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Judicial-System (English Topic)

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Judicial System
The need for a judicial system in any society is
a given
.
In the United States, there is a
complex system of courts that involve different judges on a city, state, and national level.
The highest court in the United States is the Supreme Court.
On the Supreme Court, there
are 9 judges, which are called justices.
Out of these 9 judges, the most senior justice is known as
the 'Chief Justice of the United States'.
He or she leads all proceedings and earns slightly more
than the other judges ($223,500 per year).
All justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by the
President for a life term, but they must be confirmed by a majority vote of the Senate before they
are
inducted
into the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court's main purpose is to
hear
cases
involving a violations of the U.S. Constitution, but anyone may request to have their case
brought before the Supreme Court if they feel that justice was not followed in accordance with U.S.
law.
However, less than 1% of all cases that are requested to be heard by the Supreme Court are
actually placed on its
docket
.
In general, in court the person who is accused of a crime is known as the defendant.
The
person who accuses the other of a crime is known as a plaintiff.
The prosecutor (often known as the
DA or District Attorney) is the legal expert who tries to prove that the defendant is guilty.
Under
United States law, everyone in the United States has the right to a trial before a
jury
.
This means
that they do not have to be
at the mercy of
a single person's judgment (the judge's), but rather, a
group of ordinary citizens.
These citizens, however, do not have any legal training or knowledge.
What do you think about this?
Would you rather have a trial by judge, or a trial by jury?
What are
advantages to each?
What do you know about the O.J. Simpson
case?
Do you think the
verdict
was fair?
Why or why not?
What are some famous judicial cases in
Russia?
What is your take on them?
(To be) a given
=
To be obvious or
essential; something that “goes without
saying” is a given.
[Today Alyona is
celebrating her 23
rd
birthday party.
Will
there be a birthday cake?
Of course there
will be!
I mean, it's her birthday – it's a
given!][It's a given that if you ride the metro
at 0930 during the week, there will be people pushing and shoving to get into the train!]
To induct
= To formally make someone or something an official part of an organization or
institution.
[Michael Jordan is considered to be the greatest basketball player ever, so it comes as no
surprise that he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.]
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Republic
.ru All rights reserved
To hear cases
= To listen to and judge cases (judicial usage only)
[The case of Johnson vs. Smith
was not heard by the Court because the judges felt that the lower courts properly ran all
proceedings.]
Docket
= The list of cases heard before a court.
[On today's Supreme Court docket, the nine
justices will hear the cases of Smith vs. Nebraska, Cooper vs. Birmingham, and Johnson vs. New
York City Police Department.]
Jury
= A group of members of the public who decide whether someone is guilty in a court case.
[The
jury deadlocked in the case of Brown vs. Smith, so in the end a sentence was postponed.]
(To be) at the mercy of (someone)
= To be in a situation where you are controlled by someone or
something which has the potential to harm or inconvenience you.
[I wrote my analytical paper to the
best of my ability, and I've already sent the rough draft in to my professor.
At this point, I'm at the
mercy of Professor Kartzov!
Wish me luck!]
Verdict
= An official judgement made in court.
(Guilty or Not Guilty)
[It will be interesting to see
which verdict the jury will come up with.
Public opinion is split 50-50 on his guilt or innocence.]
CASE STUDIES
CRUZAN VS. DIRECTOR OF MISSOURI DEPT OF HEALTH (1990)
On January 11, 1983, Nancy Cruzan was driving her car, when she lost control of it and
crashed into a ditch.
The paramedics arrived and found her with no
vital signs
, but in the end they
were able to
resucitate
her.
Unfortunately, she was in a coma, and for weeks she made no
progress.
Her husband and parents waited for four years, but they eventually decided that she had
no hope for recovery.
They decided to take her off of life support, but the State of Missouri refused,
saying that they did not have “clear and convincing evidence” that this is what Nancy would have
wanted.
In the end, the Supreme Court ruled that the Missouri Department of Health was correct,
and had the right to refuse the take her off of life support.
What do you think about this case and this decision?
Do you agree?
Why or why not?
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA VS. DALE (2000)
Scoutmaster James Dale was
expelled
from the Boy Scouts of America organization after
becoming an active member of his university's Gay and Lesbian student alliance and stating that he
was gay.
He sued the BSA and the New Jersey Supreme Court forced them to readmit Mr. Dale into
their organization.
However, the BSA took the case before the Supreme Court of the United States,
and they overturned the lower court's ruling, stating that the New Jersey Supreme Court
unconstitutionally violated the BSA's rights.
They ruled that the BSA has freedom of association,
which allows a private, non-government funded association to exclude a person from
membership
when “the presence of that person affects in a significant way the group's ability to advocate public
or private viewpoints.”
The BSA opposes homosexuality, and forcing the organization to include a
homosexual member would interfere with that message.
What do you think about this case and this decision?
Do you agree?
Why or why not?
Vital Signs
= Indications, such as pulse, breathing, etc. that show that someone is alive.
[Having
failed to find any vital signs, the doctor declared the heart attack victim deceased.]
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
To resuscitate (someone)
= To make an unconscious person start to breathe again.
[Everyone
thought that the little boy was dead, but after pulling him from the bottom of the pool and
administering CPR, the lifeguard was able to resuscitate him.]
Bilateral
= Involving two groups or countries.
[Bilateral negotiations between South Korea and
Japan ensured that no third party was able to derail communications for their own purposes.]
Intermediary
= Someone who talks to each of the people or groups that are involved in something
in order to help them agree about it. [colloquial: “middleman”]
[The use of intermediaries is essential
to relations between Iran and the United States, as it became policy of President George Bush not
to negotiate directly with the Iranian regime.]
Recurring
= [ADJECTIVE] To happen again; to happen over and over; to occur frequently.
[James
has a weak immune system, so getting colds is a recurring problem for him.]
To expel
= To kick out; To officially force someone to leave a place, organization, or school due to a
stated reason (usually behavior/statements).
[Little Johnny was expelled from school for verbally
assaulting his 1
st
grade teacher with profane language.]
ARTICLES QUIZ
At our meeting, you will have to decide whether to add an article or possessive pronoun.....or nothing at all.
CONVERSATIONS
Kai
:
I can't believe that some schmuck stole
my wallet while I was eating in Al-Shark!!
Vadim
:
I told you to be careful, Kai......it may
not be Kupchino, but Ploshad Vossitaniya is
a
far cry from
Cherneshevskaya.
Kai
:
I'm going to find that street rat and take
him to court!
Vadim
:
Oh, you're going to make a citizen's
arrest?
What evidence do you have?
Kai:
I know it was him.
He was sitting
suspiciously close to us while we were
chatting.
He must have taken my wallet
from my coat pocket while I wasn't looking.
Vadim
:
So it sounds like you have your
suspicions, but not any evidence.....
Kai
:
Maybe Al-Shark has surveillance video....
Vadim
:
Don't count on it.
Just accept it as a loss and safeguard yourself better next time.
Kai
:
No way!
It's my civic duty to ensure that justice is served.
Vadim
:
Hey Kai – isn't that man who just walked in the same guy who you think stole your wallet?
Whoa – he's coming towards us.....
Thief
:
Excuse me, sir – I think you were sitting here last week, and you must have dropped your
wallet.
Here you are.
Kai
:
Oh wow, thanks.
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
Vadim
:
See, Kai, you shouldn't
jump to conclusions!
What a nice guy!
Kai
:
What a jerk!!!!
All my money is gone!
Vadim
:
Oh well,
that's how the cookie crumbles.....
(To be) a far cry from (something)
= To be very different from someone or something.
[Cynthia is a
good soccer player, but she is a far cry from Pele!]
To pick up (something) for (someone)
= To buy something with the purpose of giving it to
someone else.
[I picked up 3 jars of peanut butter for Vadim when I was in the United States. –
In
imperative format, word order can vary:
Pick James up some apples while you're at the store. = Pick
up some apples for James while you're at the store.]
To jump to conclusions
= To make a decision about something without thoughtfully thinking
everything through and considering all possibilities.
“
That's how the cookie crumbles”
= “That's life” = Statement meaning that life is unpredictable
and things happen which we cannot change and are out of our control.
Just Speak!
Check E
R
Movies (where you can watch movies with subtitles)
http://English
Republic
.ru/movies
Written by Bunny
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
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