The Judicial Branch of the American Government

The Supreme Court is the highest court that America has in its federal court system.  Below them are courts of appeal and below this are district courts.

Individual court systems of each state also exist, and are separate from the federal court system, but they aren’t entirely divorced from the system or independent from it.  Each of these individual court systems in each state has its own laws and its own procedures.  Each state also has a Supreme Court for the state and they are the final authority on the interpretation of the state’s laws.

A case can move from a state court to the U.S. Surpreme Court when there is a federal question involved.

If you look at the break down of the court system in America, it consists of the following: the Supreme court, 13 courts of appeal, 94 district courts and two courts of special jurisdiction.

The UK is Sort of Stuck Now

PrimeMinisterSince it seems like the British people simply couldn’t make up their collective minds, the aftermath of the UK’s recent election results has the country n a bit of a mess.  What happened with the national elections was that no single party won a clear overall majority.  This means that forming a government is not going to be as straightforward as it usually is.  This situation has not occurred in Britain for nearly 40 years.

Understanding a Hung Parliament

When no single party has enough Members of Parliament (MPs) elected to form a majority in the House of Commons, a hung parliament ensues.  That means that whatever party ultimately ends up as the government, it will not have the power needed to pass laws without getting the backing from the other parties.  In other words, no one single party will have ultimate control.  This produces two options:  either there will be a formal coalition among the smaller parties, or the larger party will just have to hope that once in power, the smaller parties will support it to get its laws passed.  So it’s certainly going to be interesting as to what will now transpire in Britain’s parliamentary system.