Civil vs. Criminal Law
Supreme Court Basics
Checks and Balances
US Legal Basics
Randomly Random

100

Which court case guarantees states must provide legal counsel to a person accused of committing a crime?
Gideon v. Wainwright

100

True or False: The Supreme Court reviews every case that seeks appeal.
False.

100

Which institution must provide confirmation to any federal judge?
US Senate

100

At which type of court do most criminal cases begin?
Trial courts

100

How does original jurisdiction compare with appellate jurisdiction?
Courts with original jurisdiction hear a case first--they conduct a trial where evidence is presented and witnesses testify. Courts with appellate jurisdiction review a lower court's decision and decide if the lower court made a mistake...they can change the lower court's ruling

200

Define “indict”
To formally accuse someone of committing a crime (a responsibility of a grand jury)

200

How does the Supreme Court decide if they grant an appeal?
Four of the nine Justices must agree to grant certiorari to an appeals case in order for it to be heard by the SCOTUS.

200

List two ways a Supreme Court justice can leave the Supreme Court.
Three answers exist: They can be impeached and removed. They can retire. They can die while serving as a justice.

200

What is the goal of the plaintiff in a civil case?
The plaintiff is trying to prove that the defendant did something wrong and that the defendant should pay the plaintiff damages (money).

200

List 2 factors that play an important role in determining the nomination and confirmation of a potential federal judge?
Many answers exist... - political ideology - judicial experience - ability to be confirm by the US Senate - gender - race - geographic home

300

How does a plaintiff differ from a prosecutor?
A plaintiff is issuing a formal complaint against an individual. A prosecutor represents the government and is trying to prove that a defendant is guilty of committing a crime.

300

True or False: Lower courts have the power of reversing Supreme Court precedent.
False.

300

Explain how interest groups can affect the judicial confirmation process.
Many answers exist... Interest groups have much to gain or lose depending upon the makeup of the Supreme Court. Because an interest group could be affected by future decisions, they can lobby Senators to support or oppose certain nominees in order to protect the interests of the interest group.

300

How does the US judicial system illustrate the principle of FEDERALISM?
Federalism means that certain powers are divided and shared between the local/state and national governments. The US court system illustrates federalism in that depending on the issue/law in conflict, one level or many levels will have jurisdiction on the issue. For example, if a person wants to challenge a speeding ticket..they would use the loca/state courts. If a person is going through bankruptcy, they would have to use the federal courts.

300

What is the main responsibility of the solicitor general?
He/she represents the US government when arguing cases at the SCOTUS.

400

1. List the burden of proof used in criminal law. 2. Explain the burden of proof used in criminal law.
1. Jury must be sure "beyond a reasonable doubt". 2. In order for the jury to declare a defendant guilty, they must be nearly 100% sure.

400

What are the role of amicus curiae briefs?
Amicus briefs allow parties outside of the case to voice their opinions on a specific case. These briefs are sent to the SCOTUS in the hopes of persuading the minds of the nine justices.

400

Provide an example of the President or Senate using a “litmus test” on a justice nominee.
Many possible explanations exist... ...The general idea is that the president or Senator will ask a judicial nominee how they view a CONTROVERSIAL topic (i.e. abortion, privacy, gun rights, gay marriage, etc.) in order to determine if that president or Senator will approve or disapprove of the judicial nominee.

400

Describe the principle of "stare decisis".
This legal principle whereby judges use previous court case precedents to decide current cases with similar issues/facts.

400

How does Senatorial Courtesy work?
An unwritten agreement among senators not to vote for any presidential nominee who is opposed by the senators from the nominee’s home state.

500

1. List the burden of proof used in civil law. 2. Explain the burden of proof used in civil law.
1. Preponderance of evidence 2. The jury is supposed to find in favor of the side that has more convincing evidence.

500

Explain whether the Korematsu decision was an example of judicial activism or judicial restraint.
Judicial Restraint... ...because the SCOTUS did not overturn FDR's executive order that placed all Japanese Americans in internment camps.

500

1. What is a benefit of the Supreme Court being “insulated from politics”? 2. What is a drawback of the Supreme Court being “insulated from politics”?
Many possible answers exist... 1. The SCOTUS can make politically unpopular decisions without fear of being removed from office or from having their salary decreased. 2. The SCOTUS can overturn laws and actions made by democratically elected parts of government even though the SCOTUS was not chosen by the American people.

500

List 2 consequences if a suspect takes a plea bargain.
Many answers exist: - give up due process rights - legal process is able to move more swiftly - defendant gives up many federal benefits (voting rights, access to job training, etc.)

500

How does a petit jury differ from a grand jury?
A grand jury decides if enough evidence exists to indict (formally accuse) a defendant of committing a crime...thus leading to a petit jury. A petit jury decides if a person is guilty or innocent--in a criminal trial....liable or not liable in a civil trial.