What is an advisory opinion?A statement issued by a court, not in connection with a lawsuit, that provides executive or legislative branch officials the judgment of the court regarding the legality of proposed laws or government actions. Federal courts do not have the power to issue advisory opinions, but some state courts do.
What is appellate jurisdiction?The authority of a superior court to review and render judgment on a decision made by a lower court.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Baker v. Carr (1962)?The Court delivered the definitive statement on the political question doctrine. The Court held that state redistricting plans could be effectively judged for fairness under the Fourteenth Amendment.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Cohens v. Virginia (1821)?Ruled that a state court's decision is subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.


What are collusive suits ?Lawsuits filed by parties who are not true adversaries . The parties may desire the same result or may be cooperating to test the legality of some government action.
What is the Exceptions Clause?A provision in Article III of the Constitution permitting Congress to alter the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction.
What are factors in the Political Question Doctrine ?1) Constitutional commitment of the decision of the issue to another branch. 2) Lack of standards for the decision. 3) The decision requires a judicially inappropriate policy change. 4) The decision would show a lack of respect for Congress or the President. 5) A political decision already made. 6) The potential for embarrassment.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Fletcher v. Peck?The first case in which the Supreme Court ruled a state law unconstitutional, the decision also helped create a growing precedent for the sanctity of legal contracts, and hinted that Native Americans did not hold title to their own lands


What is habeas corpus?'You have the body.'' A legal proceeding in which a court considers an individual's claim that he or she has been illegally detained or imprisoned. If the detention is found to be unlawful, the court may order the release of the individual.
What is judicial review?The power of the courts to examine laws and other government actions for their compatibility with the Constitution and to declare void those actions found in conflict with the Constitution.
What are the Judiciary Act of 1789?Legislation passed by the first Congress establishing the lower federal courts, providing structure for the Supreme Court, and generally defining federal judicial powers and procedures.
Define jurisdiction.The authority of a court to hear and decide a legal dispute.


What is justiciability?The quality of a dispute that makes it appropriate for a judicial resolution.
What is a mandamus (writ of mandamus)?An order of a court commanding a public official or government department to carry out a legally required task.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Marbury v. Madison (1803)?The 1803 case in which Chief Justice John Marshall and his associates first asserted the right of the Supreme Court to determine the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The decision established the Court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Martin v. Hunter's Lessee (1816)?First case to establish the supremacy of the Supreme Court over the state in civil cases over federal law


What is mootness?A condition under which a dispute is no longer appropriate for court resolution because the issue has resolved itself or conditions have so changed that the court is unable to grant the requested relief. For example, a lawsuit for divorce becomes moot if the marriage ends due to the death of one of the parties.
What is a political question?An issue in a dispute that cannot be adequately resolved by a judicial determination of legal rights, but is more appropriately addressed by the legislative branch, the executive branch, or the electorate.
What are the requirements of justiciability?1) Does the plaintiff have standing to sue? 2) Is the case asking for an advisory opinion? 3) Is the case ripe? 4) Is the case moot? 5) Does the case present a political question?
What is ripeness?The degree to which a dispute has evolved so that the legal issues and the facts are sufficiently developed to permit a court to issue a clear decision.


What is standing to sue?The right of a person to bring a lawsuit because he or she is directly involved in the dispute or directly affected by the issues at stake.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Eakin v. Raub (1825)?NOT A SUPREME COURT DECISION. This Pennsylvania Supreme Court opinion is known for Judge Gibson's dissent which criticizes the U.S. Supreme Court's assertion of judicial review. Gibson argues that citizens should seek redress for bad laws through the democratic process.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Ex Parte McCardle (1869)?The Court held that Congress may redefine, in this case, restrict, the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Nixon v. United States (1993)?The political question doctrine prevents the Court from judging the procedures the Senate uses to conduct an impeachment. The Constitution assigned authority for deciding how to conduct impeachments to the legislative branch.


What did the Supreme Court hold in Flast v. Cohen (1968)?Although taxpayers generally do not have standing as such to challenge laws in federal courts, they do have limited standing to challenge federal expenditures which violate the Establishment Clause (by promoting religion).