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Word Count: 831
The writers of the US Constitution were determined to separate the powers of the federal government in to three branches Legislative Executive and Judicial The prime function of the judicial branch is to interpret the law in such a way that rules made in the past can be applied reasonably in the present This function gives the courts a role in policymaking The Constitution establishes the Supreme Court of the United States and grants Congress the authority to establish lower federal courts The United States has two different courts systems-the federal courts and the state courts Federal courts make judgments in cases having to do with the US Constitution or other federal law They hear cases in which the US is suing or prosecuting someone They handle disputes between citizens of two different states and disputes involving foreign countries and US citizens Crimes that happen on ships at sea are called admiralty cases and are also held in federal court Federal courts are set up on three levels The lowest federal courts are the district courts where most federal cases are heard first The United States has 90 district courts The Court of Appeals is the next highest in the federal court system The Court of Appeals is divided into 11 circuits that cover all the states territories and possessions of the US Defendants who are not satisfied with the decision of a district court can appeal to the court The highest federal court is the Supreme Court It consists of eight associate justices and one chief justice appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate Justices are appointed for life and their salaries cannot be lowered while they serve These rules were established so that justices would be free from political pressures that might influence their decision The court has two kinds of jurisdiction In cases affecting ambassadors and other public ministers and in cases in which a state is
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