September 24th, 1789 - the First United States Congress establishes the basic structure of the Federal Judiciary. With this act, the American legal system becomes an entity entwined with our fundamental notions of democracy and fair government, equal in power and authority to the Executive and Legislative branches. This program guides viewers through the history of the Judiciary and illustrates how it works in theory and practice. Topics include the main purposes of the Judicial branch - specifically, interpreting the law, determining if laws are unconstitutional, and applying the law to individual cases; the various divisions and levels of courts, such as lower, appellate, and specialized courts; the unique powers of the Supreme Court; summaries of famous Supreme Court cases; and more.
Interpreting the Constitution (1:10) -- The Origins of the Judicial Branch (2:36) -- The District Courts (2:13) -- The Supreme Court (1:27) -- Chief Justice (2:06) -- How Cases are Heard (2:10) -- Supreme Court Opinions (3:32) -- The State Court System (1:19) -- Judicial Review (3:11)
The information below has been drawn from sources outside of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. In most instances, the information will be from sources that have not been peer reviewed by scholarly or research communities. Please report cases in which the information is inaccurate through the Contact Us link below.