Supreme Court Primer: How It Should Work and Where It Went Off Course

Posted at Bound 4 Life:

The United States Supreme Court was created under Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution and the Judiciary Act of 1789.

This Act organized the Supreme Court, the federal circuit courts and the federal district courts. The United States Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice and eight associate justices. At its discretion, and within certain guidelines established by Congress, the Supreme Court hears a limited number of the cases it is asked to decide during the year. Those cases usually involve important questions about the Constitution or federal law.

Photo: Matt Lockett / Bound4LIFE International

United States district courts are trial courts of the federal court system, with jurisdiction to hear both civil and criminal matters. There are 94 federal judicial districts, including at least one district in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

These 94 U.S. judicial districts are organized into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a United States Court of Appeals – which hears cases from the district courts located within its circuit.

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