The role of a grand jury is to decide whether or not to indict a suspect after listening to the prosecutor’s witnesses as well as a statement of the alleged crime from the prosecutor. A petit jury on the other hand comes after the grand jury has charged the suspect and taken him to trial where the petit jury decides on whether the suspect, now the defendant, is guilty or not of the charges brought against them (Erwin, 2009, p. 81).
Original jurisdiction is when a court hears a case for the first time like during a trial. The appellate jurisdiction is the power of a superior court to review and possibly overturn the decision of a lower court (Meinhold & Neubauer, 2009, p. 382).
Federal judges are nominated by the president and then approved by the Senate. It all starts with the nomination by the president who sends the nomination to the Senate which in-turn sends it to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration (Burnham, 2006, p. 116). After hearings, the SJC sends the nomination to the floor of the Senate for debate. If majority of the Senate votes in favor of the nomination, then the nominee is confirmed after which they take the bench after being appointed by the President (Emanuel, 2010, p. 989). The senatorial courtesy provides that the President most often than not, nominates a person that the Senate has recommended from the State concerned (Kernel, 2008, p. 574). The President will usually nominate a person who is in the same party and also someone who has the same ideology as they have. The gender of the nominee was an issue before the 80s with majority of the nominees being white males but from then on, the number and percentages of women and other minorities has been on the rise (Patterson & Schulze, 2005, p. 170).
A case is usually taken to the Supreme Court through an appeal from a junior court’s decision or ruling (Corwin, 2010, p. 62). The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over rare cases such as a dispute between states (Zimmerman, 2007, p. 15). A case can go to the Supreme Court as an appeal from a state supreme court such as the court of appeal in New York. It can grant a writ certiorari on a ruling that deals with constitutional matters.
Erwin, C. (2009). Constitutional Law. New York: Aspen Publishers
Gunther, G. & Sullivan, K. (2010). Constitutional Law, 17th (University Casebook). New York: Foundation Press
Emanuel, S. (2010). Emanuel Law Outlines: Constitutional Law. New York: Aspen Publishers.
Patterson, S. & Schulze, E. (2005). Introduction to the American Legal System (8th Ed). Prentice Hall: New York.
Meinhold, S. & Neubauer, D. (2009). Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Politics in the United States. Kentucky: Wadsworth Publishing.
Burnham, W. (2006). Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States. New Jersey: West.
Zimmerman, J. (2007). Interstate Disputes: The Supreme Court’s Original Jurisdiction. New York: State University of New York Press.
Kernell, S. (2008). The Logic of American Politics, 4th Ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press
Corwin, S. (2010). John Marshall and the Constitution: A Chronicle of The Supreme Court (1919). Kansas: Kessinger Press