Good Essay About The United States Court System

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Court, Criminal Justice, Crime, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Government, System

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2023/05/15


The American Court System is not a single court, as many may think, but multifaceted and multi-tiered. They are broken into two major headings and multiple subdivisions. Firstly, there is the federal court representing the United States as a whole and then there are individual state courts for each of the American states. While the federal courts are bound by federal laws and constitutional prerequisites, the state courts can differ greatly from state to state (United States Department of Justice, 2015).The United States court system is a complex, and sometimes controversial, entity that outlines how we approach crime, punishment and legal equities. For this reasons it is worthwhile to review how it is structured and how it functions.


Most people who are not criminally inclined and are not part of the professional legal system do not really know all that much about the different courts and how their processes and procedures differ based on the types of crimes and level of that crime’s severity. In order to understand the American court system better it is necessary to review the different tiers of both major court categories.
The Federal Court System is broken into a hierarchy of districts and circuits. Every American state will have, at least, one federal district; larger states may have more districts. Federal courts primarily hear civil cases and cases that fall specifically within the jurisdiction of federal law, not state level laws. Many of these cases may involve bankruptcy courts, tax court and cases that may involve other federal claims. Cases at the federal level usually start at the lowest district and work its way up through the federal courts. The United States Supreme Court is the highest federal court in the country. The decision of the American Supreme Court is upheld country wide. There are nine Supreme Court judges that must be nominated by the President and requires the Senate’s approval; these judges may serve for life (United States Department of Justice, 2015). The Supreme Court does not hear a large number of cases overall. Only the most complex cases reach the level of the Supreme Court. It has been pivotal in many historical cases, including Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, that inspired the movement to end educational segregation, and Roe vs. Wade, which gave women the right to choose if they have an abortion (Benitez, 2006). Many of the cases that the Supreme Court handles relate to Constitutional Law and whether policies, laws or court decisions uphold the law and rights outlined in the Constitution.


Again the United States court system is a multifaceted, multi-tiered and a complex structure that has grown and adapted throughout history. The intention of the court system is to provide legal, ethical and equal rights to all who are interacting in the court system, whether it is a civil case over minor property damage or a case where one is accused of committing murder; all should have access to equal treatment and resources. Appeals allow all Americans to argue the validity of a previous court decision. Many argue that there are a lot of flaws in the modern court system, while others believe to be highly just and progressive. Regardless of one’s opinion, it is worthwhile for all Americans to understand the system, how it works and how it relates to them.


Benitez, A.M. (2006). An introduction to the united states legal system: Cases and comments.
George Washington University Law School. 1-36.
United States Department of Justice. (2015).Introduction to the federal court system.Office of the
United States Attorneys. Retrieved January 13, 2016, from

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