Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


THE JUDICIAL BRANCH

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The Judicial Branch of the federal government interprets and reviews the laws of the nation. The group that has the job of interpreting and reviewing the laws of the land is the Supreme Court. It is the highest court in the nation. The Supreme Court of the United States meets in the Supreme Court Building in Washington D.C.

Many arguments about federal rules and laws come up in such a large country as the United States. Someone must be like an umpire and make the final decisions. Someone must settle these arguments in a fair way. The Constitution has a special plan to solve this problem. It provides for a system of federal courts in the Judicial Branch of the government.

The Supreme Court is the highest court. There are also lower courts. Disagreements and trials may start in the lower courts. These lower courts are called federal district courts. There are federal district courts in every state and in the District of Columbia.

If someone loses a case in the federal district court, he can try to have the decision changed by taking his case to a higher court called the Circuit Court of Appeals. If he loses there, too, he may be able to take his case to the final judges-- the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. The Supreme Court only accepts cases on special constitutional problems. What this court says is the last decision. There is no appeal beyond this Supreme Court.

 

QUESTIONS: 

1. The federal district court nearest to my home is located at ______________________.

2. The ______________ Branch of the federal government interprets and reviews the laws of the nation.

3. The __________________ is the highest court in the U.S.A.

4. The __________________ provides for a system of federal courts in the Judicial Branch of the government.

5. If someone loses a case in the federal district court, he can go to the _____________ of ___________. If he loses there, he may be able to get his case tried in the __________ __________.