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View Diary: Sotomayor nomination: Gang of 14 breakdown (91 comments)

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  •  Circuit Courts and the Law (0+ / 0-)

    Not sure what the quote being mentioned actually said, but there a kernal of truth in law being "made" at the Federal Circuit Court level.  Appeals to that level are of right, which means that they must be heard, unlike the Supreme Court which (mostly) gets to decide which cases to take.

    And while Circuit Courts are bound by Supreme Court precedent, there are lots of areas where the Supreme Court has not ruled or has ruled narrowly or somewhat ambigously.  In those cases, the Circuit Court is bound by prior precedent in the Circuit as much as the Supreme Court is bound by prior Supreme Court precendent, if that makes any sense.  In fact, a lot of the cases heard by the Supreme Court are those in which there is a "split" among the various Circuit Courts (i.e., two or more Circuits have considered an issue and come to different conclusions) that thw Supreme Court wilkl resolve.  So, in a very real way the Circuit Courts really are the level of Federal judiciary that "makes the law".

    (-8.00, -6.67) It's a great day for hockey! -"Badger" Bob Johnson, 1931-1991

    by gpclay on Tue May 26, 2009 at 10:46:46 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  well, if you narrow this down to simple (0+ / 0-)

      language a lay person can understand 'law' resides solely in what has been decided before?  that would be my interpretation of precedence. So, does that mean that if there is a variance or different interpretation it needs to back to Congress to pass a new law?

      I linked a great op-ed piece by stanley fish in yesterday's NYT on the meaning of established law. I'll see if i can find it again. It's well worth looking up.

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