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How the Supreme Court Decides to Hear a Case Essay

How the Supreme Court Decides to Hear a Case Essay


Title: The Selection of Cases, Impact on Public Policy, and Evaluating the Successes and Failures of Courts

Abstract: This paper explores the mechanisms by which different types of courts select cases for hearing, highlights a notable court case that influenced public policy, and discusses both the successes and failures of the judicial system through illustrative examples. By analyzing the case selection process, examining the impact of a specific court case on public policy, and evaluating instances of both successful and failed court decisions, we gain insights into the functioning of the judicial system and its role in shaping society.

  1. Introduction: Courts play a crucial role in society by interpreting laws, settling disputes, and influencing public policy. The process of case selection varies across different types of courts, including federal and state courts, and their decisions can have a profound impact on public policy. This paper aims to provide an overview of how cases are selected for hearing in various courts, summarize a landmark court case that became public policy, and assess the successes and failures of the judicial system.
  2. Case Selection in Different Types of Courts: The selection of cases for hearing differs among federal, state, and specialized courts. Federal courts, such as the United States Supreme Court, largely exercise discretionary jurisdiction, allowing them to choose which cases to hear. Factors considered in their selection include conflicts between circuit courts, constitutional issues, and cases of significant national importance. State courts, on the other hand, often operate under mandatory jurisdiction, requiring them to hear all cases falling within their purview unless they are frivolous or lack standing. Specialized courts, like family or tax courts, focus on specific areas of law and handle cases exclusively related to those areas.
  3. Case Summary: Brown v. Board of Education (1954): One of the most influential court cases that shaped public policy is Brown v. Board of Education (1954). In this landmark Supreme Court case, the Court ruled that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional. The decision overturned the doctrine of “separate but equal” and marked a significant step in the desegregation of American schools. Brown v. Board of Education had a profound impact on public policy by catalyzing the civil rights movement and leading to legislative changes aimed at ending racial segregation.
  4. Successes of the Courts: a. Desegregation: Brown v. Board of Education serves as a prime example of a court decision that successfully challenged and reshaped public policy. It contributed to the dismantling of racial segregation in schools and paved the way for greater civil rights advancements.
  5. Failures of the Courts: a. Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857): A notable example of a court failure is the Dred Scott decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that enslaved African Americans were not U.S. citizens and could not sue for their freedom. This decision exacerbated tensions over slavery, ultimately contributing to the outbreak of the Civil War and underscoring the court’s limitations in addressing deeply divisive social issues.
  6. Conclusion: The selection of cases by different types of courts is influenced by various factors, leading to diverse outcomes. While some court decisions, such as Brown v. Board of Education, successfully impact public policy and advance societal progress, others, like Dred Scott v. Sandford, underscore the judiciary’s limitations and its potential to perpetuate injustice. Courts remain pivotal in shaping the legal landscape and driving social change, but their successes and failures remind us of the complexity and challenges inherent in the judicial system.
  7. References: [Insert relevant references here]

How the Supreme Court Decides to Hear a Case Essay



Write a paper that addresses the following:

How does each type of court select what case they will hear?

Summarize a court case (decision) that became public policy.

Discuss the successes and failures of the courts. Provide at least one example of each.

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