HGov: Judicial System Review


The main points of chapter 14 are as follows:

The federal judiciary includes the Supreme Court of the United States, which functions mainly as an appellate court; courts of appeals, which hear appeals; and the district courts, which hold trials. Each state has a court system of its own, which for the most part is independent of supervision by the federal courts.

Judicial decisions are constrained by applicable constitutional law, statutory and administrative law, and precedent. Nevertheless, political factors have a major influence on judicial appointments and decisions; judges are political officials as well as legal ones.

The judiciary has become an increasingly powerful policymaking body in recent decades, raising the question of the judiciary’s proper role in a democracy. The philosophies of judicial restraint and judicial activism provide different answers to this question.

1) Read Chapter 14 pp.445-474
2) Read Chapter 15 pp.481-511



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