Vocabulary Terms

The design of the judicial branch protects the Supreme Court's independence as a branch of government, and the emergence and use of judicial review remains a powerful judicial practice.

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Appellate jurisdiction
The ability of a higher court to hear disagreement on a case brought from a lower court.
Appointment confirmation
When the Senate votes by a simple majority to approve a nominee of the president.
Article III
Creates the judicial branch and defines its jurisdiction.
Federalist 78
Discusses why judges should have tenure during good behavior, and supports the power of judicial review.
Judicial activism
Using the federal courts to make large policy changes
Judicial appointment
When the president names someone to sit as either a federal judge or a Supreme Court justice.
Judicial restraint
Following past precedent in the court system.
Judicial review
The power of the Supreme Court and other federal courts to rule that policies of the legislature or executive are unconstitutional.
Marbury v. Madison
Court case that established the power of judicial review.
Original jurisdiction
The ability of a court to rule on a case for the first time and be a trial court.
The holding in a prior case that is followed by subsequent courts.
Stare decisis
Following past precedents