Here are some interesting facts about our nation`s court system:
The United States has two separate court systems. The federal court system and the state court system of each of the 50 states.

The differences between federal and state courts are defined mainly by jurisdiction, which refers to the kinds of cases a court is authorized to hear. Federal courts hear cases concerning federal crimes (laws passed by Congress), treaties, civil matters of federal jurisdiction (arising out of federal statutes), and certain matters between citizens of different states where the amount in controversy is high enough. State courts hear cases concerning state laws (laws passed by state legislatures.)

The federal court system is established by Article III of the U.S. Constitution; state court systems are established by their respective state constitutions.

Article III of the United States Constitution established the judicial branch as one of the three different branches of the federal government. The other two are the legislative and executive branches.

The Supreme Court of the United States is the top federal court. It is made up of nine judges, known as justices, and is presided over by the Chief Justice.

There are 13 Circuit Courts of Appeal, which are divided into 12 regional circuits.

There are 94 District Courts, with every state having at least one district court.

The President appoints Supreme Court justices, court of appeals judges, and district court judges who then must be approved by the Senate.

President George Washington appointed the most federal justices of the Supreme Court: a total of eleven.

Article III federal judges are appointed for life, and they can only be removed through an impeachment process.

Magistrate judges are appointed by the district court to serve eight-year terms.

Bankruptcy judges are appointed by the U.S. Court of Appeals to serve 14-year terms.

State court judges are usually elected and there are time limits on the length of each judge`s term before they must be re-elected.

Court of appeals and district court judgeships are created by legislation that must be enacted by Congress. The Judicial Conference surveys the judgeship needs of the courts every other year. They look at the number of case filings, geography, number of senior judges, and the mix of cases. The Judicial Conference then presents its recommendations to Congress.

The Constitution sets forth no specific requirements for becoming a federal judge. Members of Congress, however, who typically recommend potential nominees, and the Department of Justice, which reviews nominees` qualifications, have developed their own informal criteria.

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