Ch. 15 Reading Q's

AP Government & Politics
Ch.15 The Federal Courts
Ch. 15 Sec. 1
Define: Criminal Law
Civil Law
Standing to sue
amicus curiae briefs
p. 509-511
Common Law
class action suits
justiciable disputes
1. Describe two types of litigants, and the scenario in which someone can bring a case against another.
2. List two interest groups that use the court system to defend civil liberties cases. Describe the situation
where a group would file an amicus curiae brief.
Ch. 15 Sec. 2
Define: original jurisdiction
court of appeals
appellate jurisdiction
Supreme Court
p. 511-516
district courts
1. Describe the three (3) main types of cases heard by District Courts. What is the role of the US Attorney
in a district court?
2. Describe the main role of the Court of Appeals? Why do they not hear testimony or hold trials?
3. What determines the number of Justices sitting on the Supreme Court? Describe two types of cases the
Supreme Court will NOT hear.
Ch. 15 Sec. 3
p. 516-521
Define: Senatorial Courtesy
1. Describe the situation in 2009 where Senate Republicans changed senatorial courtesy. Why is this
issue important to Senators in states that may disagree with Pres. Obama’s judicial nominee?
2. Describe three (3) reasons why did the nomination of Harriet Miers create a problem for former Pres.
Ch. 15 Sec. 4
p. 521-525
1. Describe two (2) background characteristics that many federal judges have in common with one another.
2. Describe how partisanship and ideology become a factor when selecting a federal judge.
Ch. 15 Sec. 5
Define: "rule of four”
writ of certiorari
solicitor general
stare decisis
p. 525-532
per curiam decision
judicial implementation
1. Describe the process the justices go through to pick the cases they hear. What types of cases are they
most likely to hear?
2. List the four functions of the solicitor general. Why is their job so important to the US government?
3. Describe the process (starting with the role of the attorneys) in deciding a Supreme Court case. Why is
writing the opinion such a critical step in the decision making process.
4. Describe the two forms of the theory of originalism. What are two opposite theories used to counter
5. Describe the three (3) elements involved in enforcing a Supreme Court Decision. Create a scenario that
fits each of the groups mentioned in your text.
Ch. 15 Sec. 6
Marbury vs. Madisen
judicial review
p. 532-536
1. What did FDR mean by calling the Supreme Court Justices “Nine Old Men”. What did he do to try to
change the Court during his time as president?
2. Describe each of the major accomplishments of each of the “courts” listed below:
Warren Court:
Burger Court:
Roberts Court:
Ch. 15 Sec. 7
Define: judicial restraint
Statutory construction
judicial activism
political questions
p. 536-541
habeas corpus
1. Describe two ways Court decisions have helped promote democracy in the last 50 years.
2. Provide 2 examples of how amendments have been used to overturn judicial decisions.
3. How did the Supreme Court overrule former Pres. Bush in 2004.