Crash Course Supreme Court Procedures

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Lamar Billups 1. The Supreme Court does not have original jurisdiction for most cases. In this situation, what must happen before you can bring your case to the Supreme Court? You must have exhausted all your appeals available at lower court levels in the state or federal system. 2. A formal request for the Supreme Court to hear your case is called a writ of certiorari 3. Who is the Solicitor General? The federal government's chief lawyer 4. If your case is referred to the Supreme Court, the nine justices will discuss whether or not to hear it. If you are granted certiorari, it means they will take your case. How many judges must agree to grant a case certiorari? Four judges must agree to grant a case certiorari 5. Approximately how many cases will the Supreme Court grant certiorari to each year? 80 Cases each year 6. Before the case is argued, each side must submit briefs , which are written legal arguments explaining why and how the law favors one side in the case and not the other. 7. If you want the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision, you are called the petitioner . 8. If you want the Supreme Court to uphold a lower court decision, you are called the respondent. 9. When the two sides appear in the Supreme Court, how long does each side get to "make its case," which mostly consists of answering questions the justices ask? 30 minute 10. How many of the nine justices must agree in order for a Court decision to be published? 5 11. What happens if the Court remands the case? They send it back down to a lower court instead of issuing a decision on it 12. How does the Court issue its decisions? Sometimes read out loud from the bench (and then published); sometimes just in written form 13. What can make a Court decision appear stronger? A unanimous opinion, as happened in Brown v. Board of Education 14. If a judge writes a concurring opinion, it means he or she agrees with the majority opinion but has different legal reasoning to reach the same conclusion.
15. A dissenting opinion is one that disagrees with the majority opinion.
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