Ch.8

Term Definition
Circuit The area of jurisdiction of a federal court of appeals.
Jurisdiction A court's authority to hear and decide cases.
Exclusive Jurisdiction Authority of only federal courts to hear and decide cases
Concurrent Jurisdiction Authority for both state and federal courts to hear and decide cases.
District Court Federal court where trials are held and lawsuits are begun.
Original Jurisdiction The authority to hear cases for the first time.
Appeals Court A court the reviews decisions made in lower district courts.
Appellate jurisdiction The authority of a court to hear a case appealed from a lower court.
remand To send a case back to a lower court to be tried again.
opinion A detailed explanation of the legal thinking behind a court's decision in a case.
precendent A ruling that is used as the basis for a judicial decision in a later, similar case.
judicial review The power of the Supreme Court to say whether any federal, state, or local law or government action goes against the Constitution.
constitutional In accordance with the Constitution
docket A court's calendar, showing the schedule of cases it is to hear.
brief A written document explaining the position of one side or the other in a case.
majority opinion A statement that presents the views of the majority of Supreme Court justices regarding a case.
unanimous opinion The Supreme Court rules on a case in which all justices agree on the ruling.
concurring opinion A statement written by a justice who votes with the majority, but for different reasons.
dissenting opinion A statement written by a justice who disagrees with the majority opinion, presenting his or her opinion.
stare decisis The practice of using earlier judicial rulings as a basis for deciding cases.

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