U. S. Government: Democracy In Action

Chapter 11: The Federal Court System

Student Web Activity

"The Federal Courts"

In this chapter you have learned about the federal courts of the United States. You learned about the jurisdiction of state courts in comparison to federal courts; how federal judges are selected; and the growth, duties, and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. In this activity you will visit the Federal Judiciary Web site to take a closer look at the law-interpreting branch of government.

Destination Title: The Federal Judiciary

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
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Start at the Federal Judiciary home page.

  • Click on Educational Outreach.
  • Now click on Understanding the Federal Courts and Structure of the Federal Courts.
  • Return to the Educational Outreach page and click on Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Read through the information presented under these topics, taking notes as you go.

After you have read through the information, answer the following questions.

Why is the public generally allowed access to court proceedings?
Briefly describe the jurisdiction of federal courts.
Look at the structure of the federal courts. Where would a case be heard after it has passed through the U.S. District Court?
What qualifications are required to serve as a juror?
Now that you are familiar with the general powers and duties of the federal courts, write a "curriculum vitae" for a federal judge. To help you get started, decide in what type of court in the federal court system this judge will be working, and think about what qualifications would make a person a successful and competent judge.
US Government: Democracy In Action
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