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Structure of the Court System: Crash Course Government and Politics #19
Structure of the Court System: Crash Course Government and Politics #19
Published: 2015/06/05
Channel: CrashCourse
Introducton to the Federal Judiciary
Introducton to the Federal Judiciary
Published: 2009/12/15
Channel: mark
8. Overview of the Federal Court System
8. Overview of the Federal Court System
Published: 2013/03/08
Channel: Eugene Kim
State and Federal Court Systems
State and Federal Court Systems
Published: 2013/12/30
Channel: TheOnlyMsV
What are Federal and State Court Systems in the United States
What are Federal and State Court Systems in the United States
Published: 2016/09/28
Channel: USLawEssentials
United States Government   The Judicial Branch
United States Government The Judicial Branch
Published: 2014/11/14
Channel: Cathleen Hayes
How Does The US Court System Work?
How Does The US Court System Work?
Published: 2015/05/15
Channel: AJ+
Federal judiciary of the United States
Federal judiciary of the United States
Published: 2015/10/11
Channel: Audiopedia
Introducing the Federal Judiciary Channel
Introducing the Federal Judiciary Channel
Published: 2010/05/05
Channel: United States Courts
Federal Judiciary Careers: Human Resources
Federal Judiciary Careers: Human Resources
Published: 2010/05/03
Channel: United States Courts
Court Shorts: An Impartial Federal Judiciary
Court Shorts: An Impartial Federal Judiciary
Published: 2014/07/16
Channel: United States Courts
Federal Judiciary Careers: Probation and Pretrial Services
Federal Judiciary Careers: Probation and Pretrial Services
Published: 2010/05/03
Channel: United States Courts
Federal Courts
Federal Courts
Published: 2016/01/15
Channel: PETER DOAS
Federal Courts in the United States of America
Federal Courts in the United States of America
Published: 2015/02/25
Channel: Mike Murphy
The State and Federal Court Systems Explained
The State and Federal Court Systems Explained
Published: 2015/08/19
Channel: Jay Milbrandt
Federal Court System Introduction
Federal Court System Introduction
Published: 2016/03/02
Channel: Scott Godfrey
Judicial Branch of U.S. Government
Judicial Branch of U.S. Government
Published: 2016/08/05
Channel: Citizen Genius
Article III For Dummies: The Judiciary Explained
Article III For Dummies: The Judiciary Explained
Published: 2013/10/18
Channel: Keith Hughes
AP Gov Review: Structure of the Federal Court System - Unit 4 - Judicial Branch - Parts 1 & 2
AP Gov Review: Structure of the Federal Court System - Unit 4 - Judicial Branch - Parts 1 & 2
Published: 2016/08/30
Channel: Kelsey Falkowski
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Types of Judges in State and Federal Judiciary
Published: 2016/07/01
Channel: Jason Mance Gordon
How to Understand the American Judicial System
How to Understand the American Judicial System
Published: 2011/04/06
Channel: Howcast
What Is The Difference Between The Federal Court and State Court
What Is The Difference Between The Federal Court and State Court
Published: 2014/02/13
Channel: 1.800.NoCuffs The Kavinoky Law Firm
United States Government   The U S  Federal System
United States Government The U S Federal System
Published: 2014/11/13
Channel: Cathleen Hayes
United States Magistrates in the Federal Courts Subordinate Judges
United States Magistrates in the Federal Courts Subordinate Judges
Published: 2016/09/22
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Federal Judiciary Careers: Court Interpreter
Federal Judiciary Careers: Court Interpreter
Published: 2010/05/03
Channel: United States Courts
Why Supreme Court Justices Serve For Life
Why Supreme Court Justices Serve For Life
Published: 2015/03/29
Channel: NowThis
Trump Keeps Up Attacks On Federal Judiciary
Trump Keeps Up Attacks On Federal Judiciary
Published: 2017/02/09
Channel: PigMine 5
Federal Judiciary Careers: Staff Attorney and Law Clerk
Federal Judiciary Careers: Staff Attorney and Law Clerk
Published: 2011/10/24
Channel: United States Courts
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Published: 2012/04/27
Channel: Wendy Wolfe
Judicial Review: Crash Course Government and Politics #21
Judicial Review: Crash Course Government and Politics #21
Published: 2015/06/27
Channel: CrashCourse
Powers of the Federal Courts
Powers of the Federal Courts
Published: 2014/10/13
Channel: jzemans
Federal Judiciary Careers: Librarian
Federal Judiciary Careers: Librarian
Published: 2010/05/06
Channel: United States Courts
The Federal Courts 4th Edition
The Federal Courts 4th Edition
Published: 2016/09/21
Channel: Hunter Fryett
America
America's Judiciary - Federal Courts and Judges Directory Book
Published: 2017/06/12
Channel: John Jones
Federal Courts
Federal Courts
Published: 2015/04/14
Channel: Joe Regalia
AP US Government   Unit 7 Review
AP US Government Unit 7 Review
Published: 2015/03/01
Channel: Mike Brogley
JP presents - Federal Courts
JP presents - Federal Courts
Published: 2013/03/27
Channel: Judgepedia
How Federal Courts Work  Pt 2
How Federal Courts Work Pt 2
Published: 2017/04/05
Channel: Robert Black
Navigating the Federal Courts
Navigating the Federal Courts
Published: 2017/03/06
Channel: Ave Maria Law Library
Trump On Federal Courts Decision: ‘This Ruling Makes Us Look Weak’
Trump On Federal Courts Decision: ‘This Ruling Makes Us Look Weak’
Published: 2017/03/16
Channel: Carbonated.TV
Federal Judiciary Careers: Information Technology
Federal Judiciary Careers: Information Technology
Published: 2010/05/03
Channel: United States Courts
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Channel: Cassidy McGowan
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Published: 2016/05/10
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4.17 Selecting Federal Judges AP Gov
4.17 Selecting Federal Judges AP Gov
Published: 2015/10/18
Channel: Carey LaManna
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Federal Courts in American Government
Published: 2010/07/06
Channel: bonanzaguy1
Supplement to Federal Courts and Law
Supplement to Federal Courts and Law
Published: 2016/09/21
Channel: Renard
How Corrupt Is America
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Published: 2015/08/28
Channel: NowThis
Federal Courts, Federal Law and Professional Sports
Federal Courts, Federal Law and Professional Sports
Published: 2012/08/30
Channel: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Federal Judiciary Careers: Assistant Federal Public Defender
Federal Judiciary Careers: Assistant Federal Public Defender
Published: 2011/10/24
Channel: United States Courts
The Federal Courts
The Federal Courts
Published: 2016/02/04
Channel: Trailblazer Civics
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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The federal judiciary of the United States is one of the three co-equal branches of the federal government of the United States organized under the United States Constitution and laws of the federal government. Article III of the Constitution requires the establishment of a Supreme Court and permits the Congress to create other federal courts, and place limitations on their jurisdiction. Article III federal judges are appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate to serve until they resign, are impeached and convicted, retire, or die.

Courts[edit]

The federal courts are composed of three levels of courts. The Supreme Court of the United States is the court of last resort. It is generally an appellate court that operates under discretionary review, which means that the Court can choose which cases to hear, by granting writs of certiorari. There is therefore generally no basic right of appeal that extends automatically all the way to the Supreme Court. In a few situations (like lawsuits between state governments or some cases between the federal government and a state) it sits as a court of original jurisdiction.

The United States courts of appeals are the intermediate federal appellate courts. They operate under a system of mandatory review which means they must hear all appeals of right from the lower courts. In some cases, Congress has diverted appellate jurisdiction to specialized courts, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review.

The United States district courts (one in each of the 94 federal judicial districts, as well three territorial courts) are general federal trial courts, although in many cases Congress has diverted original jurisdiction to specialized courts, such as the Court of International Trade, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Alien Terrorist Removal Court, or to Article I or Article IV tribunals. The district courts usually have jurisdiction to hear appeals from such tribunals (unless, for example, appeals are to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.)

Other tribunals[edit]

Besides these federal courts, described as Article III courts, there are other adjudicative bodies described as Article I or Article IV courts in reference to the article of the Constitution from which the court's authority stems.

There are a number of Article I courts with appellate jurisdiction over specific subject matter including the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, as well as Article I courts with appellate jurisdiction over specific geographic areas such as the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. The Article I courts with original jurisdiction over specific subject matter include the bankruptcy courts (for each district court), the immigration courts, the Court of Federal Claims, and the Tax Court.

Article IV courts include the High Court of American Samoa and territorial courts such as the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, District Court of Guam, and District Court of the Virgin Islands.

Judges[edit]

Federal judges, like Supreme Court Justices, are appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate to serve until they resign, are impeached and convicted, retire, or die.

In April 2013, about 10 percent of federal seats were vacant, with 85 of 856 positions unfilled and 4 vacancies on the prestigious Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[1] The high vacancy rate has been attributed to politics, particularly Senate filibustering of potential appointees by Senators.[1] In many cases there is no nominee for the position; however, the Senate has a tradition of senatorial courtesy in which nominees are only considered if the home senators approve.[2] In May 2013 Congressional Research Service published a paper analyzing the vacancies and appointment process.[3]

Under Article I of the federal Constitution, Congress also has the power to establish other tribunals, which are usually quite specialized, within the executive branch to assist the President in the execution of his or her powers. Judges who staff them normally serve terms of fixed duration, as do magistrate judges who assist Article III judges. Judges in Article I tribunals attached to executive branch agencies are referred to as administrative law judges (ALJs) and are generally considered to be part of the executive branch even though they exercise quasi-judicial powers. With limited exceptions, they cannot render final judgments in cases involving life, liberty, and private property rights, but may make preliminary rulings subject to review by an Article III judge.

Administration[edit]

Legal procedure[edit]

The Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution as placing some additional restrictions on the federal courts. For example, the doctrines of mootness, ripeness, and standing prohibit district courts from issuing advisory opinions. Other doctrines, such as the abstention doctrine and the Rooker-Feldman doctrine limit the power of lower federal courts to disturb rulings made by state courts. The Erie doctrine requires federal courts to apply substantive state law to claims arising from state law (which may be heard in federal courts under supplemental or diversity jurisdiction). In difficult cases, the federal courts must either guess as to how a court of that state would decide the issue or, if that state accepts certified questions from federal courts when state law is unclear or uncertain, ask an appellate court of that state to decide the issue.

Notably, the only federal court that can issue proclamations of federal law that bind state courts is the Supreme Court itself. Decisions of the lower federal courts, whether on issues of federal law or state law (i.e., the question was not certified to a state court), are persuasive but not binding authority in the states in which those federal courts sit.[4]

Some commentators assert that another limitation upon federal courts is executive nonacquiescence in judicial decisions, where the executive simply refuses to accept them as binding precedent.[5][6] In the context of administration of U.S. internal revenue laws by the Internal Revenue Service, nonacquiescences (published in a series of documents called Actions on Decisions) "generally do not affect the application of stare decisis or the rule of precedent". The IRS "will recognize these principles and generally concede issues accordingly during administrative proceedings." In rare cases, however, the IRS may continue to litigate a legal issue in a given circuit even where the IRS has already lost a case on that issue in that circuit.[7]

History[edit]

The Articles of Confederation provided a clear basis for the initial establishment of United States of America judicial authority by Congress prior to the Constitution. This authority, enumerated by Article IX, allowed for the establishment of United States jurisdiction in the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, final appeals from state court decisions in all cases of captures of enemy ships, last resort for resolution of disputes between two or more states (including disputes over borders and jurisdiction), and final determination of controversies between private parties arising from conflicting land grants issued by two or more states prior to settlement of which state actually has jurisdiction over the territory. The Court of Appeals in Cases of Capture was the first United States Court established by the United States. Additional United States courts were established to adjudicate border disputes between the states of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts, Georgia and South Carolina. Lastly, a United States court was established for the Northwest Territory.

When the Constitution came into force in 1789, Congress gained the authority to establish the federal judicial system as a whole. Only the Supreme Court was established by the Constitution itself. The Judiciary Act of 1789 created the first inferior (i.e., lower) federal courts established pursuant to the Constitution and provided for the first Article III judges.

Virtually all U.S. law schools offer an elective course that focuses specifically on the powers and limitations of U.S. federal courts, with coverage of topics such as justiciability, abstention doctrines, the abrogation doctrine, and habeas corpus.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Editorial Board. (2013). Courts Without Judges. NYTimes.
  2. ^ Wheeler R. (2013) What's Behind all Those Judicial Vacancies Without Nominees?. Brookings Institution.
  3. ^ McMillion BJ. (2013). President Obama's First-Term U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: An Analysis and Comparison with Presidents Since Reagan. CRS.
  4. ^ People v. Leonard, 40 Cal. 4th 1370, 1416 (2007) (Ninth Circuit decisions do not bind Supreme Court of California).
  5. ^ Gregory C. Sisk, Litigation with the Federal Government (Philadelphia: American Law Institute, 2006), 418-425.
  6. ^ Robert J. Hume, How Courts Impact Federal Administrative Behavior (New York: Routledge, 2009), 92-106.
  7. ^ Mitchell Rogovin & Donald L. Korb, "The Four R's Revisited: Regulations, Rulings, Reliance, and Retroactivity in the 21st Century: A View From Within", 46 Duquesne Law Review 323, 366-367 (2008).
  8. ^ Michael L. Wells, A Litigation-Oriented Approach to Teaching Federal Courts, 53 St. Louis U. L.J. 857 (2009).

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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