Political Science 302 Topics in Court and Law
State Court System in Oregon. Every state has set their courts up differently, they can be large differences or what the public views as very insignificant variations. In Oregon there are several different kinds of courts that I will be talking about as well as the overall characteristics of the courts system in Oregon. Oregon has four types of Courts within the state; the first is called the Oregon Judicial Department, which is the state trial and appellate courts. They also have municipal courts, county courts, and justice of the peace courts, federal courts are also present like they are in all states. Lastly we have a less common type of court which is the tribal courts. I will discuss aspects of all of these courts but exclude the Federal Courts from my paper. The Supreme Court in Oregon has seven elected justices; the seven appoint one within their group to Chief Justice for a term that lasts six years. When the Oregon Supreme Court needs a replacement justice or substitute for one whom is ill or otherwise, the Supreme Court justices can appoint a Court of Appeals judge, a Tax Court judge, a circuit judge, or a retired Supreme Court judge. This is in a situation when they need a temporary judge until either the previous judge returns to their duties, or is elected to the position. (“An Introduction to the State Courts of Oregon.”) Since we are on the subject the judicial selection method in Oregon is one of nonpartisan election. When a Supreme Court judge does retire from the court within sixty days a new judge must run for the seat in the subsequent general election. The term for the Supreme Court judges in Oregon is six years, to be elected to the court the judicial candidates must be U.S. citizens, they have to have lived in Oregon for at least three years, they must be a member of the state bar, and they are required to retire from the court at the age of 75. (“Judicial Selection in the States: Oregon”) As for removal of Supreme Court Judges there are only two ways in Oregon, first being a judge can be removed by the other judges if it is the recommendation of the commission on judicial fitness and disability. The second way is that if a judge makes a decision that does not settle with the public there can be a recall election which he is subject to. There are two types of reviews available to the Supreme Court of Oregon the first is, discretionary review. This is when the Supreme Court receives a petition to review a ruling by a party displeased with the decision made in the lower courts. The second type is a direct review; this is when a case goes to the Supreme Court directly without going through the Court of Appeals. These different types of reviews come into play when talking about the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. (“An Introduction to the Courts of Oregon.”) The Supreme Court has direct review of cases involving the following, 1) Death penalty 2) Specific Labor Laws 3) Decisions from the Oregon Tax Court 4) Agency proceedings involving, prison siting, Energy Facility Siting Council, and solid waste disposal site selection.
The Supreme Court has Discretionary review in cases from, 1) Court of Appeals decisions and questions from Court of Appeals 2) A Direct but still Discretionary review of questions of law from a federal court or different state court (“An Introduction to the Courts of Oregon.”)
The next court on topic is the Court of Appeals; the Court of Appeals has ten judges, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals is appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals includes, hear all criminal and civil cases from circuit court, except those within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and review administrative agency actions of the state. (“An Introduction to the Courts of Oregon.”)
When the Court of Appeals has a temporary