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these powers, the Supreme court has set aside State laws as uncon- -71'arques stitutional far more frequently than National laws.
541. Circuit Courts.—These are courts of both civil and criminal jurisdiction. In civil cases they have original jurisdiction in cases where the matter in dispute exceeds $2,000, exclusive of costs, in copyright cases, in patent-right cases, and in many others. In criminal cases they have original jurisdiction, and in capital cases an exclusive one. The Circuit Courts have no appellate jurisdiction whatever.
542. Circuit Courts of Appeals.--An Act approved March 3, 1891, provided for the appointment of an additional Circuit Judge in each circuit, and created in each circuit a Circuit Court of Appeals to consist of three judges, of whom two constitute a quorum. The Justices of the Supreme Court, the Circuit Judges, and the several District Judges are competent to sit as judges of this Court within their respective circuits; the District Judges to sit, however, only in the case of the absence of the Justice of the Supreme Court assigned to the circuit, or one or both of the Circuit Judges. These Courts hold a term once a year in the several circuits, in certain designated places: In the first circuit, Boston ; in the second, New York ; in the third, Philadelphia ; in the fourth, Richmond ; in the fifth, New Orleans ; in the sixth, Cincinnati ; in the seventh, Chicago; in the eighth, Saint Louis; in the ninth, San Francisco, and in such other places in the several circuits as the law may from time to time designate.
As the name implies, these are exclusively courts of appeals. They can review, on appeal or writ of error, the final decisions of the District and Circuit Courts in all cases other than those that are directly reviewable by the Supreme Court, and their decisions are in many instances final, as in patent, revenue, criminal, and admiralty cases. These courts were organized to relieve the Supreme Court of a part of its overgrown business.
543 District Courts.—The District Courts have a limited range of jurisdiction in civil cases, and especially in cases in admiralty. They have also jurisdiction of many crimes and offenses under the laws of the United States, committed within their several districts or upon the high seas.
544. Court of Claims.- No sovereign state can be sued without its own permission. If it could be sued in the tribunals of another state, it would not be sovereign; and if in its own tribunals, that would be an implication that it was unwilling to do justice without coercion. Formerly, persons having claims against the United States that they could not adjust through the Exective Departments had no redress but to petition Congress for relief. This method caused much delay and injustice, as well as imposed burdensome duties upon Senators and Representatives in investigating cases. So Congress, in 1855, created the Court of Claims to adjudicate certain classes of claims against the United States. Since then, however, Congress has given a limited jurisdiction over such cases to the District and Circuit Courts. In both instances, however, Congress must appropriate money to pay the judgments. The Court of Clairas consists of a Chief Justice and four Judges.
545. Courts of the Federal District and the Territories. The judicial power as dealt with in the Constitution directly relates only to the States. But it was plainly necessary for Congress to provide courts for the District of Columbia and tlie Territories, and power to do so was indirectly conveyed by the constitutional provisions in relation to those subjects. The Supreme Court of the District consists of a chief justice and five associate justices, any one of whom may hold court with powers similar to those that are exercised by the judges of the District Courts generally. The Territorial system is similar to this. Both the District and the Territorial judges are appointed by the President, subject to the confirmation of the Senate, the first for good behavior, the second commonly for four years, and they are alike paid from the National Treasury.
546. Concurrent Jurisdiction of State and National Courts.-The Constitution does not in terms, or by necessary implication, exclude the State courts from the judicial jurisdiction that it bounds, save in the cases of ministers and consuls and in cases to which a State is a party. Save in these particulars, the whole subject was left to the discretion of Cougress. Congress has given the National courts exclusive jurisdiction in certain classes of cases, such as in patent rights and admiralty, but within certain limits it grants to the State courts a civil jurisdiction concurrent with that of the National courts. This is permitted and not vested; for the Supreme Court has decided that “Congress cannot vest any portion of the judicial power of the United States, except in courts ordained and established by itself.” In a large range of legal business, therefore, the suitor may appeal to the State or the National courts, as he sees fit; the ultimate authority, of course, residing in the latter. Some offenses against the National laws may be prosecuted in the State courts, as those against the postal laws.
TRIAL BY JURY.
Section 2, Clause 3.—The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.
AMENDMENT V.—No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless ou a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger; norshall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
AMENDMENT VI.-In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him ; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defeuse.
AMENDMENT VII.-In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
AMENDMENT VIII.--Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
AMENDMENT XIV., Section 1.-No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the
United States ; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
547 Trial by Jury.-Trial by jury, especially in criminal cases, has for centuries been one of the most jealously guarded rights of the English-speaking people. Magna Charta, granted by King John in 1215, declared : “No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, disseized, or outlawed, or banished, or any way injured; nor will we pass upon, nor send upon him, unless by the legal judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.” This means that no man should be condemned in any of the king's courts, unless first tried by his peers. In England trial by one's peers means trial by his equals, as a peer by peers ; in the United States it means a trial by an impartial jury. In the National courts, the right of trial by jury is preserved in all criminal cases, and in all civil cases when the amount in controversy is more than twenty dollars. A trial jury consists of twelve men, and a verdict requires unanimity. Impeachment has been discussed in another place.
Place of Trial.-To save trouble and expense to both the defendant and the prosecution, it is provided that criminal cases must be tried in the State and judicial district where the crime is committed. There the witnesses are likely to be found. The original rule required the holding of a court having criminal jurisdiction in every State, and suggested the State as the territorial unit of the District Courts. Amendment VI. makes the place of trial still more definite; it must be within a judicial district previously determined by law. Crimes committed in the District of Columbia are tried in that District; crimes committed in the Territories, in the Territories where they are committed. The rule governing other crimes the law thus defines : "The trial of all offenses committed upon the high seas or elsewhere, out of the jurisdiction of any particular State or district, shall be in the district where the offender is found, or into which he is first brought.”