to to interpret the intent or meaning of a law.  When Congress passes a law and the President endorses the law, the meaning of a law may be in question.  Some times the meaning of a law may become unclear.  The U.S. Supreme Court decides what the law means.

The U.S. Supreme Court is located in Washington D.C. and is the highest court in the United States.  The U.S. Constitution guides the Supreme Court.  It is the job of the Supreme Court to determine the intent or meaning of a law according to the Constitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court is made up of nine justices or judges.  Eight of the justices are associate judges and one of the judges is the chief justice.  All of the justices are appointed by the President and are approved by the Senate.  Once a justice is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, he or she serves for life or until he or she resigns.  A justice can only be removed through impeachment.  A decision in the U.S. Supreme Court can be decided by a simple 5 to 4 vote of the justices.

The U.S. Constitution tells the Federal Courts exactly what types of cases can be heard by the courts.  The U.S. Supreme Court hears cases coming from any question involving: 1) the Constitution, 2) Federal laws, 3) U.S. treaties, and 4) laws governing ships.  The courts may also hear cases involving people concerning: 1) ambassadors, 2) U.S. government officials, 3) state government officials, 4) citizens of different states, and 5) a U.S. citizen versus a foreign citizen.

Court cases can travel a long ways to finally be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.  A case usually travels through the court system (the district courts and the appeal courts, or the state supreme court) before the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case.  The nine justices vote to except or reject a request to hear a case.

Complete the questions below.

It is the job of the Judicial Branch to to interpret the intent or meaning of a .

Court cases can travel a long ways to finally be heard by the U.S. Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court is made up of justices or judges.

A case usually travels through the system before the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court is located in D.C.

The U.S. decides what a law means.

The U.S. is the highest court in the United States.

The U.S. guides the U.S. Supreme Court.

of the justices are associate judges and of the judges is the chief justice.

Complete the True or False below.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears cases coming from any question involving the Constitution.

True

False

The U.S. Supreme Court hears cases coming from any question involving the Federal laws.

True

False

The U.S. Supreme Court hears cases coming from any question involving laws governing automobiles.

True

False

A U.S. Justice can only be removed through impeachment.

True

False

The State Constitutions guide the Supreme Court.

True

False

All of the justices are appointed by the House of Representatives and are approved by the Senate.

True

False

 

 

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