Chapter 18The Federal Court System Kristi Severson, Alyssa Barkley David Doman
The National Judiciary 2 kinds of federal courts Inferior-lower level, beneath supreme court Supreme court 2 kinds of Inferior courts constitutional courts special courts
The Constitutional Courts -called regular courts -created by congress to exercise “broad judicial power of the United States” -94 district courts -12 US Courts of Appeals -the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit -the US Court of International Trade
The Special Courts -called the legislative courts -created by congress, under the power given to it in Article 1 to “constitute the Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court” -have narrowly defined powers
Includes -US Court of Federal Claims -Territorial Courts -Courts of the District of Columbia -US Tax Court -US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces -US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
Exclusive -can be heard only in federal courts -ex. Trial of a person tried with a federal crime, suit involving the infringement of a patent or a copyright Concurrent -can be tried in federal or state courts -ex. Disputes involving citizens of different states Types of Jurisdiction
Original -a court in which a case is first heard -district courts only have original jurisdiction Appellate - a court that hears a case on appeal form a lower court - courts of appeals only have appellate jurisdiction
Judges -president appoints judges on supreme court and federal courts -supreme court approves appointments -serve for life on supreme court -those in special courts sit for 15-year terms except -district of columbia-4 year terms -district court of appeals-8 year terms
-congress sets salaries, and supplies retirement plans for all federal judges -judges can retire at the age of 70 if they have served at least 10 years and receive full salary for rest of life -can retire at the age of 65 if they have served 15 years and can receive full salary for the rest of their life
The Inferior Courts The District Courts -665 judges -80% of federal caseload -created by congress in judiciary act of 1789 -have original jurisdiction -hear both criminal and civil cases -cases heard by 1 judge
The Courts of Appeals -created by congress in 1891 -established to relieve the supreme court of hearing appeals from the district courts -179 judges -cases heard by a panel of 3 judges -have only appellate jurisdiction -decisions are final unless supreme court decides to hear a case from them
The Other Constitutional Courts Court of International Trade - 9 judges, 1 chief -hear civil cases arising out of tariff and other trade related laws Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit -created to speed up the handling of appeals and certain types of civil cases -has nation-wide jurisdiction -12 judges
The Supreme Court The Supreme Court is the only court created by the Constitution. The Court is made up of one Chief Justice and eight other associate justices. The Supreme Court is the final authority in cases involving any question arising under the Constitution, an act of Congress, or a treaty of the U.S.
Judicial Review Marbury v. Madison -After the election of 1800, turmoil arose within the government. -William Marbury had been appointed a Justice for peace in D.C. -The next day Jefferson became President angering the Federalists
Decision and effects of Marbury -The Court declared that the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional. -The case established Judicial Review (power to determine the constitutionality of a government action) -It assured a place for the Judicial branch in the system of separation of powers.
Supreme Court Jurisdiction The Supreme Court has both appellate and original jurisdiction. Original jurisdiction is rarely heard in the High Court, but when it is there are two types of cases that are heard: - Cases is which a state is the party. -Cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls.
How Cases Reach the Court Most cases reach the court by writ of certiorari. Some cases reach the court by certificate. At least four judges must agree to hear a case before it is accepted to the docket.
How the Court Operates The court is in session from the first Monday in October to the following June or July. Every two weeks, the court is in session. Cases start with oral arguments, followed by briefs, and then the court goes into Conference for two weeks to make a decision on the cases they saw prior. They then must write a majority opinion and a dissenting opinion.
The Special Courts The Court of Federal Claims -It has 16 judges who serve for 15 years. -They are elected by the President and approved by the Senate. -The U.S. government cannot be sued for any reason by anyone without its consent.
The Special Courts Territorial Courts -Congress created these courts. -They sit in the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marianas
The Special Courts The District of Columbia Courts -This court was set up by Congress for the Nation’s Capitol. -It hears local cases as well as those tried in constitutional courts.
The Special Courts Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces -Also created by Congress. -These trials are run similar to those in civilian courts. -It consists of 5 judges appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.
The Special Courts Military Tribunals -The President creates these tribunals in times of need. (wartime) -They do not operate the same as other military courts-martial systems.
The Special Courts Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims -This is the newest court in the federal judiciary, 1988 -It consists of a chief judge and up to six associate judges -They are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate to serve for 15 years.
The Special Courts The United States Tax Court -It was established in 1969. -It consists of 19 judges elected by the President and approved by the Senate for 15-year terms. -This court hears only civil cases involving disputes over the application of the tax laws.