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Howdy! This is a library research guide made specifically for your class. Here you will find links to recommended resources to guide your research; short instructional how-tos; information related to COMM 4371- Communication Law & Society; personalized librarian assistance; and help with both print and electronic resources available through the UTEP Library.
USA Court Sturcture and Roles
Court Role and Structure
Federal courts hear cases involving the constitutionality of a law, cases involving the laws and treaties of the U.S. ambassadors and public ministers, disputes between two or more states, admiralty law, also known as maritime law, and bankruptcy cases.
Comparing Federal & State Courts
The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land in the United States. It creates a federal system of government in which power is shared between the federal government and the state governments. Due to federalism, both the federal government and each of the state governments have their own court systems. Discover the differences in structure, judicial selection, and cases heard in both systems.
Levels of the Federal Courts
Today, there are three basic levels of the federal courts...
Supreme Court Procedures & Writs of Certiorari
Parties who are not satisfied with the decision of a lower court must petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case. The primary means to petition the court for review is to ask it to grant a writ of certiorari. This is a request that the Supreme Court order a lower court to send up the record of the case for review. The Court usually is not under any obligation to hear these cases, and it usually only does so if the case could have national significance, might harmonize conflicting decisions in the federal Circuit courts, and/or could have precedential value. In fact, the Court accepts 100-150 of the more than 7,000 cases that it is asked to review each year. Typically, the Court hears cases that have been decided in either an appropriate U.S. Court of Appeals or the highest Court in a given state (if the state court decided a Constitutional issue).
Is a political candidate's past personal life fodder for the front page? If a child commits murder, should the offender's name be released? If a CD by a top recording artist has strongly antisocial lyrics, should the record label consider its impact on kids? In this program, news professionals and executives from NBC, CBS, Capitol-EMI Records, and Mercury Records speak out about the ethical dilemmas their industries face. The program also examines the case of Janet Cooke, who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning story about an 8-year-old heroin addict in 1981. The message was heartfelt, but fact-checking later proved her story to be closer to fiction than fact. In addition, the need for honesty and fairness, the subtle pressure of commercial interests, and the lure of sensationalism are discussed in this frank investigation of the pressures and circumstances that make up the context of media ethics.
National Law Journal - Supreme Court Brief
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FindLaw Opinion Summaries - Media Law
Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech