Ch 18 4 the special courts
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CH. 18-4 THE SPECIAL COURTS. AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. The federal court system is made up of two quite distinct types of courts 1) constitutional, or regular courts 2) special courts Special courts were created by Congress to hear certain cases involving the expressed powers of Congress

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CH. 18-4 THE SPECIAL COURTS

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Ch 18 4 the special courts

CH. 18-4 THE SPECIAL COURTS

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT


Ch 18 4 the special courts

  • The federal court system is made up of two quite distinct types of courts

  • 1) constitutional, or regular courts

  • 2) special courts

  • Special courts were created by Congress to hear certain cases involving the expressed powers of Congress

  • These courts (aka legislative courts) were not established under Article III

  • They don’t exercise the broad “judicial power of the USA”

  • Each court has very narrow jurisdiction


The court of federal claims

THE COURT OF FEDERAL CLAIMS

  • The US government cannot be sued by anyone, in any court, for any reason, without its consent

  • Suits may be brought only if the Congress says the USA is open to suit

  • Originally, a person with a claim against the US could secure REDRESS (satisfaction of a claim or payment) only be an act of Congress

  • 1855—Congress sets up the Court of Claims


Ch 18 4 the special courts

  • This body became the US Court of Federal Claims in 1993

  • 16 judges appointed by the President and approved by the Senate for 15-year terms

  • They hold trials throughout the country

  • Hear claims for damages against the Federal Government

  • Claims upheld by this court cannot be paid unless Congress appropriates the money


Ch 18 4 the special courts

  • Appeals from this court may be carried to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


The territorial courts

THE TERRITORIAL COURTS

  • Congress acted under its power to “make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting th Territory…belonging to the USA”

  • Courts created for each of the nation’s territories: Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands

  • These courts function much like the local courts in the 50 states


The district of columbia courts

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURTS

  • Congress has the power to oversee judicial cases in DC (Article I, Section 8, Clause 17)

  • Federal District Court, Court of Appeals

  • Local courts established:

  • 1) superior court (general trial court)

  • 2) court of appeals


The court of appeals for the armed forces

THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ARMED FORCES

  • 1789—Congress created a system of military courts for each branch of the military

  • These military courts (aka COURTS-MARTIAL) serve the special disciplinary needs of the armed forces and are NOT a part of the federal judicial system

  • All court officers are members of the military—mainly officers

  • 1950—Congress created the Court of Military Appeals for the Armed Forces

  • This court is a civilian court separate from the military courts


Ch 18 4 the special courts

  • 5 judges—a chief judge and 4 associate judges

  • Appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for 15-year terms

  • A limited number of decisions from this court could be appealed to the US Supreme Court

  • This court is usually the last word for military persons trying to change the decision of their case


Military commissions

MILITARY COMMISSIONS

  • 2003—court-like bodies composed of commissioned officers created by President George W. Bush

  • These tribunals are not part of the courts-martial system

  • These commissions were set up to try “enemy combatants”, mostly suspected terrorists captured by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan

  • Most captives are held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba


Ch 18 4 the special courts

  • These detainees include hundreds of people suspected of belonging to al Qaida and others who have committed violence against the USA

  • The President, as Commander-in-chief, created these commission by Executive Order

  • 2006—US Supreme Court ruled that the President had overstepped his authority in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

  • The Court directed Bush to work with Congress to develop new procedures for prosecuting detainees


Ch 18 4 the special courts

  • Military tribunals have been established at various points in America’s past

  • Mexican-American War, Civil War, and WWII

  • 1942—Roosevelt created a tribunal to try 8 Nazi saboteurs who were landed on the East Coast by submarine

  • All 8 were convicted—6 executed, 2 received long prison terms because they gave up information


The court of appeals for veterans claims

THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

  • Article I, Section 8, Clause 9

  • Congress has the authority to constitute inferior tribunals to the supreme court

  • Created in 1988

  • Chief Judge and up to 6 associate judges

  • Appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for 15-year terms

  • This court hears appeals from the Board of Veterans Appeals in the Department of Veterans Affairs


Ch 18 4 the special courts

  • This court deals with veterans who claim the VA has mishandled valid claims for veterans’ benefits

  • Appeals from this court can be taken to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


The united states tax court

THE UNITED STATES TAX COURT

  • Acting under its power to tax, Congress created this court in 1969

  • Independent judicial body in the legislative branch

  • It is not part of the federal court system

  • 1 Chief Judge and 18 associate judges nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate for 15-year terms

  • This court hears civil cases involving disputes over the tax code


Ch 18 4 the special courts

  • Most of the cases are generated by the Internal Revenue Service

  • This court’s decisions may be appealed to the federal court of appeals

  • THE END


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