Social Studies - 2019-20

GOVT.10a - Organization, Jurisdiction, and Proceedings of Federal Courts

The student will social science skills to understand the federal judiciary by 

a) describing the organization, jurisdiction, and proceedings of federal courts;

Adopted: 2015



The United States has a court system whose jurisdiction is derived from the Constitution of the United States and federal laws. 


Article III of the Constitution of the United States and federal laws establish the jurisdictions of the federal court. 

Congress created various federal courts beneath the United States Supreme Court. 

Types of jurisdiction 

 Original jurisdiction: The authority of a court to hear a case first 

 Appellate jurisdiction: The authority of a court to review decisions of a trial court 

 Exclusive jurisdiction: Refers to the power of a court to adjudicate a case to the exclusion of other courts solely based on the issue of the case 

 Concurrent jurisdiction: Congress allows some cases to be tried in either federal or state courts (e.g., cases between citizens of different states) 

Jurisdiction of regular federal courts 

 United States Supreme Court: Appellate and limited original 

 United States Court of Appeals: Appellate 

 United States District Court: Original 

The Supreme Court of the United States is the court of last resort. It hears appeals from federal, state, and special courts.


Updated: May 17, 2017