PLS 200-05

No class on Friday!

Structure/Function of US Judicial Branch

Constitution: Judicial authority resides in only one Supreme Court — Congress must create lower courts as below. S.Ct. is appellate court of last resort, but has original jurisdiction in cases re ambassadors or when states are parties to the case (FL v. x, for instance)

District courts: lower courts subordinate to S.Ct.; they are workhorses of Judicial branch; original jurisdiction (first Federal-level courts)

Appellate courts: appeals jurisdiction, cases only accepted upon grounds for appeal (legal error by lower/district courts). Must have grounds or no appeal; just because one loses is not grounds for appeal.

Key concept: Constitutional Review — no mention in US Constitution, what is source? Marbury v. Madison = “custom and usage”

Appt Justices — Confirm Nominee — Constitutional Review

3 Branches discussion over, begin elections discussion

Electoral College:
Each party qualifying will have a “slate” (set/group) of Electors (1 Rep slate, 1 Dem slate, 1 Green slate, etc)

Electors chosen from state party

Brief discussion of Bush v. Gore

Political parties not mentioned in Constitution, why? Parties seen as divisive, but were not prohibited (custom & usage again)

What functions do political parties serve?

  • organize campaigns
  • select & elect candidates
  • education
  • establish party platforms
  • canvass for signatures, raise $$$
  • run elections

Most functions performed in primary elections/caucuses

open primary v. closed primary
open = anyone can vote for any candidate, regardless of party affiliation
closed = only Democrats can vote for Democrats, only Republicans can vote for Republicans

“Winner take all” system in US, proportional systems in parliamentary countries (UK, CA, etc)

Party convention Delegates: similar to electors, but at party nomination level, not election level
“Super” delegates: elected officials, party officials, VIP’s

This presidential election may end up costing $1 Billion

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