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C H A P T E R 18 The Federal Court System

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Presentation on theme: "C H A P T E R 18 The Federal Court System"— Presentation transcript:

1 C H A P T E R 18 The Federal Court System

2 Creation of a National Judiciary
The Framers created the national judiciary in Article III of the Constitution: “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.” – Article III, Section 1 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. Most federal cases are heard in the Constitutional courts.

3 Creation of the National Judiciary
There are two court systems in the United States: the national judiciary that spans the country and has more than 100 courts, and the courts run by each of the 50 States and there numbers run into the thousands. Most cases heard today are heard in the State, not the federal, courts.

4 Types of Federal Courts
The Constitution created only the Supreme Court, giving Congress the power to create any lower, or “inferior,” courts as needed. 2 3 4 Chapter 18, Section 1

5 Federal Court Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction - is defined as the authority of a court to hear (to try and to decide) a case. Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that the FEDERAL courts may hear a case because either: (1) the subject matter (federal laws and enumerated powers) or (2) the parties involved in the case (States, ambassadors). All cases not heard in federal courts, are within the jurisdiction of the States’ courts.

6 Types of Jurisdiction exclusive jurisdiction – cases that can only be heard in federal court (ex: counterfeiting, mail fraud, treason, federal property). concurrent jurisdiction –can be tried in federal or State court (diversity suits – involving citizens of different States). Federal courts may hear cases involving diverse citizenship only if the amount involved is over $75,000. Plaintiff is person who files suit. Defendant is person whom the complaint is against. 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. (This higher court may uphold, overrule, or modify the decision appealed from the lower court). The Supreme Court exercises both original and appellate jurisdiction, but only has original jurisdiction in certain cases involving ambassadors or disputes amongst States.

7 Appointment of Judges “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… Judges of the supreme Court.” – Article II, Section II, Clause 2 Most federal judges are drawn from the ranks of leading attorneys, legal scholars and law profs, former Congress, and State courts members. President Obama appointed Justice Sonia Sotomayor (right) – and Elana Kagan (left) as US Supreme Court Justices. 3 4 Chapter 18, Section 1

8 Terms and Pay of Judges Judges on the Supreme Court are appointed for life. (during good behavior) Judges of Supreme Court may only be removed by their own will or through impeachment. Congress determines salaries for federal judges. Today, $213,000 for Supreme Court Justices.

9 The Federal 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. The district courts hear a wide range of criminal cases and civil cases. A criminal case, in the federal courts, is one in which a defendant is tried for committing some action that Congress declared by law to be a federal crime (counterfeiting). A federal civil case is one which involves noncriminal matters (land dispute).

10 Appellate Court Judges Appellate Court Jurisdiction
The Courts of Appeals The courts of appeals were created in 1891 to handle much of the burden that the Supreme Court faced in ruling on appealed cases. Appellate Court Judges Altogether, 179 circuit judges sit in the 12 appeals courts. Appellate Court Jurisdiction The courts of appeals only have appellate jurisdiction, hearing cases on appeal from lower federal courts (They can uphold, overturn, or modify lower court rulings. Decisions are final unless Supreme Court agrees to try the case).

11 Federal District courts and appeals courts

12 How Federal Cases Are Appealed

13 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. It was created to speed up the handling of certain civil cases. Headquartered in D.C. (NOT to be confused with U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C.). Most cases heard arise from the U.S. Court of International Trade, patent, trademark, and copyright cases coming from the 94 district courts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

14 Judicial Review Judicial review - refers to the power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a government action. Constitution = “Supreme law of the land.” The Constitution does not explicitly give the power of judicial review. Still, there is little doubt that the framers intended that the Supreme Court should have this power. It has been implied from the following: “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.” – Article III, Section 1 “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;” – Article III, Section 2

15 Marbury v Madison (1803) Established Power of Judicial Review
Jefferson won the Presidency in 1800. Adams attempted to “pack” the judiciary with loyal party members. The Senate confirmed William Marbury and other “midnight justices.” The next day, Jefferson became President. Angered by the attempted “packing” he ordered his Secretary of State, James Madison, not to deliver the commissions that were signed by Adams the night before. Marbury requested a court order from the Supreme Court, basing his case on a provision in the Judiciary Act of 1789, in which Congress gave the Supreme Court the right to hear such a case in its original jurisdiction (not on appeal). The Court refused Marbury’s request, finding the section of Judiciary Act to be in conflict with the Constitution, and therefore his request was void. The Judiciary Act conflicted with this provision in the Constitution: “In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction.” – Article III, Section 2, Clause 2

16 Supreme Court Jurisdiction
The Supreme Court has both original (involving States, ambassadors) and appellate jurisdiction (brought by appeal). Most all cases heard by the Supreme Court are appeals cases. Chapter 18, Section 3

17 How Cases Reach the Supreme Court
For a case to be heard by the S. Court, four of nine judges must agree that it should be placed on the Court’s docket (to be heard).

18 How the Supreme Court Operates
Oral Arguments Once the Supreme Court accepts a case, it sets a date on which lawyers on both sides will present oral arguments. Briefs Briefs are written documents filed with the Court before oral arguments begin. The Court in Conference The Chief Justice presides over a closed-door conference in which justices present their views on the case at hand.

19 Opinions of the Court Once the Court finishes its conference, it reaches a decision and its opinion is written.

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