Learning Objectives

9-1 Types of Law

  • Compare the different categories of law.

9-2 The Structure of the U.S. Legal System

  • Trace the development of the American legal system, including the role currently played by the 50 state judicial systems within that larger system.

9-3 The Adversarial System of Justice

  • Contrast the inquisitorial system with the adversarial system of justice; describe how the civil process proceeds from complaint to settlement or verdict, whereas the criminal justice system proceeds from initial charges to final verdict or plea.

9-4 Judicial Review and Its Implications

  • Define the power of judicial review.

9-5 Limitations on Courts

  • Describe the structural limitations on courts.

9-6 Electing and Appointing Judges

  • Identify how federal and state judges are selected.

9-7 How a Case Proceeds within the U.S. Supreme Court

  • Trace a Supreme Court case as it proceeds from writ of certiorari to final opinion.

9-8 Judicial Decision-Making and Debates over the Exercise of Judicial Power

  • Identify the factors that influence judicial decision-making, and describe some of the recurring debates about the proper role of courts in American politics.