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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 11 FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM."— Presentation transcript:


2 Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 22
“Laws are a dead letters without courts to expound and define their true meaning and operation”

3 Article III, Section I “The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

4 Article I, Section 8, Clause 9
Congress has the expressed power “to constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court.”

5 DUAL COURT SYSTEM (Federalism)
1) National Judiciary (Federal Court System): 100+ courts a. Supreme Court b. Constitutional courts c. Legislative (Special) courts 2) State Judiciary: 1000s of courts State courts hear most cases (about 98% of criminal cases in U.S.)

6 Federal vs. State Courts


8 FEDERAL COURTS Inferior courts (lower than Supreme Court).
TWO TYPES: CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS Hear more cases than “special” courts Created out of Article III power Include 94 District Courts, 12 Circuit Courts of Appeals, US Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit, US Court of International Trade AKA “Regular Courts”, “Article III Courts”


2) SPECIAL COURTS *Created by Congress to deal with cases arising out of one of Congress’ expressed powers. Narrower in focus than “regular” courts. *AKA “Legislative Courts” or “Article I Courts” *Includes: US Tax Court; Territorial Courts; Courts of the District of Columbia; US Court of Federal Claims; US Court of Appeals for Armed Forces; US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

11 Special Courts, continued
US Court of Federal Claims (you suing the federal government) Territorial Courts (land owned by U.S. like Guam) Courts of the District of Columbia (court for people in D.C.) US Tax Court (civil cases involving IRS) US Court of Appeals for Armed Forces (military has own set of laws, so they need their own court – appeals from JAG) US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (if a veteran loses a service, this is where they appeal their case – like Agent Orange cases)

12 JURISDICTION A court’s authority to hear a case.
Definition of Jurisdiction: A court’s authority to hear a case. Example: Break a federal law, go to a federal court (robbing a bank). Example: Break a state law, go to a state court (speeding).

13 Types of Jurisdiction Exclusive Jurisdiction - cases that can only be heard in Federal Courts. Federal Crimes Examples: cases involving foreign ambassadors, bank robbery, counterfeiting, kidnapping, presidential assassination, killing a police officer, destroying a mailbox, etc.

14 Types of Jurisdiction (Exclusive Jurisdiction continued)
Cases that involve Federal laws or acts of Congress Example: violations of patents and copyrights.

15 Types Of Jurisdiction, continued
2) Concurrent Jurisdiction – cases can be tried in either federal or state court. Common type:“Diverse Citizenship” –dispute involving citizens of different states. Federal District Courts may hear these if over $75,000 is involved. Defendant can have the trial moved from the Plaintiff’s state to a federal district court. (Example: Property dispute between people from different states.)

16 CHRONOLOGY of Jurisdiction
1) Original jurisdiction - court where case is 1st heard. (District Courts are “point of entry”) 2) Appellate jurisdiction – court where case is heard 2nd or more times (on appeal from lower court.)


18 Jurisdiction Of the Federal Courts –
1. U.S Supreme court has original and appellate 2. U.S Appeals courts have appellate 3. U.S District courts have original

19 US Courts of Appeals US District Courts
Supreme Court 9 Justices D.C. Fewest cases (80-150/year) Original and appellate US Courts of Appeals 12 Circuit Courts 3 judge panel Appellate jurisdiction US District Courts 94 Courts Most cases Original Jurisdiction Judge and jury Jury types: grand – indicts petit - determines guilt or innocence See chart on pg #306 in textbook

20 APPOINTING JUDGES Supreme Court appointment process:
Article II, Section II, Clause II says that “the President shall nominate and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court.”

21 Appointing Judges, Continued
Senator(s) of President’s party from state that needs federal judge(s) will be asked to recommend candidates. Senatorial Courtesy – President will typically appoint senator’s 1st choice. A nomination opposed by the affected state’s senators will not be confirmed by the Senate.

22 TERM and SALARY Term on Constitutional Courts – LIFE
Until judge resigns, retires, or dies Can be removed through impeachment (13 impeached, 7 of them removed) Salary is set by Congress and can not be decreased during their term in office. (A Supreme Court Justice’s salary is comparable to U.S. Senators, Representatives, and the Vice President.)

23 Court Officers Clerks, bailiffs, court reporters, stenographers, probation officers, others US Magistrates – officers of the court who are appointed to 8-year terms to handle arrest warrants, set bail, and generally reduce the workload for the judges

24 Court Officers US Attorney for each Federal District
President nominates and Senate approves They are the government’s prosecutors (lawyers) Work with the FBI, bring to trial people charged with federal crimes Represent government in all civil actions brought by or against the government in their district 4-year term The United States is the prosecutor in federal criminal cases--if I break a federal law, it would be U.S. v Flinchum

25 Court Officers, continued
U.S. Marshall Sent by magistrate to arrest persons for breaking a federal law or to deliver a warrant for breaking a federal law Protects the court Deals with riots, mobs, terrorists, etc. 4-year term

26 Layout of Courtroom

27 Courts below the Supreme Court
THE INFERIOR COURTS Courts below the Supreme Court

28 DISTRICT COURTS Approximately 632 judges
Handle about 300,000 cases a year Created by Congress in the Judiciary Act of 1789 Currently 94 district courts

29 Federal Judicial Districts
Include at least one district in each State, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico Larger, more populous states are divided into 2 or more districts 2 judges assigned to each district (at least) Cases tried in district courts usually heard by 1 judge

Original jurisdiction Principal trial courts in the federal court system Criminal cases – when a defendant is tried for committing some action that Congress has declared by law to be a federal crime Civil cases – noncriminal matter: bankruptcy, terms of contract, etc.

31 District Court Cases Bank robbery Mail fraud Counterfeiting
Tax evasion Bankruptcy Civil rights

32 Court of Appeals Created by Congress in 1892
Relieves the Supreme Court of burden of hearing all appeals Currently 12 courts of appeals (regional circuits) 179 circuit judges KY is 6st Circuit Our district includes MI, OH, TN

33 U.S. COURTS OF APPEALS D.C And Federal Circuit Make 13

34 Appellate Court Jurisdiction
Hear cases on appeals from lower federal courts. May uphold, overrule, or modify lower court decisions. (about 55,000 cases a year) Also hear appeals from several federal regulatory agencies like the Federal Trade Commission or the National Labor Relations Board. There is no trial—judges look for errors in procedure or law.

35 Court of International Trade
Created in 1890 9 judges (Panels of 3) Civil cases arising out of tariff and other trade-related laws Trials often held at major port cities


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