A Look at How the Federal Court System Works
The United States judicial system is made up of two different court systems: the state judicial system and the federal judicial system. While they are similar they have some differences in how they run. In the Federal judicial system the judges are appointed by the President of The United States. They can serve as long as they want to. In the state courts judges are voted on and elected to the seat.
The Federal Court is set up by Article III of the Constitution of The United States which establishes a Supreme Court and authorizes whatever federal courts congress thinks are necessary. Congress creates the district courts and the court of appeals, sets the number of judges in each court, and what kind of cases they will hear. Congress has divided the United States into ninety-four federal districts and in each district there is a United States District court.
These are the Federal Trial Courts (Federal Judicial Center, 2008).
The Federal court's jurisdiction is limited to the specific types of cases listed in the Constitution and specifically allowed by congress. They only hear cases the United States is a party in. Cases involving violations of the Constitution or federal laws, cases between citizens of different states, and special kinds of cases such as bankruptcy, patent, or maritime law are federal cases.
A case in the federal court begins when a U.S. Attorney or an Assistant U.S. Attorney tells the federal Grand Jury about evidence that point to a crime being committed. If the attorney can show there has been a crime committed the Grand Jury issues an indictment and the person is arrested if they are not in custody already.
The Grand Jury is a group of people that...