Marcos T.

Federal Court System in USA

How Federal Court System Works

The federal court in the United States has 3 main levels: District courts/trial courts, Circuit courts and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is the final court in the United States. In the US, there are 94 district courts, thirteen circuit courts, and one Supreme Court.

Unlike state judges, federal level judges are nominated by the US President, vetted and confirmed by the Senate. Unlike state judges, federal judges hold lifetime position but can still resign. In the case of any unconstitutional behavior or ruling, a federal judge can be impeached and held responsible for any crime. Unlike state courts, these courts have limited jurisdiction. This means that federal courts can only hear cases that have been authorized by the US Constitution. The federal court may handle a case when it involves, The US Constitution, a treaty, or a federal statute. Such cases can be brought to federal courts under court’s diversity jurisdiction.

District Courts 

These are general trial courts. Each and every district court has at least 1 US District judge that have been appointed by the US President and confirmed by the US Senate until retirement. District courts are allowed by the constitution to hold trials within the federal court system. They’re allowed to handle both criminal and civil cases.

Judges of district courts are the people responsible for managing the court and supervising other employees. These judges are able to continue offering services as long as they observe the code of ethics and necessary behavior.

Circuit Court

As soon as the federal district court has ruled on a certain case, the case can be appealed to a court of appeal. In the US, there are 12 federal circuits. These circuits divide the country into regions. For example, the 5th Circuit includes the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Each and every circuit court has several judges that are appointed by the president to give a lifetime service or until retirement. These judges must be confirmed by the Senate.

The US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. This court has constitutional powers to decide/rule on appeals on all cases brought in state courts or federal courts but dealing with federal law. If the Supreme Court is not required to handle a certain appeal, parties may file a writ of certiorari requesting the court to hear the case. Supreme Court will hear the case especially if there are conflicting decisions across the US on particular issue/issues. The members of Supreme Court are called Justices and are appointed by the US President and confirmed by the Senate. The Supreme Court has 9 Justices. 8 of them are Associate Justices, and one is the Chief Justice. Supreme Court meets in Washington DC.