Chapter 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 trails are held and lawsuits are begun
original jurisdiction the authority to hear cases for the first time
appeals court a court that reviews decisions made in lower 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 a courts legal thinking behind the decision in a case
precedent 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 a 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 the supreme court justices regarding a case
unanimous opinion the supreme court ruling on a case in which all the supreme court justices agree on the ruling
concurring opinion a statement written by a supreme court justice who votes with the majority, but for a different reason
dissenting opinion a statement written by a supreme court justice who disagrees with the majority opinion, presenting his or her opinion
stare decisis the practice of using earlier judicial rulings s a basis or deciding cases

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