United States Government: Judicial Branch

The judicial branch was created by the Constitution in Article II that also defines the Supreme Court. This is the highest court in the country and it has all the judicial powers of the government. There are also lower federal courts under the Supreme Court but these were not established by the Constitution. In fact these were created by the Congress based on the powers that were bestowed by the Constitution. 

The various courts that make up the judicial system of the country decide and argue the various interpretations of law, the manner in which it can be applied in specific cases and whether they violate the constitution or not. The process in which a specific case is considered to understand whether it violates the Constitution is called a judicial review. This is a method in which checks and balances are kept in this branch of the government. 

The Supreme Court is headed by a Chief Justice of the United States. The judiciary consists of Justices appointed by the President (after being approved by the Senate). The appointment of a Justice of the federal judiciary is for life. 

Under the Supreme Court there are 13 courts of appeals, 94 district courts and two courts that are meant for special jurisdiction. Since the lower courts are not part of the Constitution, the congress has the power to re-organize or abolish the federal courts other than the Supreme Court.


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