In the United States, the Judicial branch determines the shape and structure of the federal judiciary. Article III of the Constitution establishes the judicial branch, making Congress separate from the judicial system and even the number of Supreme Court justices. We will dig deeper here in our conversation to know more than what is the judicial branch and what it is responsible for.
The Constitution of the United States divides the federal government into three branches to divide the power with balance.
- The legislative branch makes laws and comprises Congress, including the House of Representatives and Senate.
- The executive branch carries out laws and includes the President, vice president, Cabinet, and most federal agencies.
- The judicial branch evaluates rules, including the Supreme court and other courts.
The executive and legislative branches are elected by the people, whereas the Judicial branch members are appointed by the President and confirmed by Senate. The Constitution granted Congress the power to establish courts inferior to the Supreme court. It showed the United States district courts to deal with federal cases and courts of appeals to review district court cases.
Each branch of the government can change the acts of the other departments, like the President can veto legislation created by Congress and nominates heads of Federal agencies. Congress can approve or reject the President’s nominees and even remove the President’s office in some exceptional circumstances. Additionally, the Supreme court justices, who can even overturn constitutional laws, are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
Why is the Judicial Branch Important?
The Judicial branch decides the meaning of the law to apply in real situations and to learn if a law breaks the rules of the Constitution. Subsequently, the Constitution is our nation’s highest law, and the U.S. Supreme court is the highest Court in the United States and part of the judicial branch.
The Judicial branch of the government includes criminal and civil courts to interpret the United States constitution. It clarifies the rules and ensures that each side acts reasonably to settle disputes with the extraordinary power of judicial review to keep checks and balances between the three branches of government.
The judicial branch is significant as there would be a bunch of disorganized people without well-understood laws that would not be able to separate right from wrong. The judicial branch is important as it keeps the other two components in line so that the power would split evenly.
What is the Judicial Branch responsible for?
The Judicial branch interprets the actual meanings of laws, applies laws to individual cases, and checks on violations of laws. It is comprised of the Supreme Court and other federal courts.
The federal judiciary operates separately from the executive and legislative branches, but it works as Constitution requires. Federal laws are passed by Congress and signed by the President, and the Judicial branch decides the constitutionality of federal laws and resolves disputes about federal laws.
The federal government’s judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the Constitution of the United States. The main task of the Supreme Court is to decide cases that could be different from the U.S. constitution. The most important thing is if the Supreme court makes any decision, it can only be changed by a Supreme court decision or by amending the Constitution.
The Supreme Court and the other courts
The primary entity of the Judicial branch is the Supreme Court, which is the top Court of the United States, and no court can even challenge it. Supreme Court interpret the Constitution with the consent of the majority of justices. Nine justices in the Supreme Court decide any case, and an odd number of them reduce the chances of ties.
Being a Supreme Court justice is quite a prestigious and influential position. After getting officially appointed and confirmed, they serve for the rest of their life as they do not need re-appointment and re-election to perform with confidence.
Along with the Supreme court, lower courts are also part of the judicial branch, but all these courts work under the Supreme court to manage the workload. As there are many cases that the Supreme court can not cater to, these lower courts help them, and the Supreme court handles the most critical matters.
Checks and balances
The three main branches of the federal government have the ability will keep the balance of power. All these branches will help balance against the other units by checking on their strengths. The other components of the government can restrict the judicial branch through the nomination process.
The executive branch nominates, and the legislative branch approves the people who make up the judicial branch, the judges and the justices. The other branches of government are essential to deciding what kind of people will work for the judicial branch as it is a crucial process.
What does the judicial branch do with laws?
The judicial branch simplifies the meaning of laws while applying laws to individual cases and deals with whether laws violate the Constitution. It comprises the Supreme court and many other federal courts. And Congress determines the jurisdiction of federal courts. Still, during exceptional cases such as a dispute between states, the Constitution grants the Supreme court original jurisdiction that won’t let interfere with Congress.
The courts deal only with original cases and controversies, as only that party can bring a suit in Court that can show they are initially harmed. Courts can not issue advisory opinions on the constitutionality of laws and legality of actions without the practical effect of the ruling.
Cases in the judiciary have proceeded from district courts to appellate courts and end at the Supreme Court, so in the future, the Supreme court will hear a few cases every year.
Federal courts enjoy the power to interpret the law, determine the constitutionality of the law, and then apply it to individual cases. Additionally, the inferior courts are bound to follow the interpretations of the Supreme Court, as if the Supreme Court interprets any law, the inferior courts have to apply that.
The Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme court is the highest in the United States, whereas the President nominates the justices of the Supreme Court and app. roved by the Senate. It is the only part of the federal judiciary specifically required by the Constitution.
Instead of the Constitution, Congress stipulates the number of justices who holds their offices for life tenure. Nine members make up the Supreme court, including a Chief Justice and eight associate justices. At the same time, the quorum of six judges can decide a case. All these justices do not need to run for the campaign of re-elections and are selected for the life that will make them insulated from any political pressure.
Justices remain in office unless they resign, are deceased, or are impeached and convicted by Congress. As the higher authority, the Court’s decisions can not be appealed to any rule. The Supreme court is the final judicial justice in the United States on matters of federal law. They can even consider appeals from the highest state or federal appellate courts.
The Court also has jurisdictions over some limited sort of cases, including those involving ambassadors, other diplomats and issues between states. The Supreme court can also hear any appeal regarding a question of law with jurisdictions, but it does not hold trials. The Court can interpret the meaning of law and decide its relevance to a particular set of facts and rules on applying a law. Lower courts have to follow the precedent set of laws by the Supreme court while considering decisions.
The Supreme Court does not hear appeals as a matter of right; there are few cases that the Court considers sufficiently necessary to require a review, for instance, if the federal Court of appeals have ruled differently on the same question of federal law.
Before issuing a ruling, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments, various parties related to the suit will present their arguments, and the justices interrogate them. Suppose there is the involvement of the federal government. In that case, the United States solicitor general presents arguments on behalf of the U.S. This way, justices hold private conferences, make decisions, and issue the Court’s opinion.
If there is an even number of justices and the case results in a tie, the lower Court’s decision then stands as it is. There is no fixed term for justices; they serve until death retirement or if they are removed in exceptional circumstances.
Federal courts and judicial agencies
The Constitution of the United States gives Congress the authority to establish other federal courts to handle cases that involve federal laws, which include tax and bankruptcy, lawsuits involving U.S. and state governments or the Constitution and much more.
Other federal judicial agencies and programs support that courts and judicial research policy.
The administrative office of the U.S. court
The Administrative office of the United States courts handles the nonjudicial, administrative business of the United States courts, including maintenance of statistics and managing court budgets.
Every district among 94 federal judicial handles bankruptcy matters, and almost in all districts, all these cases are filed in bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy laws help people who can not pay their creditors get a fresh start by liquidating their assets to pay their debts or by creating a repayment plan.
Court of appeals for the armed forces
The Court of appeals for the armed forces is an appeals court with worldwide jurisdiction for anyone subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Court of appeals for the federal circuit
With national jurisdiction, the Court of appeals for the federal circuit hears appeals on patents and certain civil cases from courts. It includes the U.S Court of International Trade and the Court of Federal Claims, and many others.
The Court of appeals for the federal circuit may review the administrative rulings of the Patent and Trademark Office, along with the secretary of commerce and other agencies.
Court of federal claims
The United States Court of federal claims has jurisdictions to deal with the claims for the money judgements against the United States.
Court of international trade
The United States Court of international trade resolves trade disputes by simplifying and applying customs and international trade laws.
Federal Court interpreters
Program for certified interpreters that serve in federal courts and help deaf people and other language speakers instead of English to communicate.
Federal judicial center
The federal judicial centre conducts policy research and provides continuing education resources for certain judicial branches.
Judicial panel on multidistrict litigation
This department determines civil actions pending in two or more federal judicial districts that should be transferred to a single federal district court for pretrial proceedings.
Supreme court of the United States
The Supreme court of the United States is the final appellate Court of the judicial system. The Court has the power to review and overturn lower courts’ decisions as it has the original jurisdiction of the final court hearing for any case. It can hear first and last cases regarding public officials, ambassadors, and disputes between states.
This Court usually decides disputes between the internal revenue service and taxpayers.
U.S. court of appeal for veterans claims
The Court of appeals veteran’s claims deal with the appeals of decisions by the board of veterans appeals. One must have decisions from the board of veterans appeals to bring a case before this Court.
U.S courts of appeal
The U.S. courts of appeals from lower courts of civil and criminal trials can not investigate the facts of a case. The appeal courts investigate the law fairly and correctly applied by the lower courts.
U.S. sentencing commission
The U.S. sentencing commissions deal with the sentencing policies for the federal courts. It also serves as an information resource for Congress, the executive, the courts and the public on matters related to federal crime and sentencing.
The confirmation process for justices
Supreme court judges and other federal judgeships follow a certain process for appointments. In the first place, the President nominates a person to fill a vacancy for judges.
The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing and votes on nominations to the full Senate. If the nominations move forward, the Senate will debate on them, and members will vote to confirm the nominee.
After a debate, the Senate votes on the confirmation, and the nominee for the Supreme Court or any other federal judgeship needs a majority of votes.
What does the legislative branch do?
To ensure separation of powers, the United States’s federal government made three branches: judicial, executive and legislative. This power distribution ensures that government effectively protects citizens’ rights as each branch has its own powers and responsibilities while working with other units.
The legislative branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Constitution grants authority to Congress to enact legislation and declare war, in addition to confirming and rejecting Presidential appointments and substantial investigative powers.
This branch drafts proposed laws and deals with Presidential nominations for the heads of federal agencies, federal judges, and the Supreme Court. American citizens have the right to vote the Senators and Representatives.
Congress is composed of two parts:
- The Senate includes two elected Senators per state, which makes up 100. And a senate term is six years, and there is no limit to the number of times for any senator.
- The House of Representatives contains 435 elected representatives, divided among 50 states in proportion to the total population.
The United States Vice President serves as the President of the Senate. And has a decisive vote in case of a tie in the Senate. The Senate has the power to confirm Predisdent’s appointments and provide advice and consent to rectify treaties. For this thing, the House approves appointments to the vice presidency and any treaty involving foreign trade.
The Senate tries impeachment cases for federal officials referred by the House. For legislation, House and the Senate must pass the same bill with a majority of votes to send it for President’s signature.
The legislative process
To start the legislation process is initially to introduce a bill in Congress; anyone can write it, but only Congress members can introduce legislation. Traditionally, some essential bills are presented at the request of the President, for instance, the annual federal budget. However, the initial bill can undergo drastic changes during the legislative process.
After the introduction, the bill goes for review by the appropriate committee. There are 17 Senate committees, 70 sub-committees, 23 House committees, and 104 subcommittees. There could be a change in several committees and come in place when Congress requires it to efficiently consider legislation.
Any bill is initially considered in a subcommittee, where the account is amended, accepted or rejected entirely. After the mutual consent of the sub-committee members, the bill is forwarded to the full committee, where they reconsider it.
If the total committee votes approve the bill, it is further reported to the House or Senate, and here majority will decide the time to consider the statement. When the account is under consideration, the House hold a very structured debate process. Each member would speak for a few minutes, whereas the number and kind of amendments are limited.
In Senate, debate on most bills is relatively unlimited, and senators can speak more during speeches to introduce an amendment. Once the discussion is done, the votes of a simple majority pass the bill.
Before going to President for consideration, a bill must pass both houses of Congress. The Constitution requires that the two accounts have the same wording, although it is rare in practice. The committee members produce a conference report as a final version of the bill. The final text is presented to the House speaker and the Senate president for final signatures. Finally, the bill is sent to the President.
After receiving a bill from Congress, the President has several options. If the President agrees with the account, they sign it into law, and the account is printed in the statutes at large. But if the President does not think right about the law, they can veto it and send it back to Congress. Furthermore, Congress can challenge the veto with a two-thirds vote of each chamber where the bill becomes law.
There are two other options that President may exercise if Congress is in session and President takes no action within ten days, and the bill will turn into law. And if Congress adjourns before ten days, the bill dies, and if the President to takes no action.
Judicial branch facts
- The U.S. Congress and U.S. President determine the judicial branch.
- Congress will determine the number of Supreme court judges; the number of the justices could be as few as six and more as nine.
- A federal Supreme court judge completes his lifetime tenure and removes from their position through retirement, death or certain impeachment. So they can do a fair deal and should not be worried about their popularity.
- The Constitution is the highest law in the United States. The decisions involve determining the meaning of laws, how they will be applied in real-life situations, and where a law breaks the laws of the Constitution.
- Some states have supreme courts but are not considered the highest courts as federal laws always have jurisdictions over state laws. Consequently, the national supreme Court has jurisdiction over any state supreme court.
- An estimate is about 7,500 requests for review of cases in the Supreme court annually. Approximately 150 of them are reviewed as there is much reviewing work rather than the actual trial.
- When the Supreme court reviews any case, it should be with the consent of four judges out of nine.
- If two federal courts of appeals have a different ruling on the same question of federal law, then a writ of certiorari is issued.
- If anyone is found guilty in a Supreme court ruling, they can not appeal the decision to a higher court as there is no one. The only way out is for the Consitution to make an amendment or Supreme Court make another decision.
- Most cases in the Supreme court challenge the U.S. constitution.
- There is no specific qualification, but they must be well trained in law to become U.S Supreme court justice.
- The President can nominate anyone they choose, but he needs Senate approval. If the Senate decides against the nominee, the President must consider another nominee.
We are familiar with the judicial branch of the United States government, which consists of federal courts and judges. The President of the United States appoints judges confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Federal Supreme court judges are called justices who are appointed for life to make them accessible for fair decisions.
Individuals who commit a crime can appeal to the highest Court of the United States, the Supreme court. The Judicial branch of the United States was established under article three of the U.S. constitution. All the above-mentioned judicial branch facts depict why is the judicial branch important.