The Judicial Process

Answer the following questions in separate essays. Students must type their answers.

Any indication of plagiarism where the minimum penalty is a grade of “0” for the exam. More severe penalties will be assessed if necessary as determined by the Professor.

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Students should answer each question completely and address all sections of the question. Students should refer ONLY to the class materials in answering the questions. Information from the books, lectures or other class materials must be cited, however information taken from class discussion does not need to be cited. Note also that additional articles discussed in class but not assigned as reading have been posted to Reggienet under the resources and materials tab. These are available for citation as well. The class books can be cited as (Authors Last Names page#) the articles can be cited as (Author Last Name year) and the lectures can be cited as (Lecture, Date). Do not refer to outside sources. Any reference to outside sources will be an automatic deduction of 5 points for each reference.

Answer Each of the Following:

1. Define and explain the three major models of decision-making on the Supreme Court. Which do you think best explains how Supreme Court justices make decisions? Defend your answer using evidence from the course material. (25 points)

2. Langer (2002) argues that justices on state supreme courts act “sincerely when they can and strategically when they must.” What does this mean about how justices on state supreme courts make decisions? What differs between the U.S. Supreme Court and state supreme courts that affects how justices on state supreme courts make decisions? Explain. (20 points)

3. Many people believe that judicial review gives the Supreme Court a significant amount of power in the separation of powers system. Yet, there are many constraints on the Supreme Court and courts more generally. Explain these limitations on the power of the Court. Students should address jurisdiction, justiciability, standing and the limitations placed on the Court by the other branches of government. (20 points)

4. What are the informal barriers of entry to the legal system? Explain how the survivors of the Buffalo Creek disaster faced these and were able to overcome them. (10 points)

5. Define and explain the criminal trial process, address how the process begins to and through the possible outcomes of a criminal trial. Be sure to explain the role of the Constitution and the major cases decided by the Supreme Court that have affected the criminal trial process. (10 points)

6. Read the hypothetical case facts below and answer all of the questions following:

“Kate Madison is a young woman in 10th grade at a high school in Raleigh, North Carolina. While Kate identifies as a woman, and has for the past eight years, she is a transgender woman and was assigned male at birth. The state of North Carolina passed a law stating all individuals in public schools must use the restroom that matches the sex of their birth, not the gender to which they identify. This law then forces Kate to use the male restroom and locker room. Kate sued the state arguing the legislation violated the right to equal protection of all transgender and non-gender conforming individuals. The state supreme court upheld the law. Similar cases have been heard across the country. The first and ninth circuit courts of appeals argued similar laws were unconstitutional and should be struck down. Two other circuits and 6 states agreed with the position of the North Carolina Supreme Court. The case is pending certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Answer all of the following (25 points):

Do you believe the U.S. Supreme Court will grant certiorari to this case? Why or why not?

Supposing the Supreme Court did grant certiorari to the case, explain the steps of the

process the case would follow.


does this matter?

Explain the impact of this decision as discussed in class. More specifically, who are the interpreting population, the implementing population, the consumer population and the secondary population? How would each respond to the decision?


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