Welcome to our discussion of The Federal Judiciary.
Article III of the United States Constitution establishes one Supreme Court. It further
grants to Congress the right to create lower courts as needed. The court system in the United
States has become the arbiter of civil as well as criminal disputes. We have taken all
sorts of issues before our Supreme Court and our court system to determine the rightness
or wrongness of a particular issue. One such issue set and decided by our U.S. Supreme Court
was the issue of abortion, in the case of Roe versus Wade. Another very important issue
decided by our courts was the 2000 election, presedential election, contested between George
Bush and Al Gore, subsequently resulting in Bush being given the right to the presidency.
We’re going to look at, in this unit, the federal court system, beginning with the Supreme
Court. We’ll look at the Federal Appeals Court as well as special courts within the federal
court system. We will look at how selecting and deciding of cases are made, particularly
by the Supreme Court; and then we’ll conclude that particular section by looking at the
various state courts which also may appeal their verdicts subsequently up to the Supreme
Court of the United States. We’re going to also look at federal court appointees, how
appointees make it to the Supreme Court as well as to the lower courts of our nation.
We’ll look at the nature of decision making in our court system, the legal ramifications
that impact and influence decisions as well as the polical considerations that influence
court decisions. And, finally, we’ll conclude this unit by looking at two ongoing judicial
debates, the debate over originalism – the theory of originalists – as well as the living
Constitution theory. We’ll also look at the debate between judicial restraint and judicial
activism. We’ll – don’t worry – we’ll define each of those terms as we go through this
unit. With that introduction, let’s look at the U.S. Federal Judiciary.