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8.1 The Federal Courts. Role of the Courts Federal courts, such as the Supreme Court, make up the third branch of the US government- the judicial branch.

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Presentation on theme: "8.1 The Federal Courts. Role of the Courts Federal courts, such as the Supreme Court, make up the third branch of the US government- the judicial branch."— Presentation transcript:

1 8.1 The Federal Courts

2 Role of the Courts Federal courts, such as the Supreme Court, make up the third branch of the US government- the judicial branch Federal courts, such as the Supreme Court, make up the third branch of the US government- the judicial branch Courts use the law to settle civil disputes and to decide the guilt or innocence of people accused of crimes Courts use the law to settle civil disputes and to decide the guilt or innocence of people accused of crimes

3 Role of the Courts Courts hear civil disputes between private parties and hold criminal trials where witnesses present evidence and a judge or jury delivers a verdict Courts hear civil disputes between private parties and hold criminal trials where witnesses present evidence and a judge or jury delivers a verdict

4 Equal Treatment The US Supreme Court is at the top of the federal court system; the goal of the legal system is to treat every person the same The US Supreme Court is at the top of the federal court system; the goal of the legal system is to treat every person the same

5 Equal Treatment Under the Constitution, every person accused of breaking the law has the right to a public trial and a lawyer, if they cannot afford one the court will provide one Under the Constitution, every person accused of breaking the law has the right to a public trial and a lawyer, if they cannot afford one the court will provide one Each person is presumed innocent until proven guilty and has the right to ask for a review of their case if they feel the courts have made a mistake Each person is presumed innocent until proven guilty and has the right to ask for a review of their case if they feel the courts have made a mistake

6 Federal Courts From under the Articles of Confederation there was no national court system, each state had its own laws and courts From under the Articles of Confederation there was no national court system, each state had its own laws and courts

7 Federal Courts Article III of the Constitution established a national Supreme Court and gave Congress the power to establish lower federal courts Article III of the Constitution established a national Supreme Court and gave Congress the power to establish lower federal courts

8 Federal Courts In 1789 Congress passed the Judiciary Act, which established federal district courts and circuit courts of appeals In 1789 Congress passed the Judiciary Act, which established federal district courts and circuit courts of appeals

9 Federal Courts In 1891, Congress created a system of federal appeals courts and circuits, or districts they serve In 1891, Congress created a system of federal appeals courts and circuits, or districts they serve

10 Federal Courts The federal court system has three levels: the district courts at the lower level, the appeals courts in the middle, and the Supreme Court at the top The federal court system has three levels: the district courts at the lower level, the appeals courts in the middle, and the Supreme Court at the top Our federal court system exists alongside 50 separate state court systems; each state has its own laws and courts that get their power from state constitutions Our federal court system exists alongside 50 separate state court systems; each state has its own laws and courts that get their power from state constitutions

11 Federal Court Jurisdiction Article III of the Constitution gives federal courts jurisdiction- the authority to hear and decide a case- only in cases that involve one of the following: Article III of the Constitution gives federal courts jurisdiction- the authority to hear and decide a case- only in cases that involve one of the following: 1. The Constitution: if a person feels a constitutional right, such as freedom of speech has been violated, it would be heard in federal court 1. The Constitution: if a person feels a constitutional right, such as freedom of speech has been violated, it would be heard in federal court

12 Federal Courts Jurisdiction 2. Federal Laws: federal courts try people accused of federal crimes such as kidnapping, tax evasion, and counterfeiting, they also hear civil cases involving federal laws 2. Federal Laws: federal courts try people accused of federal crimes such as kidnapping, tax evasion, and counterfeiting, they also hear civil cases involving federal laws

13 Federal Courts Jurisdiction 3. Disputes Between States: disagreements between state governments are resolved in federal courts 3. Disputes Between States: disagreements between state governments are resolved in federal courts Federal Court North CarolinaSouth Carolina

14 Federal Courts Jurisdiction 4. Citizens From Different States: lawsuits between citizens of different states also come under the federal courts 4. Citizens From Different States: lawsuits between citizens of different states also come under the federal courts

15 Federal Courts Jurisdiction 5. The Federal Government: The US government could take a company to court for failing to live up to a contract or individuals and companies can take the government to court 5. The Federal Government: The US government could take a company to court for failing to live up to a contract or individuals and companies can take the government to court

16 Federal Courts Jurisdiction 6. Foreign Governments and Treaties: in any dispute between a foreign government and the US government, an American company, or an American citizen, the case will be heard in a federal court 6. Foreign Governments and Treaties: in any dispute between a foreign government and the US government, an American company, or an American citizen, the case will be heard in a federal court

17 Federal Courts Jurisdiction 7. Admiralty and Maritime Laws: these laws concern crimes and accidents outside territorial waters 7. Admiralty and Maritime Laws: these laws concern crimes and accidents outside territorial waters

18 Federal Courts Jurisdiction 8. US Diplomats: if an American diplomat is accused of breaking an American law, the case would go to a federal court 8. US Diplomats: if an American diplomat is accused of breaking an American law, the case would go to a federal court

19 Types of Jurisdiction Federal courts often have exclusive jurisdiction, which means only the federal courts may hear and decide cases Federal courts often have exclusive jurisdiction, which means only the federal courts may hear and decide cases Alton Lennon Federal Building (Left); New Hanover County Courthouse (Right)

20 Types of Jurisdiction In the dual court system, federal courts have jurisdiction over cases involving federal laws, while state courts have jurisdiction over cases involving state laws In the dual court system, federal courts have jurisdiction over cases involving federal laws, while state courts have jurisdiction over cases involving state laws

21 Types of Jurisdiction Most US court cases involve state law and are tried in state courts Most US court cases involve state law and are tried in state courts Under some circumstances both federal and state courts have jurisdiction, this is known as concurrent jurisdiction, either court may try these crimes Under some circumstances both federal and state courts have jurisdiction, this is known as concurrent jurisdiction, either court may try these crimes

22 Types of Jurisdiction Concurrent jurisdiction also applies when citizens of different states are involved in a dispute concerning at least $50,000; in such a case a person may sue in either a federal court or a state court, appeals might eventually reach the Supreme Court Concurrent jurisdiction also applies when citizens of different states are involved in a dispute concerning at least $50,000; in such a case a person may sue in either a federal court or a state court, appeals might eventually reach the Supreme Court


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