The Court System

Judiciary Act of 1789

When did Congress create the circuit courts in their present form?

Congress created the modern circuit court judgeships in the Judiciary Act of 1891, which created nine circuit courts composed of three judges each. In 1893, Congress created the D.C. Circuit. Then in 1929 Congress created the 10th Circuit. In 1980, Congress created the 11th Circuit by dividing the existing 5th Circuit into two parts. Two years later in 1982 Congress created the federal circuit, which hears specialized appeals in patent and civil personnel cases.


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