The Info List - United States Federal Court

House of Representatives

Speaker Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R)

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi

Congressional districts

United States
United States

President Mike Pence
Mike Pence

President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch
Orrin Hatch

President Pro Tempore Emeritus Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
Chuck Schumer


President of the United States

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Vice President of the United States

Mike Pence
Mike Pence

Cabinet Federal agencies Executive Office


Supreme Court of the United States

Chief Justice John Roberts

Kennedy Thomas Ginsburg Breyer Alito Sotomayor Kagan Gorsuch

Courts of Appeals District Courts (list)

Other tribunals


Presidential elections Midterm elections

Off-year elections

Political parties

Democratic Republican

Third parties


State Government


Legislatures (List)

State courts

Local government

Other countries Atlas

v t e

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The federal judiciary of the United States
United States
is one of the three co-equal branches of the federal government of the United States organized under the United States Constitution
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.


1 Courts

1.1 Other tribunals

2 Judges 3 Administration 4 Legal procedure 5 History 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Courts[edit] Further information: Federal tribunals in the United States

Civil procedure in the United States

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Doctrines of civil procedure

Jurisdiction · Venue

Pleadings · Motions

Service of process Complaint Answer Counterclaim Crossclaim

Pre-trial procedure


Interrogatories Depositions

Request for admissions Request for production

Resolution without trial

Default judgment Summary judgment Voluntary dismissal Involuntary dismissal Settlement


Parties Jury Burden of proof Judgment


Mandamus Certiorari

v t e

The federal courts are composed of three levels of courts. The Supreme Court of the United States
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
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
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
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] Further information: United States
United States
federal judge 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.

Parts of this article (those related to vacancy numbers) need to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (January 2018)

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
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]

The Judicial Conference of the United States is the policymaking body of the U.S. federal courts. The Conference is responsible for creating and revising federal procedural rules pursuant to the Rules Enabling Act. The Administrative Office of the United States Courts
Administrative Office of the United States Courts
is the primary support agency for the U.S. federal courts. It is directly responsible to the Judicial Conference. The AO prepares the judiciary's budget, provides and operates secure court facilities, and provides the clerical and administrative staff essential to the efficient operation of the courts. The judicial councils are panels within each circuit charged with making "necessary and appropriate orders for the effective and expeditious administration of justice". The Federal Judicial Center
Federal Judicial Center
is the primary research and education agency for the U.S. federal courts. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
transfers and consolidates cases in multiple judicial districts that share common factual issues. The United States Marshals Service
United States Marshals Service
is responsible for providing protection for the federal judiciary and transporting federal prisoners. The Supreme Court Police
Supreme Court Police
provide security for the Supreme Court building.

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
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
Articles of Confederation
provided a clear basis for the initial establishment of United States
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
United States
Court established by the United States. Additional United States
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
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
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]

PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) CM/ECF (Case Management/Electronic Case Files) List of courts of the United States
List of courts of the United States
(outline of all state and federal courts in the United States) Federal Rules of Civil Procedure State supreme courts of the United States Uniformity and jurisdiction in U.S. federal court tax decisions United States
United States
Marshals Service


^ a b The Editorial Board. (2013). Courts Without Judges. NYTimes. ^ Wheeler R. (2013) What's Behind all Those Judicial Vacancies Without Nominees?. Brookings Institution. ^ McMillion BJ. (2013). President Obama's First-Term U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: An Analysis and Comparison with Presidents Since Reagan. CRS. ^ People v. Leonard, 40 Cal. 4th 1370, 1416 (2007) (Ninth Circuit decisions do not bind Supreme Court of California). ^ Gregory C. Sisk, Litigation with the Federal Government (Philadelphia: American Law Institute, 2006), 418-425. ^ Robert J. Hume, How Courts Impact Federal Administrative Behavior (New York: Routledge, 2009), 92-106. ^ 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). ^ Michael L. Wells, A Litigation-Oriented Approach to Teaching Federal Courts, 53 St. Louis U. L.J. 857 (2009).

Further reading[edit]

Federal Court Concepts, Georgia Tech Creating the Federal Judicial System Debates on the Federal Judiciary: A Documentary History History of the Courts of the Federal Judiciary CourtWEB, Online Federal Court Opinions Information System

External links[edit]

Official website

v t e

Law of the United States

Constitutional law

Federalism Separation of powers Civil rights

Courts of the United States

Federal courts

Supreme (SCOTUS) Appeals District (list) Bankruptcy Claims International Trade Tax

State courts

State supreme


Law school Law School Admission Test Admission to the bar

v t e

United States articles


By event

Timeline of U.S. history Pre-Columbian era Colonial era

Thirteen Colonies military history Continental Congress

American Revolution


American frontier Confederation Period Drafting and ratification of Constitution Federalist Era War of 1812 Territorial acquisitions Territorial evolution Mexican–American War Civil War Reconstruction Era Indian Wars Gilded Age Progressive Era African-American civil rights movement 1865–1896 / 1896–1954 / 1954–1968 Spanish–American War Imperialism World War I Roaring Twenties Great Depression World War II

home front Nazism in the United States

American Century Cold War Korean War Space Race Feminist Movement Vietnam War Post- Cold War
Cold War
(1991–2008) War on Terror

War in Afghanistan Iraq War

Recent events (2008–present)

By topic

Outline of U.S. history Demographic Discoveries Economic

debt ceiling


before 1890 1890–1945 1946–91 after 1991

Military Postal Technological and industrial



counties federal district federal enclaves Indian reservations insular zones minor outlying islands populated places states

Earthquakes Extreme points Islands Mountains

peaks ranges Appalachian Rocky

National Park Service

National Parks


East Coast West Coast Great Plains Gulf Mid-Atlantic Midwestern New England Pacific Central Eastern Northern Northeastern Northwestern Southern Southeastern Southwestern Western


Colorado Columbia Mississippi Missouri Ohio Rio Grande Yukon

Time Water supply and sanitation




Cabinet Civil service Executive departments Executive Office Independent agencies Law enforcement President of the United States Public policy


House of Representatives

current members Speaker


current members President pro tempore Vice President


Courts of appeals District courts Supreme Court


Bill of Rights

civil liberties

Code of Federal Regulations Constitution

federalism preemption separation of powers

Federal Reporter United States
United States
Code United States
United States


Central Intelligence Agency Defense Intelligence Agency Federal Bureau of Investigation National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency National Reconnaissance Office National Security Agency Office of the Director of National Intelligence


Armed Forces

Army Marine Corps Navy Air Force Coast Guard

National Guard NOAA Corps Public Health Service Corps

51st state

political status of Puerto Rico District of Columbia statehood movement


Electoral College

Foreign relations

Foreign policy

Hawaiian sovereignty movement Ideologies

anti-Americanism exceptionalism nationalism

Local government Parties

Democratic Republican Third parties

Red states and blue states

Purple America

Scandals State government

governor state legislature state court

Uncle Sam


By sector

Agriculture Banking Communications Energy Insurance Manufacturing Mining Tourism Trade Transportation


by state

Currency Exports Federal budget Federal Reserve System Financial position Labor unions Public debt Social welfare programs Taxation Unemployment Wall Street



Americana Architecture Cinema Cuisine Dance Demography Education Family structure Fashion Flag Folklore Languages

American English Indigenous languages ASL

Black American Sign Language

HSL Plains Sign Talk Arabic Chinese French German Italian Russian Spanish

Literature Media

Journalism Internet Newspapers Radio Television

Music Names People Philosophy Public holidays Religion Sexuality Sports Theater Visual art

Social class

Affluence American Dream Educational attainment Homelessness Home-ownership Household income Income inequality Middle class Personal income Poverty Professional and working class conflict Standard of living Wealth


Ages of consent Capital punishment Crime


Criticism of government Discrimination

affirmative action antisemitism intersex rights islamophobia LGBT rights racism same-sex marriage

Drug policy Energy policy Environmental movement Gun politics Health care

abortion health insurance hunger obesity smoking

Human rights Immigration


International rankings National security

Mass surveillance Terrorism

Separation of church and state

Outline Index

Book Category Portal

v t e

Judiciaries of North America

Sovereign states

Antigua and Barbuda Bahamas Barbados Belize Canada Costa Rica Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic El Salvador Grenada Guatemala Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago United States

Dependencies and other territories

Anguilla Aruba Bermuda Bonaire British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Curaçao Greenland Guadeloupe Martinique Montserrat Puerto Rico Saint Barthélemy Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saba Sint Eustatius Sint Maarten Turks and Caicos Islands United States
United States
Virgin Islands

v t e

Judiciaries of the United States


Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Federal district

Washington, D.C.

Insular areas

American Samoa Guam Northern Mariana Islands Puerto Rico U.S. Vi