Origins of the Federal Court System

Creation of the Court

What is the structure of the Constitution?

The Constitution features seven sections, called articles. The first three articles deal with the powers of the three branches of government. Article I deals with the legislative branch (Congress), Article II deals with the executive branch (the president), and Article III deals with the judicial branch (the court system).

The Constitution features a system of separation of powers and checks and balances among the three branches of government. For example, Congress passes legislation but the president can veto (or stop) the legislation, which Congress can then override by a super-majoritarian vote of two-thirds. This means that if a president vetoes a piece of legislation, the law can still be enacted if two-thirds of the members of Congress vote to override the presidential action. However, the judicial branch can then declare a law unconstitutional if it determines that it is not compatible with the Constitution.


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