State Courts

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Lecture 16 Outline of Last Lecture I. Texas and the Clean Air Act of 1971 II. Actors and Procedures in Bureaucratic Implementation a. The Legislature, Sunset Review, The Governor, Legislative Budget Board (LBB), Interest Groups, and Bureaucrats III. Agencies with Elected Officials and Agencies with Appointed Executives IV. Boards and Commissions a. Elected, Ex-Officio, Appointed Outline of Current Lecture I. State Courts & How They Different From Executive and Legislative Branch II. Structure of State Court Systems a. Courts of Limited Jurisdiction > Major Trial Courts > Appellate Courts > Supreme Court III. Judicial Federalism involves a dual system of courts (state and federal) IV. Five Judicial Selection Methods a. Partisan Election, Nonpartisan Election, Legislative Selection, Appointive by Governor (Interim Appointments), and Missouri or Merit Plans (3 Stages) Topic Today’s Lecture STATE COURTS State Courts  3rd branch = Judicial  What makes courts different from the legislative and executive branches? o 1) Courts are reactive rather than proactive  reacting to laws passed by legislature and signed by governor o 2) Special requirements for obtaining access  A lobbyist, interest group, citizen can contact the legislative office with a letter, call, email, appointment, etc.  However, in case of the courts, you need to have a legal standing, involved in the issue in some way o 3) Judicial procedures are more formal!  In order for an interest group to have an influence in the courts, they have to write a micus curaie…  Micus curaie = legal brief/document stating a group’s opinion in a case o 4) Range of decision making  when legislature writes a law, it applies to everyone or broad group of people  courts are concerned about the facts of one case before and the law that pertains to that case  when the higher courts make rulings and interpret laws, they make precedent that must be followed by lower courts in the future  example: Mapp v. Ohio = Supreme Court decision over police entering a house looking for a fugitive and found obscene material, charged with having obscene material

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