29 votes
Accepted

Do countries (with rule of law) exist where a court can require the legislature to vote on a law in order to clear ambiguities?

germanycivil-law there was a way for supreme court judges to resolve ambiguities The Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court), through a Verfassungsbeschwerde (constitutional ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
  • 5,451
29 votes

Why is the federal judiciary of the United States divided into circuits?

While the answer by Jen does a good job explaining why some possible alternative structures for US courts of appeal (circuit courts) would be unworkable, the real reason why we have such courts is ...
David Siegel's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

Can Congress overrule Marbury v. Madison by statute?

Congress can't override substantive rules of constitutional law Marbury v. Madison is a binding interpretation of what the U.S. Constitution permits or denies, and in substance, this law seeks to ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 205k
16 votes

What is a municipal court?

It depends on the state. Unlike France, a unitary nation, American Federalism typically means States may define different legal concepts differently. In California for example, Municipal courts ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 22.9k
15 votes

What happens if a judge disregards a mandatory minimal sentencing law?

united-states Minimum sentencing laws do not prescribe any punishment for a judge that simply refuses to obey them. See 18 U.S. Code § 3553 as an example that explains how sentencing must be enforced, ...
lawful-n00b's user avatar
  • 1,407
15 votes
Accepted

Why does the USA not have a constitutional court?

Why does the one country that promotes constitutional democracies above all others not have a judicial branch specifically for those matters? I know SCOTUS will hear these matters . . . I have had it ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 205k
14 votes

In the United States, must state courts follow rulings by federal courts of appeals?

Widely accepted answer: no, state courts are not bound by circuit precedent The near-consensus is that state courts need not follow the rulings by federal courts of appeal.1 State courts are ...
Jen's user avatar
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12 votes
Accepted

Why is the federal judiciary of the United States divided into circuits?

Since you don't present alternatives to the division of the federal judiciary into circuits, I will consider the options that I can envision and which are undoubtably within the power of Congress to ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 51.3k
11 votes

What happens if a judge disregards a mandatory minimal sentencing law?

new-zealand The prosecutor may appeal on the question of law whether the judge erred in not imposing the minimum sentence. The appeal court may agree and order the original court (not directly the ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 26.8k
11 votes

Why does the USA not have a constitutional court?

Wikipedia says the first constitutional court per se was established in Austria in 1919. So that accounts for why the US didn't have one at its founding: they hadn't been invented yet. In fact, in ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
10 votes

What is a municipal court?

Each state in the United States sets up their courts as the legislature sees fit. Some have courts for less important matters that are officially part of a municipality such as a town or a city. ...
Gerard Ashton's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Why can't federal courts issue advisory opinions?

Advisory opinions violate the separation-of-powers doctrine. The "case or controversy" clause helps enforce this separation. The judicial branch is responsible for resolving legal disputes by ...
bwDraco's user avatar
  • 730
9 votes

What is a municipal court?

Is it like our "Tribunal de Police" for speeding on the road, noises during the night and others petty things of the same kind? Or is it more like "Tribunal correctionnel", when it ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 205k
8 votes

Do countries (with rule of law) exist where a court can require the legislature to vote on a law in order to clear ambiguities?

Courts everywhere “force” legislatures to legislate by declining to act to fill in gaps left by outdated laws or striking down statutes that are deemed defective. Other parts of the government are ...
Relaxed's user avatar
  • 764
8 votes

Why does the USA not have a constitutional court?

Most of the ""Why is the US constitution/way of doing democracy weird compared to other constitutional democracies" comes down to the age of the document/democracy. We're still ...
Alan's user avatar
  • 795
8 votes
Accepted

Which law spells out judicial immunity?

new-zealand The New Zealand Supreme Court describes judicial immunity as "common law doctrine": Judicial immunity is common law doctrine [citing to the English line of case law, including ...
Jen's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Does being overturned on appeal have consequences for the careers of trial judges?

canada The mere fact of being frequently overturned on appeal would only have reputational consequences and secondary effects on career advancement (not suggesting these are minor effects). But being ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 51.3k
7 votes

What happens if a judge disregards a mandatory minimal sentencing law?

england-and-wales The Crown Prosecution Service page here: Unduly Lenient Sentences defines Meaning of 'Unduly Lenient' ... This includes cases where judges err in law as to their powers of ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
  • 2,230
7 votes

Does being overturned on appeal have consequences for the careers of trial judges?

united-states Does being overturned on appeal have consequences for the careers of trial judges? In general no. Indeed, federal judges serve for life. And, judges in some state courts serve for life,...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 205k
6 votes

Judicial Crimes

If you mean who decides what is good behavior, congress does. Congress would impeach a judge if he/she needed to be removed. With respect to federal judges, under Article I of the United States ...
Putvi's user avatar
  • 3,964
6 votes
Accepted

Status of U.S. attorneys in US DOJ (2021)

The DoJ under the executive branch has attorneys, judges are under the independent judicial branch. US attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, so in the worst case they can be fired and some ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
6 votes

What would be required to overturn the Grainger test?

The judiciary is an arm of the state There is no “power grab” by the judiciary: they are simply exercising the Constitutional power they have to act as a court of record (given to them in the Supreme ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 204k
6 votes

Why does the USA not have a constitutional court?

The reason for this is all courts in the U.S. are able to hear constitutional matters and rule on them. Any court at or below the level of the court that makes the ruling is expected to abide by that ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 22.9k
6 votes

If the legislature wrote into law "black is white", how would the judiciary react?

There was a recent case in the US state of California (Almond Alliance v. California Fish & Game Commission) that got a lot of press because the court found that bees were fish. The California ...
Justin Cave's user avatar
  • 2,036
6 votes
Accepted

Would Vivek Ramaswamy have the power to release the full Geoffrey Epstein client lists?

Would Vivek Ramaswamy have the power to release the full Geoffrey Epstein client lists? No. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a federal trial court ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 205k
5 votes
Accepted

How is judge selected for a case in the US?

The exact procedure varies from one district to the next, but generally speaking, it is essentially by lottery. The procedure is typically spelled out in the court's local rules. Jump to page 105 of ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.2k
5 votes
Accepted

If an appeals court orders a lower court to throw out a case, can this be appealed by the lower court?

The Main Answer: The Judge Can't Appeal; But Other People Can Since the Judge now has an attorney, can this Judge appeal to the Supreme Court (or appeal again starting from a different court ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 205k
5 votes

Can the Judiciary change the due process outlined in a law?

Separation of powers means that the judiciary can't pass laws or executive orders. It doesn't mean that the judiciary can't interfere with their passage and enforcement. Quite the opposite -- the ...
cHao's user avatar
  • 2,025
5 votes

Can Congress overrule Marbury v. Madison by statute?

No This particular attempt at jurisdiction stripping would fail as it attacks the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction: In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 204k

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