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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 18 FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM."— Presentation transcript:


2 Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 22
“Laws are a dead letter 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. Special courts 2) State Judiciary: 1000s of courts State courts hear most of the cases.


7 FEDERAL COURTS These are inferior courts (lower than Supreme Court).
TWO TYPES 1. CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS Hear more cases than special courts Created out of Article III power Include 94 District Courts, 12 Court of Appeals, US Court of International Trade, US Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit AKA “Regular Courts”, “Article III Courts”

Lower than the Supreme Court TWO TYPES 1. CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS Hear more cases than special courts Created out of Article III power Include 94 U.S. District Courts, 12 U.S. Court of Appeals AKA “Article III Courts”

2. SPECIAL COURTS *Have been created by Congress to deal with cases arising out of one of Congress’ expressed powers *AKA “Legislative Courts” or “Article I Courts” *Include US Court of Federal Claims, Territorial Courts, Courts of the District of Columbia, US tax Court, US Court of Appeals for Armed Forces, US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

10 Special Courts, continued
Include 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 (any violation of federal tax laws) 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)

11 JURISDICTION Definition:
The authority or subject area that a court can hear a case about. Example: Break a federal law, go to a federal court (robbing a bank). Example: Break a state law, go to a state court (speeding).

12 Types of Jurisdiction 1) Exclusive Jurisdiction - cases that can only be heard in Federal Courts. Federal Crimes Examples: cases involving ambassadors, bank robbery, kidnapping, presidential assassination, killing a police officer, destroying a mailbox-$1000 fine)

13 Types of Jurisdiction 1) Exclusive Jurisdiction - cases that can only be heard in Federal Courts. Federal Crimes Examples: violations of patents and copyrights, cases involving ambassadors

14 Types Of Jurisdiction, continued
2) Concurrent Jurisdiction – cases can be tried in either federal or state court. A common type of concurrent jurisdiction: is “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: Land dispute between people from different states.


16 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

17 Original and appellate Fewest cases 80-150/year
US Supreme Court 9 Justices D.C. Original and appellate Fewest cases 80-150/year US Court of Appeals 12 Courts (3 judge panel) Appellate US District Court 94 Courts (judge and 2 types of juries: 1. grand - indicts 2. petit - determines guilty or innocence) Original Most cases

18 Appointing Judges, Continued
If a state needs a new federal judge, the President asks the Senator from the state of the needed judge to recommend 3 candidates Senatorial Courtesy – President will typically choose that Senator’s 1st choice Example: In Texas, Obama would ask John Cornyn because he is the senior Senator

19 TERM and SALARY For 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 same as U.S. Senators, Representatives, and the Vice President.

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

21 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 heard by 1 judge usually

Original jurisdiction Making them the 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, terms of contract, e.g

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

24 Court of Appeals Created by Congress in 1892
Relieves the Supreme Court of burden of hearing all appeals Currently 12 courts of appeals 179 circuit judges

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

26 Appellate Court Jurisdiction
Hear cases on appeals from lower fed. Courts Also hear appeals from several federal regulatory agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, the national labor Relations Board 55,000 cases a year

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


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