Talk:Federal judiciary of the United States

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Merger/Restructuring?[edit]

I believe that this page should be merged with Article I and Article III tribunals (while that page is new and doesn't have many links to fix) and then we can do a more extensive reorganization of the US judicial pages. I think that this page should become a very broad introduction to the different types of courts (pretty much incorporating most of the info from the above Article I/III page). Then the information here about the structure of the (article III) judicial branch should be moved to a new page on the United States federal judciary (or judicial branch, etc.) which would have an overview of the three levels of courts (with links to those pages), the appeals process, etc. Finally, we could create an Article I courts page, where we'll put the controversy section, and which we can eventually expand to include a discussion of their history, purposes, procedures, etc. The existing links here will still make sense after this change, so we'll just have to fix links to the Article I/III page (where I've cross-posted this suggestion). So...am I crazy? Ddye 17:38, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

As discussed on Talk: Article I and Article III tribunals, I think we're going to scale down this plan to just merging that page into this one. If anyone's watching this page, I'd appreciate any input you have. Ddye 17:48, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm all for it! -- BD2412 talk 18:11, 2005 Jun 24 (UTC)

This article really sucks, it didn't answer a single question on my history homework.

If you need the history of the federal courts, there are already many excellent books and Web pages on that subject. --Coolcaesar 21:52, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

"Greater power is vested in Article III courts because the greater control that exercise over Article I courts would threaten the balance of power between the branches of government." That sentence needs to be cleaned up. I suspect it should say 'greater control that [the Legislative branch] exercise[s] over Article I courts', but either way there's an ungrammatical clause there.

General jurisdiction[edit]

Federal courts are not courts of General Jurisdiction. I'm not sure exactly what you would call it but only state trial courts are considered to have general jurisdictions. Federal trial courts can only hear cases if certain restrictions are met (e.g. federal question, diversity, venue). Court of Appeals only has appellate jurisdiction. SCOTUS has original jursidiction over a very limited set of cases (per Article III of the Constitution) and appellate jurisdiction over all other matters. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 160.39.50.14 (talk) 14:58, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I think you are taking too narrow a definition of general jurisdiction. Whether or not a court hears cases involving claims arising from another jurisdiction's law- ie. state v. federal- does not make it general or specific. The USDCs are the courts of general jurisdiction within the federal system just as the various states (usually) have their courts of general jurisdiction. At any rate, the definition of district courts (a subdefinition under the definition of district) in Black's Law Dictionary, p. 476 (6th ed. 1990) refers to the federal district courts as courts of "general Federal jurisdiction".
With regard to the USSC and the Fed Circuit Courts, I think those should be listed under a heading of Appellate Courts, not general jurisdiction. Of course, the USSC does have original jurisdiction in very rare cases, so I'm not sure what to do about that. InMyHumbleOpinion (talk) 06:08, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The original poster is right, no Federal court is a court of general jurisdiction. They are all courts of limited jurisdiction. Also, to the responder, you are incorrect, Black's Law Dictionary defines the United States District Court as "a federal trial court having jurisdiction within its judicial district." (BLD 8th ed. 2004). Furthermore court of general jurisdiction is defined as "a court having unlimited or nearly unlimited trial jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases" and the separately listed definition under jurisdiction for Gen. Jur. is: "a court's authority to hear a wide range of cases, civil or criminal, that arise within its geographic area." Without a Federal Question or Diversity present a USDC does not have the power to hear a case. That is limited jurisdiction. Within its geographic area it still has a very narrow parameter of cases it is allowed to hear. It doesn't fit the definition, moreover Blacks doesn't define USDCs as courts of general jurisdiction. They are trial courts and can hear most federal legal issues and they hear all diversity based cases but that doesn't make it a Court of General Jurisdiction. Now they can have general jurisdiction over a defendant, but that has to do with personal jurisdiction not subject matter jurisdiction. I'm sorry but the label is patently wrong. Granted they aren't specific jurisdiction courts, but the choices are not limited to general or specific. Moreover, it's absurd to have SCOTUS and the Circuit courts under the heading of Courts of General Jurisdiction as well. Again a Court of General Jurisdiction is a trial court. The Circuit Courts never have original jurisdiction and SCOTUS only has it under very rare circumstances of cases involving ambassadors, ministers and consuls as well as where a State is a party. I'll go ahead and change the main page and feel free to disagree with me and tell me why you think I'm wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jdlund (talkcontribs) 17:53, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I cannot quarrel with your analysis of the district courts' jurisdiction. However, your edit has introduced new inaccuracies. For example, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit most definitely is a court of appellate jurisdiction. Further, the list of courts of specific subject-matter jurisdiction confusingly mixes together trial and appellate tribunals, after we have distinguished them in the first part of the list. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 18:47, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah I know, I caught that too after I made my edit. I didn't pay close enough attention to that note on the end of Courts of Appeals. I'll change it again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jdlund (talkcontribs) 02:35, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
There, I made the last change necessary to make it accurate and complete. Please let me know if you disagree with any of the changes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jdlund (talkcontribs) 18:20, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Courts of the United States[edit]

Would it appropriate to redirect Courts of the United States here? Or to move this there? Thanks, Drum guy (talk) 14:23, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Better to redirect from that to this article, since it already exists and is more specific. --Russ (talk) 14:39, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with both. The term is ambiguous, and could refer to federal or state courts. Should be a short article listing all the various levels of courts in the U.S. bd2412 T 15:04, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
And so I have done. Cheers! bd2412 T 20:38, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Criticism[edit]

I added a mention of an interested Facebook page where we can discuss the SCOTUS, how the decide cases, etc. It's pretty interesting. A Facebook friend of mine started it and it has a lot of interesting interviews with the Justices and such. ~~ iMatti ~~ (talk) 07:20, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Nonacquiescence[edit]

The recently-inserted discussion of nonacquiescence is misleading in several respects. The article now strongly suggests that the Federal government can simply disregard any judicial decision with which it disagrees, which is far from accurate. First, the concept only applies to civil litigation in which a federal agency is a party, involving the application of the agency's rules. The concept has no bearing on the many criminal cases and private civil suits heard in federal courts. Second, nonacquiescence only affects the application of a decision as precedent in future cases. If a party wins a judgment against the government in a case, the government does not have the option of ignoring that judgment as to that party. Third, the government cannot "nonacquiesce" in a court's past decisions in cases before that same court (or in the case of a Court of Appeals, in cases in that circuit's district courts). Rather, what happens is that if Court A interprets a rule in a way that an agency does not like, then the agency may continue to apply its contrary interpretation in future cases before other courts, at least until those other courts have ruled against it. Fourth, the final sentence, "Congress has not yet been able to pass a bill prohibiting or punishing such behavior" is POV, since it assumes that the practice should be prohibited or punished. It is also misleading, because there is at least potentially a remedy for nonacquiescence under existing law, which is to convince the Supreme Court to grant cert. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 14:15, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

The material was added by Coolcaesar, an experienced, knowledgeable editor. I agree that the statements are dubious. The problem might be to some extent in the views of the authors of the source materials (I can't say for sure without locating and reading the source material). The following may shed some light on the subject, in the context of acquiescence and nonacquiescence by the Internal Revenue Service in U.S. federal tax matters:
AODs [Actions on Decisions, a series of pronouncements issued by the U.S. Treasury Department] and subsequent announcements generally do not affect the application of stare decisis or the rule of precedent. The Service [Internal Revenue Service] will recognize these principles and generally concede issues accordingly during administrative proceedings. Furthermore, the Service generally adheres to the controlling precedent of a given circuit when litigating a case bound by that circuit’s precedent, per Golsen v. Commissioner. Nevertheless, in very rare circumstances, nonacquiescence to a circuit court case will not necessarily imply an intention on the part of the Service to comply with the precedent within the same circuit issuing the opinion. This may occur if the Service intends to continue to litigate the matter in the deciding circuit or if the case does not establish controlling circuit court precedent because the holding can be limited to its unique facts. In such cases, the AOD will provide explicit guidance concerning how to handle the matter within the issuing circuit.
--Mitchell Rogovin & Donald L. Korb, "The Four R’s Revisited: Regulations, Rulings, Reliance, and Retroactivity in the 21st Century: A View From Within", 46 Duquesne Law Review 323, 366-367 (2008) (footnotes omitted) (bolding added).
The late Mitchell Rogovin was Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of the Treasury (chief attorney and law enforcement officer of the IRS) from 1965 to 1966. Donald L. Korb, is the former Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service from 2004 to 2009. As of late 2012, Korb was with the Washington D.C. law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. Famspear (talk) 20:21, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
OK, I added some of the Rogovin-Korb material to the article. Hopefully this clarifies the matter to some extent. Famspear (talk) 20:42, 3 March 2014 (UTC)