U.S. Courts of Appeals

From Citizendium
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is a stub and thus not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
This editable Main Article is under development and subject to a disclaimer.
Map of the districts for the U.S. Courts of Appeals.

The U.S. Courts of Appeals are the 13 intermediate appellate courts in the three-tiered U.S. federal judiciary. These courts are between the Supreme Court of the United States and the United States District Courts. They serve as the first courts of review in the federal judiciary. The courts are created by the provision of Article III, section 1, of the United States Constitution, which addresses the judicial power of the United States and places it in the United States Supreme Court and "such inferior courts" as the Congress may create through legislation.

The U.S. Courts of Appeals are also sometimes referred to as U.S. Circuit Courts. The district covered by a U.S. Court of Appeals is called a "circuit" because, at one time, judges actually traveled around the district to hear cases. So someone might say "Ninth Circuit Court" to refer to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The United States Courts of Appeals consist of fourteen individual courts: thirteen defined by geography and one by jurisdiction. These courts are the regional courts numbered the First through Twelfth Circuits and the District of Columbia Circuit. The Federal Circuit is defined by its jurisdiction created in 1982 out of the then existing Court of Claims and the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals.

The Courts of Appeals were created by the Circuit Courts of Appeals Act in 1891. These courts were created in reaction to the lack of institutional capacity in the existing federal judiciary which had not been significantly changed since the enactment of the Judiciary Act of 1789.

The Courts of Appeals