Essay 2 Notes

In: Social Issues

Submitted By normaewest
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The primary function of the federal courts is to apply and enforce all federal laws created by Congress. These laws, in the form of statutes or codifi ed law, include a large body of federal criminal laws that range from violations of environmental laws to treason and piracy. (Chapt. 8, p. 12)

The federal courts have a second and perhaps even more important function: They are continually called on to test the constitutionality of federal and state legislation and of court decisions. (Ch.8, p.13)

At the lowest level of jurisdiction are the federal magistrates, formerly called United States commissioners. The magistrates not only have trial jurisdiction over minor federal offenses, but they also have the important task of issuing warrants of arrest or search warrants to federal law enforcement offi cers, such as agents of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug
Enforcement Administration. Congress expanded the power of the federal magistrates by allowing them to “undertake virtually any task performed by district judges, except for felony trials and sentencing. (Ch.8, p.13)

The trial courts in the federal system, called
United States district courts , have both civil and criminal jurisdiction. (Ch.8, p.13)

An appeal of a conviction in a federal district court is heard by a United States circuit court of appeal . The last handles appeals that originate anywhere in the country when they pertain to such matters as patents and copyrights, some tax disputes, and suits against the federal government. (Ch.8, p.14)

The U nited States Supreme Court is the ultimate authority in interpreting the Constitution as it applies to both federal and state law. It also is the fi nal authority in interpreting federal law. (Ch.8, p.15)

Almost every town or city has a court with a justice of the peace , magistrate, or judge, who is not…...

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