Justice Gorsuch Joins the …

Posted by Jessica Travis in Criminal Law Blog











 Justice Gorsuch Joins the Supreme Court

By Jessica Travis on Wednesday, May 12, 2017

President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, Neil M. Gorsuch, was recently sworn in as the newest member to the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Gorsuch has filled the open Supreme Court seat that was left vacant after Justice Scalia passed away in February 2016. He is the 113th justice to serve on the Supreme Court. Prior to becoming a Supreme Court Justice, Gorsuch served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

To become a justice of the Supreme court requires a Presidential nomination, and then a confirmation by the Senate. Justices of the Supreme Court serve life tenures. The Supreme Court consists of nine justices. The nine current justices of the Supreme Court are:

  • John Roberts, Chief Justice
  • Anthony Kennedy
  • Clarence Thomas
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Stephen Breyer
  • Samuel Alito
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Elena Kagan
  • Neil Gorsuch

The Supreme Court is the highest federal court of the U.S., and there are certain rules on how a case can be heard by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has both original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction. What original jurisdiction means is that there are certain types of cases that can start in the Supreme Court, but these types of cases are not common and involve dispute between states and disputes involving ambassadors. Appellate jurisdiction means that the Supreme Court can hear other cases on appeal, however, a case must work its way through the multiple levels of courts before it can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Most criminal cases start in a State’s Trial Court system. Once the Trial Court has ruled on a case, a defendant can appeal the ruling in the State’s Appeals Court. If still unhappy with the outcome of the case, the defendant can request the State’s Supreme Court to hear the case. When a defendant decides to appeal to the State’s Supreme Court, the defendant asks the court to grant a writ of certiorari. A writ of certiorari is when a higher court orders a case from a lower court for review. The State Supreme Courts do not have to hear all cases presented to them on appeal.

If the defendant still feels the court has made an incorrect ruling, the defendant can either appeal to the Federal District Court or to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the defendant choses to start with the Federal District Court, and is unhappy with this court’s ruling, they can then appeal to the Federal Circuit Court, and if still unhappy with the ruling, the defendant can then petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case.

When a defendant decides to appeal to the Supreme Court, the defendant asks the court to grant a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court is not required to hear cases on appeal, and generally only hears cases they feel have conflicting decisions among the Federal Circuit Courts (also called split decisions), and/or cases that contain issues of national significance. The Supreme Court receives requests to hear over 7,000 cases per year, but usually only accepts and hears about 80 of these cases.

While few cases make it all the way to the Supreme Court, lower court

rulings can be overturned on appeal. If you or someone you know have been convicted of a crime, and are not sure if you should file for an appeal, you should consult with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. I urge you to consult with me by calling 407-233-3210 or 888-778-7638 toll free.

During your free, initial consultation, we can discuss your circumstances and legal options privately and in confidence.

If we agree that I am the right attorney to defend you, I will represent you aggressively and to the fullest extent of the law.

co-authored by Patricia Blotzer

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