Creative thinking and your own wording are important aspects of an effective answer.

  1. In order for a court to hear a case, it must have jurisdiction. What is jurisdiction? Distinguish between original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction. [MO7.1]
  2. How does a case come to be heard by the Supreme Court? Describe how cases are selected. [MO7.1]
  3. After a case has been decided, the Court issues its ruling. Distinguish between the terms decision and opinion. Then, define the following terms: majority opinion, concurring opinion, dissenting opinion. Who writes the opinions? [MO7.1]
  4. Briefly describe U.S. district courts and U.S. courts of appeals and discuss the importance of state courts. [MO7.1]
  5. Justices are nominated to the federal court system by the president and confirmed (or rejected) by the Senate. What considerations go into a president’s choice of Supreme Court nominees? [MO7.1]
  6. Besides the Constitution, consider the statutory and administrative influences on the Court and its decisions. How does the Court shape public policy? [MO7.1]
  7. Distinguish between criminal law and civil law cases. Give examples. [MO7.1]
  8. Marbury v. Madison (1803) is the case most closely associated with judicial review. Define judicial review. What impact can that power have on the other two branches of government in particular and on American society in general? Is the power specified in the Constitution? [MO7.2]
  9. Judicial restraint and judicial activism are the terms that describe the degree to which justices defer to precedent and elected officials. Define these two terms. Which practice considers the Constitution a living document or a static document, and why? [MO7.3]
  10. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) produced a landmark decision that dramatically changed American society. Using this case or another landmark case as an example, discuss how Supreme Court decisions can affect everyday American life. [MO7.3]
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