ch.10

ch.10 - The Constitution and the National Judiciary Article...

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The Constitution and the National Judiciary Article III of the Constitution establishes: Supreme Court in which the judicial power of the United States is vested, life tenure or 'good behaviour' for judges, judges receive compensation that cannot be diminished during their service, such inferior courts as Congress may choose to establish, original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court The intent of Article III was to remedy the failings of the Articles of Confederation that left judiciary matters to the states, and to avoid the experience of the colonial era of all powerful British courts that trampled on the rights of citizens.As with the rest of the Constitution, Article III was the result of compromise. There were many debates at the Constitutional Convention and between the Federalists and Anti- Federalists during the Ratification Debates about the document including Article III. Among the key issues that did not make it into the new document were: no federal courts below the Supreme Court; explicitly giving the Supreme Court the power of judicial review (the power to review acts of other branches and rule them unconstitutional; limited terms for justices; and more. The limits checks and balances placed on the courts were also compromises between those who feared the chaos under the Articles or the excessive 'order' under British rule. The Judiciary Act of 1789 and the Creation of the Federal Judicial System Congress established 'inferior courts' through the Judiciary Act of 1789. This Act established the federal judiciary in the same three-tiered structure we know today. The main courts of fact in the federal system are District Courts, then come the Circuit Courts of Appeals, and finally the Supreme Court. The Judiciary Act also set the number of justices for the Supreme Court at 6 (the number has varied over the years, since it is not determined in the Constitution, from 5 to 10 and was set at 9 by the Judiciary Act of 1869). At first, the Supreme Court was not a high status post. Justices left the Supreme Court to take 'better jobs'. All Justices rode circuit meaning they literally had to ride a horse around to hear court cases on appeal. Some justices tallied up 10,000 miles a year on horseback. Although the Supreme Court was not considered prestigious at first, early Supreme Courts did decide some important cases. Among those cases was Chisholm v. Georgia (1793) in which the Justices ruled that the Court's jurisdiction in Article III, section 2 included the right to hear cases brought by a citizen of one state against the citizen of another. The states saw this ruling as an attack on their sovereignty, and they forced through the 11th Amendment to change the original jurisdiction of the Court and expressly forbidding such cases. The Marshall Court (1801-1835)
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ch.10 - The Constitution and the National Judiciary Article...

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