Answered Essay: Discuss how Court rulings have both positive and negative affects on states and their relationship

Discuss how Court rulings have both positive and negative affects on states and their relationship with the federal government. Use examples of specific cases.

Expert Answer

The state and federal court systems sometimes intersect and overlap each other, and no two states are exactly alike when it comes to the organization of their courts. Since a state’s court system is created by the state itself, each one differs in structure, the number of courts that states have will also differ, and even the name and the jurisdiction also differs.

About 90% of all the cases that are dealt in the United States is dealt in individual States. Federal handles very few cases comparitively. The several hundred thousand cases handled every year on the federal side pale in comparison to the several million handled by the states.

State courts are the core of the U.S. judicial system, and they are responsible for a huge area of law. Most crimes and criminal activity, such as robbery, rape, and murder, are violations of state laws, and cases are thus heard by state courts. State courts also handle civil matters; personal injury, malpractice, divorce, family, juvenile, probate, and contract disputes and real estate cases, to name just a few, are usually state-level cases.

The federal courts, on the other hand, will hear any case that involves a foreign government, patent or copyright infringement, Native American rights, maritime law, bankruptcy, or a controversy between two or more states. Cases arising from activities across state lines (interstate commerce) are also subject to federal court jurisdiction, as are cases in which the United States is a party. A dispute between two parties not from the same state or nation and in which damages of at least $75,000 are claimed is handled at the federal level.

So, the positive affects of the states in their relationship with Federal government is, most of the cases that States deal end at State courts and the results are mostly satisfactory, hence parties generally do not go to Federal. Even if they go, Federal courts’ ruling will be similar to State courts ruling. This kind of the independence and relationship that state courts have with Federal courts is overwhelming.

Sometimes the ruling that federal courts give will be much different than the state courts ruling. It is always possible that issues of federal law may start in the state courts before they make their way over to the federal side. And any case that starts out at the state and/or local level on state matters can make it into the federal system on appeal.

Let’s take an example of Miranda Vs Arizona case. In this case, Ernesto Miranda, arrested for kidnapping and rape, which are violations of state law, was easily convicted and sentenced to prison after a key piece of evidence—his own signed confession—was presented at trial in the Arizona court. On appeal first to the Arizona Supreme Court and then to the U.S. Supreme Court to exclude the confession on the grounds that its admission was a violation of his constitutional rights, Miranda won the case.

Miranda’s story is a good example of the tandem operation of the state and federal court systems. His guilt or innocence of the crimes was a matter for the state courts, whereas the constitutional questions raised by his trial were a matter for the federal courts.  In this case, there is a difference in the opinion between the state and federal courts.

An other example is Marijuana cases, where few state courts allow medical marijuana and it is legal to use state marijuana as per few state courts. But, as per Federal court, it is illegal to use Marijuana, and not even for the medical purposes. The difference in the courts rulings in these courts will result in negative affects between state and federal courts.

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