Jurisdiction of the courts Jurisdiction- the authority to hear a certain case (which type of courts get to try which cases). State Courts Each state has its own system of courts Tries cases involving state laws Federal Courts Supreme Court Lower federal courts Tries cases involving federal laws
Federal Courts try cases involving: U.S. laws Ambassadors to foreign countries Treaties with foreign countries Two or more states Interpretation of the U.S. govt. office or Constitution agency Bankruptcy Citizens from different states Maritime law
Concurrent Jurisdiction In some cases, both state and federal courts have jurisdiction. Ex: disputes between people from different states can choose a state or federal court if it is over $75,000.
Types of federal courts Supreme Court- final step Appellate Court (appeals)- Appellate Jurisdiction Trial Court- Original Jurisdiction
Supreme Court Power The court cannot go looking for an issue They must wait until litigants (people filing a lawsuit) come before them. Courts cannot answer questions about broad issues They can only make decisions on specific individual cases.