2 Section 1: The Federal Court System Article III- est. a national Supreme Court & gave Congress power to est. lower federal courts.-Congress created 2 kinds of lower courts-1789 passed the *Judiciary Act- est. federal districts.*Circuit court of appeals.*1891 congress est. federal appeals court.
3 The fed court system has 3 levels: -District courts at the bottom.-Appeals courts in the middle.-Supreme courts at the top.
4 -Each state has its own laws and courts. *Jurisdiction- a court authority to hear and decide cases.-Fed courts have jurisdiction over 8 kinds of cases.*Exclusive jurisdiction- cases in which only fed court can hear, states courts have jurisdiction over all other matters.*Concurrent jurisdiction-cases in which state and fed courts share jurisdiction.
5 Section 2: How Federal Courts are Organized US District Courts-Most federal cases are handled in the 94 US District courts.*District Courts- are federal courts where trials are held and lawsuits are begun.-All federal cases must begin in a district court, b/c district courts have *original jurisdiction- the authority to hear cases for the first time.-District courts are the only federal courts in which witnesses testify and juries hear cases and reach verdicts.
6 -US Courts of Appeals- also referred to as federal appeals courts, circuit courts of appeals, or appellate courts.*Appeals Court- reviews decisions made in lower district courts. Referred to as *Appellate Jurisdiction- the authority of a court to hear a case appealed from a lower court.-There are 12 US courts of appeals.-Each covers a particular geographic are called a *circuit.-A 13th appeals court- the *Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, has nationwide jurisdiction to hear special cases.
7 -Appeals courts do not hold trials. -They may decide an appeal in one of three ways:1. Uphold the original decision.2. Reverse the Decision.3. *Remand the case- sending the case back to the lower court to be tried again.
8 -A panel of at least 3 judges reviews the record and listens to lawyers for each side. -Make decision by majority vote, for most cases, the decision of the appeals court in final, but lawyer can appeal to the Supreme Court.-When the appeals court makes a decision, one judge writes an opinion for the court.*Opinion- offers a detailed explanation of the legal thinking behind the decision.-The opinion sets a precedent for all courts and agencies within the district.*Precedent- gives guidance to other judges by offering a model upon which to base their own decisions on similar cases.
9 Federal Judges-More than 550 who preside over the district courts.-Each appeals court has 6 to 27 judges.-Supreme Court has 9.-When naming judges, the Pres. usually follows a practice called *senatorial courtesy- where the Pres. first gives the names to the Senators of the judges home state before he asks all of Congress to approve them.