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Chapter 3-2 The Federal Court System

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1 Chapter 3-2 The Federal Court System
Pages 52-54

2 Origin of the Federal Court System
Article III of the Constitution, section 1 – source of power of the federal courts Federal Judiciary Act = “ordained and established” U.S. Supreme Court and 13 district courts 1891– federal Courts of Appeal Other courts were added as they were needed

3 Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts
Three levels of federal courts– Federal district courts Federal courts of appeals U.S. Supreme Court General Jurisdiction – court that can hear almost any case Special Jurisdiction – only one specific type of case

4 Federal District Court
Lowest level with general jurisdiction Trial Court – first court to hear the dispute Power to determine facts Make determination of the law to use in deciding the case Original Jurisdiction Federal questions that arise under the Constitution, U.S. law and U.S. treaties Lawsuits between citizens of different states, between a U.S. citizen and a foreign nation, between a U.S. citizen and a citizen of a foreign nation (diversity of citizenship)

5 Federal Courts of Appeals
Appellate jurisdiction over district courts, certain specialized federal courts and federal administrative agencies Appellate courts do not accept new evidence or call witnesses They review transcripts Review appellate briefs or oral arguments of the attorneys

6 Federal Appellate Courts
13 federal courts of appeal 12 are circuit courts responsible for an assigned geographic area 13th court is “federal circuit”…handles patent cases appealed from district courts and appeals from federal courts with special jurisdiction

7 United States Supreme Court
Both Original and Appellate Jurisdiction Original – over cases “affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls and those in which a state shall be party” Appellate – cases on appeal from the U.S. Courts of Appeals or from the highest courts of the states Write of certiorari – compels the state court to turn over the record of the case to the Supreme Court for review because it contains a constitutional issue sufficiently important for the Supreme Court to decide upon.

8 Textbook questions Page 54 Think About Legal Concepts – 1-5
Think Critically about Evidence – 6-8

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