How a case gets to the US Supreme Court
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How a case gets to the US Supreme Court

October 11, 2019

Old TV shows made it seem really easy to appeal
to the Supreme Court. Like when this lady wanted to fight her speeding ticket. Or on Gilligan’s Island, when Thurston Howell
is locked in a bamboo jail and he says, But even though they make it sound like a right, nobody is entitled to an appearance at the Supreme Court. That’s entirely at the discretion of the Justices and they choose very carefully. Only a small number of cases get to the Supreme
Court, and it’s getting smaller. Roughly 8,000 cases are submitted each year,
but only 80 cases are accepted. That’s a 1% acceptance rate. And to get to that 1%, most cases start at
the bottom. The federal court system consists of three
layers and the lowest is the district level. If you lose in a district court you can appeal
to the circuit level. Most of The United States is divided into
eleven circuits, but there’s a twelfth for DC and a federal circuit that mostly hears patent
and military cases. Above the circuit level is the Supreme Court,
the highest court in the land as long as you don’t count the basketball
court that’s above the Supreme Court. And to get to the Supreme Court, nearly all
cases require submitting something called a “petition for a writ of certio- certioror? certiori? “The writ of certiorari”, which is shortened,
usually, to “the writ of cert”. A petition for the writ of cert is a written
request asking the Supreme Court to hear a case. Instead of asking the court to resolve the facts of a case, which are nearly always settled in lower courts, the reasons for granting the petition concern important questions about federal law. The overarching goal of the court is to make sure that federal law is the same across the country and, so, by federal law I mean the
US Constitution and laws passed by Congress. Professor Greene clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens, where he became very familiar with cert petitions. That’s because the clerks review cert petitions
for their justices, who then choose to grant a petition if it
passes “the rule of four”, meaning that four justices want to hear the case. When the court does not grant cert, it does
not imply a decision. It doesn’t mean that it agrees with the
lower court. It doesn’t mean that the individual justices agree with the lower court decision.
It just means that the court has decided that this particular case is not a case where the court is going to choose to set law for the whole country. If cert is granted, a case probably falls into one of three categories describing most Supreme Court cases. The first is a case of national importance, such as when the court decided Bush v. Gore in order to help determine who had won the 2000 presidential election. “Drawing on very rarely used legal powers,
The Supreme Court has, for the first time in American history, decided to step into
a legal dispute in the midst of a presidential election.” A second type of case is when a lower court
issues a ruling that invalidates federal law. An example is “Gonsalez v. Raich”, in which
Angel Raich, a California woman, challenged federal drug laws after agents destroyed marijuana plants she had been consuming for medical use. On her appeal in the Ninth Circuit, judges
ruled in favor of Raich, deciding that she was compliant with a state
law authorizing her use of medical pot. But that ruling conflicted with federal law
prohibiting marijuana use. So when the Ninth Circuit said “it doesn’t
apply” that means that if you are medical marijuana user in California then you can use it without
fear of federal prosecution, but if you are a medical marijuana user in Florida or in New York then it’s still banned under federal law. By ruling on the case, Justices were able to establish the authority of federal law
prohibiting the use of medical marijuana. In the Raich case, the Supreme Court overruled
the Ninth Circuit and said that the federal drug laws can apply to local marijuana use,
which means that someone like Angel Raich can still be prosecuted under federal law
even though she can’t be prosecuted under state law. Third, the court accepts cases in order to
resolve a split decision in the lower courts. This happened in the case “Obergefell v. Hodges”, where a Sixth Circuit ruling that banned same-sex marriage conflicted with rulings in other
circuits that had upheld the right to same-sex marriage. Obergefell was someone living in Ohio who wanted to marry his same-sex partner and was not permitted to do so under Ohio law. It made its way to the Sixth Circuit. The
Sixth Circuit said, “you have no right to be married because you are a same-sex couple” and that created a “split”: a division of authority between
the Sixth Circuit, which governs Ohio, and a number of other circuit courts. And so, once that happened, it was fairly clear to, I think, most legal observers that the Supreme Court was likely to hear the case because it meant that federal law, the federal Constitution in this case, applied differently in Ohio than it would in Pennsylvania, for example. By ruling in favor of Obergefell, the court
resolved a circuit split and made same-sex marriage a right nationwide. But these three categories are just a framework for understanding why The Court might select a case. They are not rules. Ultimately, which cases get to the court depends
on the decisions of individuals: the sitting justices of The US Supreme Court.

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  1. in Malaysia, in some town we have village court almost like a town gathering. but in this court the losing side pay with animals. like cows, goats chickens .yeah it exist Google it

  2. for guyana its
    Magistrates Court -> High of the Supreme Court of Judicature -> Court of Appeals -> Caribbean Court of Justice (thats like an EU Court)

  3. wait wait you're going to tell me about the supreme court basketball court and not explain further??

  4. The Supreme Court shouldn't have its justice nominated by the president. The justices should be hand picked by a council where the president or the congress would approve of its concurrence.

  5. Shared these old people who won't ever retire. Thanks for all the jargon they have made for the people ; not to understand. Thanks for helping others to understand….

  6. If I wanted to appeal a ruling by the Supreme Court, could I take it to the basketball court above them? Settle it for real

  7. 1 year lock up for any crime beside white collar and murder would sponsor reputnance behavior. 2 years any white collar would sponsor reputnance behavior. 3 years murder would sponsor reputnance behavior. reputnance means doesn't reoccur. where were you in 2014

  8. The statement that nobody is entitled to be heard before the Supreme Court is not correct. When one state sues another – like Arizona suing California over who gets how much water out of the Colorado River – those cases have to be tried at the Supreme Court.

  9. So technically the supreme court could violate your constitutional right to a fair trial. They can refuse to ensure you a fair trial if the judgement of the lower court was blatantly biased? That show the system of justice is broken.

  10. How things go to SCOTUS when a Republican is President: President makes lawful executive decision. Lower liberal, activist, Federal District Judge blocks Presidents order. It goes to SCOTUS and is overturned because the liberal District Judge is usually wrong. Time, money and emotional energy wasted because of an activist, petulant judge. Thats the true story, Good night dear….

  11. "It’s long past time that the judiciary starts looking a lot more like the America it represents." – Jew Schumer.

    "Given the over-representation of Jews in the Senate, and since Chuck Schumer is Jewish, I urge him to resign in the interest of making the Senate “look a lot more like the America it represents”. states the author of this article:

  12. President of Zionist Organization of America was Louise Brandeis (jewish). Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

  13. I can't believe we'll no longer be able to round up misinformed liberals to vote on election day. Everyone knows minorities can't read and liberals only watch fake news. And it's those raciest conservatives who give a forwarding address when they move and register to vote just so they can be called for jury duty. And I'm appalled that anyone would think giving thought to voting 5-7 weeks in advance is necessary or that valid identification is required. It won't be long before they start wanting people to have a job to vote for who will spend the tax dollars of the employed.

  14. I am only one in this Country that can override US Supreme Court I am God creation humankind human nature laws cause effect balance Universe elements. Master Three beat all and will challenge anybody body on truth if you have the balls bring it. yes our no?

  15. Now that there's gonna be 6 conservative justices and only 3 progressives, it's less like supreme and more like S U P R E M A C I S T court.

  16. There are really 4 levels, at the appealete level there are two levels, the first is a 3 judge panel, the losing party then can ask the case to be heard Enbloc where the whole district judges hear the case.


    Supreme Court votes against local dumbass lady (obviously) on her speeding ticket and now has to pay much more than what the ticket was

  18. Illuminated people kept in power for there hole life's hmmmm don't try tell me it's all corruption layers upon layers of corruption if you have money you have power!!!

  19. Ayyyyyy 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈

  20. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
    I other words, it takes 4 Justices to get a hearing and 5 to get a ruling in any particular matter.

  21. Studying german-french law forces 'me to educate myself about the American system. Hence the Constitution, impeachment, voting system, senate and House of representatives, judical system, bi-partisan system and the presidential system but I'm glad to learn about it! These videos are great help!!
    Link me any videos concerning American state system thanks

  22. The U.S. Supreme court is an outdated branch of govt. It does far more more harm than good in most cases they rarely if ever get it right.

  23. So let me get this straight we pay them to rule on case's that have issues in the lower court's and they pick and choose which case they wish to hear? WTH How is that justice! We need to rethink our court system if their hearing about 1% then I feel they're not doing the job. You mean to tell me that's all they can handle, but yet lower court's are jammed pack! BS!

  24. District Court-> Circuit Court-> Supreme Court-> Basketball Court.

    So i have connection inside BC (Basketball Court) and they said you could just appeal to them easily here the term:
    2. You have connection with them
    3. You has been swore to SUPREME LORD LZARMUS I*
    4. You are part of I KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. INC of our opperative name Marzul Zukerb

    * If you have swore to him just say BC BC I want case to BC in DC to your district court or circuit court.

  25. Isn’t there also a precedent that if a case includes issues that are deemed “traditional” or “customary”, the Supreme Court will refuse to hear the case?

    Such as if the pledge of allegiance is mandatory to be recites in schools or if Christmas violates the separation of church and state?

  26. Will the case of the killing of six million Jews during WW II get to the Supreme Court? Here is my case against the United States and Queen Elizabeth II the co-conspirator who hates Jews:

    This horror was perpetrated by the United States Government by the CIA. It was the work of Dr. John Gunnell born in Canada, who became a US Citizen in order to become the general in charge of the Battle of the Bulge. Dr. John Gunnell is the son of Dr. Joseph Merrick the Elephant Man. No reflection of the Elephant Man who was a Catholic. The Merricks were a Catholic family. In fact, I was baptized a Catholic (even though I was already baptized as a Presbyterian as a baby, so I didn't need to be baptized again. I was already a Christian; but since it meant that I could go to the US, albeit via Canada and Regiopolis College, another Jesuit high school, I agreed. However, John Carey Merrick when he became a young man, he went to Brigham Young University and became a Mormon. He graduated with a BA. He also fought as a boxer by the name of Harry Greb the Pittsburgh Windmill. Obviously he didn't die. Harry Greb has a boxing website. Dr. John Gunnell decided to discard his US Citizenship in order not to stand trial when the US Supreme Court would ask him to come to Washington DC and if found guilty of making the US responsible for the murder of the six million Jews and then blaming it on Germany (and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has already planned the trial and execution of Dr. John Gunnell to make him pay for the total destruction of Germany by the US and Queen Elizabeth's as the British Monarch who approved the death of the six million Jews and the method of how they were murdered, and later tried to prevent the State of Israel from being formed when as a Queen of Great Britain sent British troops to kill the returning freedom fighters who took back their homeland, the Land of Israel, and flew the Star of David as their flag and they choose the color blue as a sing that Israel was going to be a peacefull nation. Therefore Dr. John Gunnell and Elizabeth II are my target to make sure that the UN Tribunals for Justice should be able to have them both tried and executed by the firing squad. As Dr. John Gunnell has already been sentenced to be executed in Israel by the firing squad, but President Donald Trump is harboring him for financial reasons, and as he is also Canadian born and a traitor, he might also be tried by the same UN Tribunals in order to be executed eventually, also for harboring the two criminals former President Barrack Hussein Obama and his FBI Director James Comey who made multiple attempts and succeeded in assassinating and killing Dr. Barrack Hussein Obama Sr; and since President Donald Trump is also harboring them, and since he has also had the Muslim President Obama raping his wife Melania the First Lady in order 'to teach her a lesson', I am seeking the charging and sentencing all these men who are US Traitors (together with their allies in the US, whomever they may be; I am going to charge them through the US Supreme Court and the UN Tribunals until they are all executed by the firing squad. In the meanwhile if I fail, I shall continue to deny the US and Great Britain the signature under which my father who formed the CIA in 1906 put me in charge of rewarding the US Troops that won the US all wars against their enemies after I bring to Justice the US Traitors mentioned and implied in the US — Victor Nimrud Alexander

  27. The truth is that the Supreme Court is a joke. They have rewritten not only the Constitution, but federal laws as well.

  28. So isn't Trumps judges farther right on the Spectrum because the parallels that's defined left or right has moved? In one instance the left used to support a more secure boarder and regulated immigration

  29. Why is it that you are a Citizen in good standing in the world and then a prisoner of or in Virginia under the same call, all things remaining the same?

  30. I had an opportunity .But i mist the first class mail and it was teturned .i wonder how to i can receive that mail or if i can smh

  31. me: i wont take it to the supreme court, i'll take it to the B A S K E T B A L L court!

    my friend: bro duh it's a basketball

  32. The US Supreme Court doesn’t only just hear cases from the federal system as said in this video. They also hear cases from state supreme courts and also state appellate courts in cases where the state Supreme Court declines certiorari. Also, when states sue each other The US Supreme Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction—meaning no other court can hear the case. Please get your facts in order, Vox.

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