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The Federal Court System

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Presentation on theme: "The Federal Court System"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Federal Court System

2 Warm Up… What is the job of the judiciary branch?
List as many as you can: What issues would the court system would deal with?

3 Essential Questions From Article III to 94 Districts: How is the American Judiciary organized? Judy to Scalia: What is the role of the Federal Court System? Life on the Bench: How does the Supreme Court decide cases? What effects has the Supreme Court had on your life?

4 Extra Credit Trivia How many Presidents of the United States have been lawyers? What former U.S. President was later appointed the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

5 Extra Credit Answers 26 of the 43 US Presidents have been lawyers.
William Howard Taft (27th President) would later serve as the 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

6 Creation of a National Judiciary
Article III Section 1. 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. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

7 Creation of a National Judiciary
The Framers created the national judiciary in Article III of the Constitution. There are two court systems in the United States: the national judiciary that spans the country, and the courts run by each of the 50 States. The Constitution created the Supreme Court and left Congress to establish the inferior courts—the lower federal courts. There are two types of federal courts: (1) constitutional courts and (2) special courts.

8 Types of Federal Courts
Constitutional Courts Article III Courts Regular Courts Have broad judicial Power Special Courts Article I Courts Legislative Courts Have narrowly defined powers

9 Jurisdiction Jurisdiction is defined as the authority of a court to hear (to try and to decide) a case. Article III Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States;--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects. In a nutshell, the federal courts may hear a case because either: (1) the subject matter or (2) the parties involved in the case.

10 Types of Jurisdiction Exclusive and Concurrent Jurisdiction
Some cases can only be heard in federal courts. In that case, federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction. Many cases may be tried in a federal court or a State court. In such an instance, the federal and State courts have concurrent jurisdiction. Original and Appellate Jurisdiction A court in which a case is first heard is said to have original jurisdiction over that case. A court that hears a case on appeal from a lower court has appellate jurisdiction over that case. The Supreme Court exercises both original and appellate jurisdiction.

11 Appointment of Judges The power to appoint judges to federal courts falls on the President. The President nominates Supreme Court justices, as well as federal court judges, who are then subject to the approval of the Senate. Most federal judges are drawn from the ranks of leading attorneys, legal scholars and law school professors, former members of Congress, and State courts.

12 Can You Name All Nine Justices?

13 Can You Name All Nine Justices?
Chief Justice John Roberts Associate Justices John Paul Stevens Antonin Scalia Anthony Kennedy David Souter Clarence Thomas Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stephen Breyer Samuel Alito

14 So Do You Want to Be a Federal Judge?
Job Security: Judges appointed to the constitutional courts, including the Supreme Court, are appointed for life. Judges of constitutional courts may only be removed by their own will or through impeachment. Only 13 federal judges have ever been impeached, and of them, seven were convicted. Judges who sit in the special courts are appointed for terms varying from 4 to 15 years. Salary Congress determines salaries for federal judges. Current (2008) salary for the Chief Justice is $217,400 per year, while Associate Justices make $208,100.

15 Court Officers Federal judges have many levels of support in order to fulfill their roles: United States magistrates are appointed by each federal district court judge to handle duties ranging from issuing warrants to setting bail in federal criminal cases. Each federal district judge appoints one bankruptcy judge for their district. The President nominates, and the Senate approves, a United States attorney for each federal judicial district.

16 Court Officers cont… The President and the Senate also select a United States marshal to serve each of the district courts. Marshals act much like county sheriffs in regard to federal crimes.

17 Federal Judicial Districts District Court Jurisdiction
The District Courts Federal Judicial Districts The 94 federal judicial districts include at least one district in each State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Larger and more populous States are divided into two or more districts, reflecting the larger amount of judicial work done there. District Court Jurisdiction District courts have original jurisdiction over most cases that are heard in federal courts. Did You Know? 654 Judges in 94 federal districts deal with more than 300,000 cases a year

18 District Courts hear both Criminal and Civil Cases
Criminal Cases—when the defendant is tried for committing some action that the U.S. CONGRESS has declared by law to be a Federal crime Civil Cases—involve non-criminal matters, such as disputes over the terms of a CONTRACT or a CLAIM of patent infringement.

19 The Courts of Appeals Created by Congress in 1891 as “gatekeepers” to relieve the Supreme Court of much of the burden of hearing appeals from district courts Appellate Court Judges 179 Judges deal with more than 55,000 cases a year in 12 courts of appeals Appellate Court Jurisdiction The courts of appeals only have appellate jurisdiction, hearing cases on appeal from lower federal courts.

20 Circuits The U.S. is divided into 12 circuits, with one court of appeals for each circuit The circuit may cover several STATES and each has several judges Circuit judges usually hear cases in panels of 3 but if it is an important case, will sit EN BANC—with all the judges


22 Other Constitutional Courts
The Court of International Trade The Court of International Trade hears civil cases arising out of tariff and other trade-related laws. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit This appellate court has nationwide jurisdiction and hears cases from several different courts. Most cases heard arise from the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

23 And Last but not Least… More Courts…. The Territorial Courts
Under its power to govern the territories of the United States, Congress created courts for the nation’s territories. These courts are in places such as Guam and the Virgin Islands, and function much like the local courts in the 50 States. The Court of Federal Claims The U.S. Court of Federal Claims handles all pleas against acts of the United States government. Those who have claims against the United States can possibly secure redress—satisfaction of a claim, usually through payment—through this court. And Last but not Least…

24 “The Highest Court in the Land”
Located on the 5th Floor of the Supreme Court Building. Right above the Library on the 4th floor.

25 Order in the Court!

26 Checks and Balances

27 Checks of the Judiciary
Judicial Review- can declare laws Unconstitutional Appointed for Life

28 Checks on the Judiciary
Justices have to be appointed by the President and approved by the Senate Congress with a ¾ vote can amend the Constitution.

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