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AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. THE DISTRICT COURTS US District courts are the federal trial courts 677 judges handle more than 300,000 cases per year (80% of the.

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Presentation on theme: "AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. THE DISTRICT COURTS US District courts are the federal trial courts 677 judges handle more than 300,000 cases per year (80% of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

2 THE DISTRICT COURTS US District courts are the federal trial courts 677 judges handle more than 300,000 cases per year (80% of the federal case load) These courts created by the Judiciary Act of There are currently 94 (96) districts FEDERAL JUDICIAL DISTRICTS 50 states are divided into 89 judicial districts Also districts in Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands Most cases heard by a single judge but sometimes there is a 3-judge panel

3 DISTRICT COURT JURISDICTION Original jurisdiction over most cases except those that start in the Supreme Court or the US Court for International Trade Criminal or civil cases Criminal—a defendant is tried for committing some crime as stated in federal law Civil—involves noncriminal matters such as patent infringement or contract issues Most district court decisions are final. Some rulings may be appealed to a different court.

4 THE COURT OF APPEALS Created by Congress in 1891 Established as “gatekeepers” to relieve the Supreme Court of much of the burden of hearing appeals from district courts DOCKET—list of cases to be heard by a court 12 judicial circuits APPELLATE COURT JUDGES 179 circuit judges Each Supreme Court Justice is assigned to a circuit as well

5 APPELLATE COURT JURISDICTION These courts hear only cases on appeal from district courts within their circuit They also hear cases from other agencies such as Federal Trade Commission, etc. 70,000 cases or more annually

6 OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS THE COURT OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE Created in judges Hears civil cases related to tariffs, trade, etc. THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT Created in 1982 Established to speed up handling of appeals in certain types of civil cases Hears appeals from several types of courts THE END


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