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Congress is responsible for the federal courts. Federal judges serve for life, unless removed by congressional impeachment.

US Federal Judiciary - 3 tiered hierarchy of courts.

The 94 US District Courts in 50 states and US dependent territories hear cases allowed under the Constitution and federal law where crimes violate federal laws or disputes between citizens of different states. Above the district courts; the 13 Circuit Courts of Appeal only hear district court appeals on issues of law and questions legal interpretation. Circuit Court rulings are appealed to the United States Supreme Court, the highest court of the land. The Supreme Court only accept cases of constitutional significance.

"United States (Government)," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2001 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

For more detailed information about the federal judicial system, organization, administration, and relationship to the legislative and executive branches of the government, consult Understanding the Federal Courts (1999)

CNN Law Center - Court News

The Pro Bono Institute/Law Firm Pro Bono Project

DeShaney v. Winnebago County Dept. of Social Services, argued in the Supreme Court is an introduction to the Socratic method in Constitutional Law.

Keeler v. Superior Court is an introduction to how the Socratic method works.

Conspiracy Against Rights -- Section 241 of Title 18 is the civil rights conspiracy statute that makes it unlawful for 2 or more persons to agree to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in the free exercise any right or privilege secured by the Constitution or laws of the US. Section 241 does not require a conspirator to commit an overt act prior to the conspiracy becoming a crime. The offense is punishable by a up to a life term or the death penalty.

Why smart lawyers pick dumb jurors

Eyewitness testimony -- Relies on the accuracy of human memory, but has an enormous impact on a trial.

"Real Justice" -- Criminal courts in Fenway Park: Emergency room triage. Defenders, prosecutors, and judges alike work merely to process defendants through the system and make it to the end of the day.

Federal court may still allow junk statistics - Although federal courts attempt to eliminate the testimony of 'junk science' experts, testimony based on 'junk statistics' continue to be admissible. Such testimony has recently been endorsed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A shooting took place during the FBI director's news conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the Milwaukee County Safety Building housing the courtrooms, next to the police headquarters. After a 20-year-old defendant had been found guilty of murder, he leapt across the defense table, grabbed the bailiff's revolver and fired it into the bailiff's abdominal area. The wound, was not life threatening. Another bailiff shot the defendant dead.

The Probate Pit -- A system designed to help Colorado's most fragile citizens plunges them into an upside-down world of justice as family members and guardians fight over finances and life decisions.

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