General Question

RocketGuy's avatar

Different levels of courts in the US?

Asked by RocketGuy (10836points) August 4th, 2010

What are the different levels of courts in the US? Is it:

US Supreme Court
Federal Court
State Supreme Court?

Where does the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals come in?

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5 Answers

syz's avatar

There’s a lot of information here and here.

Rarebear's avatar

There are state systems and federal systems. Each state has their own system of courts, and their own supreme court. In California, where we live, the highest court is the California Supreme Court. The Cal Supreme voted to allow gay marriage, and that’s why Proposition 8 was funded. That passed, and changed the state constitution to require banning gay marriage. Because of that the California Supreme court had their hands tied. State judges can be either appointed or elected, depending upon the state.

So the opponents sued in Federal court. Federal court is done before a judge, who is appointed by Congress. Prop 8 was argued before a Federal judge, because the State court couldn’t do anything anymore. (BTW, the Kitzmiller vs. Dover was also argued to a Federal judge). When the Federal judge makes his or her decision, then they can decide whether to appeal or not. That’s where the Appeals Court comes in. There are, I think, 9 circuits in the U.S. The 9th Circuit covers the Western states. The case will be argued to the 9th Circuit, who will make their decision. After that it goes to the Supreme Court of the United States, or SCOTUS. My prediction is with our current political climate, the 9th Circuit will uphold the current ruling and SCOTUS will overturn it.

RocketGuy's avatar

It’s like volleyball!

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
perspicacious's avatar

Each state has a court system which is separate from the Federal system. Generally each system has a trial court, an appeals court, and a supreme court.

In Federal system the trial court is the District Court, the appeals court is the Circuit Court, and then there is the Supreme Court. Each state has numerous Federal District Court locations. There are 13 Circuits located around the country. (the D.C. Circuit and Federal Circuit do not appear on the map) This link will tell you what area is covered by each Circuit.

Each state operates uniquely and uses different names for it’s courts.

In general, matters involving Federal law and the Constitution are resolved in the Federal system. There are exceptions.

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