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Origins of the Federal Court System

Judiciary Act of 1789 and the Lower Federal Courts

Why is the Judiciary Act of 1789 so important?

It is important because it created the federal judicial system in the United States. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in her book The Majesty Of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice that the Judiciary Act of 1789 “stands as the single most important legislative enactment of the nation’s founding years.” The Judiciary Act is important because it created the federal court system. The U.S. Constitution called for the creation of a “supreme court” and the “inferior courts” but it was Congress that did the creating when it passed the Judiciary Act of 1789.



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