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Federal Court System

Under the federal system of government, the United States has two court systems. One is the federal court system. The other is the system of state courts. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time establish. The First Congress used this constitutional power to set up a system of federal courts.

In 1789 Congress passed the Judiciary Act, which established what has grown into one.of the great court systems of the world. This system of federal courts makes urj the judicial branch - the third branch - of the federal government.

Federal courts are organized in several levels. They are also classified according to their jurisdiction. The lowest courts are trial courts, which have original jurisdiction. This means they are the first courts in which most federal cases are heard.

Above these trial courts are courts that have appellate jurisdiction. That is, they review decisions made by lower courts. "Appellate" means "dealing with appeals." Every convicted person has the right to appeal his or her case to an appellate court. An appeal is usually made when lawyers believe the law was not applied correctly in the lower court. A case can also be appealed if new evidence is found.

The Supreme Court is the head of the judicial branch of the federal government. It is the only court actually established by the Constitution. Decisions of the Supreme Court affect the lives of all Americans.

The Supreme Court has the power to study and review any law passed by; Congress. Before it may do so, however, someone must challenge the law and bring a case to court.

The most unique feature of the Supreme Court is its power of judicial review. This means that the Court can determine whether a law passed by Congress or a Presidential action is in accord with the Constitution. If the Supreme Court decides that a law is in conflict with the Constitution, that law is declared unconstitutional. That is, the law is no longer in force.

The Supreme Court cannot begin a case itself. It must wait until a person files an appeal or a lawsuit. All cases heard by the Court involve real legal disputes. A person cannot simply ask the Supreme Court for an opinion about whether or not a law is constitutional.

The Supreme Court itself decides what cases it will hear. Several thousand cases are appealed to the Court each year. However, the Court turns down about 80 percent of the applications it receives for review.

The Justices accept only those cases that involve issues of significant public interest. Cases heard by the Supreme Court generally deal with important constitutional or national questions. At least four of the nine Justices must vote to hear a case. If the Supreme Court refuses to review a case, the decision of the lower court remains in effect.

Exercise 2. Decidewhether the following statements are true or false.

1.The Supreme Court is the first court in which most federal cases are heard.

2. The Supreme Court can hear only one case a year.

3. The Supreme Court has power to review laws.


4. The United States has three court systems: the federal court system, the
system of state courts and the system of city courts.

5. The Supreme Court begins a case itself when somebody asks for it.

Exercise 3. Answer the following questions.

1. What are the two court systems of the United States?

2. How are federal courts organized?

3. What is the task of appellate courts?

4. What kind of court was established by the Constitution?

5. What cases does the Supreme Court deal with?

Exercise 4. Make your own questions to the text

Exercise 5. Open the brackets. Use theverbs in Present, Past and Future Perfect Passive.

I. The suspect was no longer there. He ... (to take) away. 2. I promise, Max ...
(to acquit) by the end of the summer. 3. She didn't return to her work until all
her money ... (to spend). 4. When the tourists ... (to come back) to the hotel, they
... (to discover) that theirs things ... (to steal). 5. We managed to grasp the
ulterior motive of the murder only after all case papers ... (to read) twice. 6.1 left
home after the light ... (to turn on). 7. He didn't go for a walk until his
homework in Roman law ... (to finish). 8. John didn't think about human rights
until his rights ... (to break). 9. By 12th October this Amendment... (to enter).
10. When we went to the police station, the witness ... (to interrogate) already.

II. By that time his guilt... (to recognize), don't call him "criminal". 12. We ...
(to look up) at the case investigator and ... (to see) that a new evidence just... (to
get). 13. Mary ... (to tell) Robert that his grandparents ... (to assassinate).

Exercise 6. Change the following sentences from Active into Passive Voice.

1. We see them in our reading-room every day. 2. The President heads the delegation. 3. They often left the child home alone. 4. They built these offices last year. 5. The secretary had written all the letters when we came. 6. People speak much about this article. 7. The detective is examining the prisoner now. 8. The procurator has already finished his work. 9. The judge told me to wait for

him. 10. The clerk will have answered your claim by Monday. 11. The officer was carrying out the investigative action from ten till twelve o'clock. 12. When I came home, the policemen were still searching the house. 13. My uncle has opened a new firm of attorneys not far from here. 14. You can't go to the court at eight tomorrow. By that time they will close it.

Exercise 7. Translate the followingsentences from English into Russian.

1. The prisoner is charged with attempted robbery. 2. The thief was taken in the theft 3. Murderers are still sentenced to death in some parts of the world. 4. The city was condemned for its high crime rate. 5. In former times a murderer who was found guilty would be condemned to death. 6. The prisoner was convicted of robbery. 7. Mr. Hope was initially convicted but then was acquitted on appeal. 8. The prisoners were discharged from the detention camp. 9. He was adjudicated a bankrupt yesterday by Mr. Spring Rice. 10. He was arrested by the police on suspicion of murder. 11. The jewels had been stolen by unknown criminals before the police came. 12. The noblest monuments of art have been vandalized.

Date: 2016-04-22; view: 1003

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