Origins of the Federal Court System

Judiciary Act of 1789 and the Lower Federal Courts

The Current Federal Appeals Courts

There is one national federal appeals court, called the Federal Circuit, that hears specialized cases, such as patent and civil service personnel cases, that arise throughout the country.

There are also twelve regional courts of appeals based in various parts of the country. Each one hears cases coming through the federal court system from specific geographic regions of the country.


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