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Encyclopedia > Article Three of the United States Constitution
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United States Constitution Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Image File history File links US-GreatSeal-Obverse. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: The United States Constitution The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...


Original text of the Constitution
Preamble

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Article Three of the United States Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal government. The judicial branch comprises the Supreme Court of the United States along with lower federal courts established pursuant to legislation by Congress. Wikisource has original text related to this article: The United States Constitution The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... This article describes the government of the United States. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political...

Contents

Section 1: Federal courts

Section 1 vests the judicial power in federal courts, requires a supreme court, allows inferior courts, requires life tenure for judges, and prohibits decreasing the salaries of judges.

Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Vesting Clause

The Vesting Clause grants to the federal courts the "judicial Power," which is the power to hear and decide cases within its jurisdiction. Vesting Clauses are also found in Article I (regarding the Congress), and in Article II (regarding the President), but each differs in language. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Article One of the United States Constitution Article One of the United States Constitution describes the powers of the legislative branch of the United States government, known as Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Article Two of the United States Constitution Article Two of the United States Constitution creates the executive branch of the government, comprising the President and other executive officers. ...


Number of courts

Section 1 explicitly requires "one" Supreme Court, but does not fix the number of justices that must be appointed to it. The number of justices has been fixed by statute, and presently that number is nine: one chief justice and eight associate justices.


Proposals to divide the Supreme Court into separate panels have been made, but all have failed. Since all such proposals have failed, the Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of such a division. However, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote, "the Constitution does not appear to authorize two or more Supreme Courts functioning in effect as separate courts." Constitutionality is the status of a law, a procedure, or an acts accordance with the laws or guidelines set forth in the applicable constitution. ... Charles Evans Hughes (April 11, 1862 – August 27, 1948) was Governor of New York, United States Secretary of State, Associate Justice and Chief Justice of the United States. ...


The Supreme Court is the only federal court that is required by the Constitution. During the Constitutional Convention, a proposal was made for the Supreme Court to be the only federal court, having both original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction. This proposal was rejected in favor of the provision that we have today. Under this provision, the Congress may create inferior courts under both Article III, Section 1, and Article I, Section 8. The Article III courts, which are also known as "constitutional courts," and were first created by the Judiciary Act of 1789. Article I courts, which are also known as "legislative courts," consist of regulatory agencies, such as the U.S. Tax Court. Article III are the only ones with judicial power, and so decisions of regulatory agencies remain subject to review by Article III courts. However, cases not requiring "judicial determination" may come before Article I courts. In the case of Murray's Lessee v. Hoboken Land & Improvement Co. (1856), the Supreme Court ruled that cases involving "a suit at the common law, or in equity, or admiralty" inherently involves judicial determination and must come before Article III courts. Other cases, such as bankruptcy cases, have been held not to involve judicial determination, and may therefore go before Article I courts. Similarly, several courts in the District of Columbia, which is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress, are Article I courts rather than Article III courts. The Philadelphia Convention—also known as the Constitutional Convention—took place in May through September, 1787, to address problems in the government of the United States of America following independence from Britain. ... The first page of the Judiciary Act of 1789 The United States Judiciary Act of 1789 (1 Stat. ... Seal of the United States Tax Court. ... 1856 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Tenure

Federal judges, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, hold their office "during good Behavior," that is, for life. Consequently, a judge may only be removed from office upon conviction in an impeachment cases (hence the term, "during good behavior"), which has occurred seven times in history so far. The impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist presiding. ...


Salaries

The compensation of judges may not be decreased, but may be increased, during their continuance in office. The Constitution is silent when it comes to judges of courts which have been abolished. The Judiciary Act of 1801 increased the number of courts to permit the Federalist John Adams to appoint, as President, a number of Federalist judges before the Republican Thomas Jefferson took office. When Jefferson became President, the Congress abolished several of these courts and made no provision for the judges of those courts. This eventually led to the case of Marbury v. Madison. The power to abolish a court was next used in 1913, when the Congress abolished the Commerce Court. In that case, however, Congress transferred the judges of the Commerce Court to the Circuit Courts. ... This article is about John Adams, an American president. ... Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... Holding Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional to the extent it purports to enlarge the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court beyond that permitted by the Constitution. ... Year 1913 (MCMXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The Commerce Court of the United States was a brief-lived federal trial court. ...


Section 2: Federal jurisdiction and trial by jury

Section 2 specifies the subject-matter jurisdiction of the federal courts and requires trial by jury in all criminal cases, except impeachment cases.

Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;—between a State and Citizens of another State;—between Citizens of different States;—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.


In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.


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.

Subject-matter jurisdiction

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and not courts of general jurisdiction. Courts of limited jurisdiction can hear and decide cases that involve only certain subject matter. For federal courts, this limited "subject-matter jurisdiction" extends to:

  • Federal question jurisdiction: cases arising under the Constitution, laws, and treaties
  • Ambassador jurisdiction: cases involving ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls
  • Admiralty and maritime jurisdiction: cases involving navigable waters
  • United States as a party jurisdiction: cases in which the United States is a party
  • State jurisdiction: cases between two or more states
  • Diversity jurisdiction: cases between citizens of different states
  • Land grants jurisdiction: cases between citizens of the same state claiming land under the grants of different states
  • Alienage jurisdiction: cases between a state or citizens of a state and a foreign state or citizens of a foreign state

Article Three is not self-executing with respect to the subject-matter over which federal courts can have jurisdiction. The Congress decides, from among the subject-matter specified in Article Three, what jurisdiction the federal courts will actually have. Federal question jurisdiction is a term used in the United States law of civil procedure to refer to the situation in which a United States federal court has subject matter jurisdiction to hear a civil case because the plaintiff has alleged a violation of the Constitution, laws, or treaties of... Admiralty law (also referred to as maritime law) is a distinct body of law which governs maritime questions and offenses. ... Diversity jurisdiction is a term used in civil procedure to refer to the situation in which a United States district court has subject matter jurisdiction to hear a civil case because the parties are diverse, meaning that they come from different states. ...


Eleventh Amendment

In Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. (2 Dall.) 419 (1793), the Supreme Court held that states were not immune from lawsuits by individuals due to the grant to the Supreme Court of jurisdiction over them by Article III. In response, the Eleventh Amendment was passed to prevent a state from being sued in a federal court. Amendment XI in the National Archives Amendment XI (the Eleventh Amendment) of the United States Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress on March 4, 1794, and was ratified on February 7, 1795. ... Holding Article III, Section 2s grant of federal jurisdiction over suits between a State and Citizens of another State abrogated the States sovereign immunity recognized at common law, thus allowing a private individual to hale a State into federal court. ... Year 1793 (MDCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Amendment XI in the National Archives Amendment XI (the Eleventh Amendment) of the United States Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress on March 4, 1794, and was ratified on February 7, 1795. ...


The Eleventh Amendment provides:

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

Cases and controversies

Only actual cases and controversies may be heard by the federal courts; the judicial power does not extend to cases which are hypothetical, or which are precluded because of problems with standing, mootness, or ripeness. Generally, a case or controversy requires the presence of adverse parties. In Muskrat v. United States, 219 U.S. 346 (1911), the Supreme Court denied jurisdiction to cases brought under a statute permitting certain Native Americans to bring suits against the United States to determine the constitutionality of a law allocating tribal lands. Counsel for both sides were to be paid from the U.S. Treasury. The Supreme Court maintained that, though the United States was a defendant, the case in question was not an actual controversy; rather, the statute was merely devised to test the constitutionality of a certain type of legislation, and the Court's ruling would be nothing more than an advisory opinion; therefore, it dismissed the suit for failing to present a "case or controversy." The case or controversy clause of Article III of the United States Constitution has been deemed to impose a requirement that United States federal courts are not permitted to hear cases that do not pose an actual controversy - that is, an actual dispute between adverse parties which is capable of... Holding Article III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of the Court to actual controversies between adverse parties; there is no controversy or adversity where an interested party colludes with a disinterested party to bring the suit solely for the purpose of determining the constitutionality of a particular act of... An advisory opinion, in civil procedure, is an opinion issued by a court that does not have the effect of resolving a specific legal case, but merely advises on the constitutionality or interpretation of a law. ...


Original and appellate jurisdiction

See also: Exceptions clause
See also: Jurisdiction stripping

Section 2 provides that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in cases affecting ambassadors, ministers and consuls, and controversies in which a state is a party. In other cases, the Supreme Court has only appellate jurisdiction, which may be regulated by the Congress. The Congress may not, however, amend the Court's original jurisdiction, as was found in Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803) (the same decision in which the principle of judicial review was established). Marbury established that Congress can neither expand nor restrict the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. However, the appellate jurisdiction of the Court is subject to such regulation and exceptions "as the Congress shall make." This power of Congress has rarely been exercised except for the purpose of refining the procedures for obtaining Court review of lower court decisions; over the years the trend has been for Congress to grant the Court maximum discretion in deciding whether to accept or reject a case. Article III Section 2 Clause 2 of the United States Constitution. ... Jurisdiction stripping refers to the practice of defining the jurisdiction of the United States federal judiciary as to eliminate its ability to hear certain classes of claims, thereby making certain legislative or executive actions unreviewable by the judiciary. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... The appellate jurisdiction refers to matters which a court can hear after being ruled on by another court. ... Holding Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional to the extent it purports to enlarge the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court beyond that permitted by the Constitution. ... 1803 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


Judicial review

Main article: Judicial review

No part of the Constitution expressly authorizes judicial review, but the Framers did contemplate the idea. Alexander Hamilton wrote, Judicial review is the power of a court to review the actions of public sector bodies in terms of their constitutionality. ... Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757–July 12, 1804) was an Army officer, lawyer, Founding Father, American politician, leading statesman, financier and political theorist. ...

The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution, is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents.[1]
Secretary of State James Madison, who won Marbury v. Madison, but lost Judicial review.
Secretary of State James Madison, who won Marbury v. Madison, but lost Judicial review.

Others, however, disagreed, claiming that each branch could determine for itself the constitutionality of its actions. Image File history File links Gilbert Stuart American, 1755 - 1828 James Madison, c. ... Image File history File links Gilbert Stuart American, 1755 - 1828 James Madison, c. ... Madison redirects here. ... Holding Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional to the extent it purports to enlarge the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court beyond that permitted by the Constitution. ... Judicial review is the power of a court to review the actions of public sector bodies in terms of their constitutionality. ...


Marbury v. Madison involved a highly partisan set of circumstances. Though Congressional elections were held in November, the newly elected officers did not, at that time, take power until March. The Federalist Party had lost the elections, and, in the words of President Thomas Jefferson, "retired into the judiciary as a stronghold". In the four months following the elections, the outgoing Congress created several new judgeships, which were filled by President John Adams. In the last-minute rush, however, Federalist Secretary of State John Marshall had neglected to deliver commissions to the appointees. When James Madison took over as Secretary of State, several commissions remained undelivered. Under the Judiciary Act of 1789, appointees, including William Marbury, petitioned the Supreme Court for the issue of a writ of mandamus, which in English law had been used to force public officials to fulfill their ministerial duties. Marbury v. Madison posed a difficult problem for the Supreme Court, which was incidentally led by Chief Justice John Marshall, the same person who had neglected to deliver the commissions as Secretary of State. If Marshall's Court commanded Madison to deliver the commissions, he would merely ignore the order, thereby indicating the weakness of the Court. Similarly, if the Court denied Marbury's request, it would be perceived as weak. In making his ruling, Chief Justice Marshall declared that Marbury was indeed entitled to his commission. He continued, however, that the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional, as it purported to grant original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in cases not involving states or ambassadors, thereby establishing that the courts could exercise judicial review over the actions of Congress or the executive branch. Holding Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional to the extent it purports to enlarge the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court beyond that permitted by the Constitution. ... ... Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... This article is about John Adams, an American president. ... For other persons named John Marshall, see John Marshall (disambiguation). ... Madison redirects here. ... The first page of the Judiciary Act of 1789 The United States Judiciary Act of 1789 (1 Stat. ... Holding Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional to the extent it purports to enlarge the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court beyond that permitted by the Constitution. ... A writ of mandamus or simply mandamus, which means we order in Latin, is the name of one of the prerogative writs and is a court order directing someone, most frequently a government official, to perform a specified act. ...


Trial by jury

--71.114.47.59 01:38, 28 October 2007 (UTC)AGPRJIA;PVINAEOIRGAHDPCIANEAKL;GHEOIUBVASER WSDYHHFJTHKYJUH#REDIRECT ADFADF MTHQE Media:ADGMKT ®AD TMKWTEWQAA Section 2 provides that the trial of crimes, except impeachment cases, must be by jury. The trial must be held in the state where the crime was committed, or, if it was not committed in any particular state, in such a place as should have been previously set forth by the Congress.


The Sixth Amendment further provides that the trial must be held not only in the state, but also in the district where the crime was committed, which district should have been previously set forth by the Congress, and that the jury must be impartial and chosen from that same state and district. Amendment VI (the Sixth Amendment) of the United States Constitution codifies rights related to criminal prosecutions in federal courts. ...


Section 3: Treason

Section 3 defines treason and its punishment. For other uses, see Treason (disambiguation) or Traitor (disambiguation). ...

Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.


The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

The Constitution defines treason as specific acts, namely "levying War against [the United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." A contrast is therefore maintained with the English law, whereby a variety of crimes, including conspiring to kill the King or "violating" the Queen, were punishable as treason. In Ex Parte Bollman (1807), the Supreme Court ruled that "there must be an actual assembling of men, for the treasonable purpose, to constitute a levying of war". Holding The Supreme Court had the power to order that a writ of habeas corpus be issued to release the petitioners from prison, because the Constitution grants that power to federal courts unless Congress suspends it. ... Year 1807 (MDCCCVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ...


Under English law effective during the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, there were essentially five species of treason. Of the five, the Constitution adopted only two: levying war and adhering to enemies. Omitted were species of treason involving encompassing (or imagining) the death of the king, certain types of counterfeiting and fornication with women in the royal family of the sort that would call into question the parentage of successors. One important distinction is that the encompassing the death species of treason was most used by the English government to silence political opposition and was expressly excluded by the authors. In fact, James Wilson wrote the original draft of this section, and he was involved as a defense attorney for some accused of treason against the Patriot cause.


Section 3 also requires the testimony of two different witnesses on the same "overt" act, or a confession by the accused in open court, to convict for treason. This rule was derived from an older British law, the Treason Act 1695. In Cramer v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that "every act, movement, deed, and word of the defendant charged to constitute treason must be supported by the testimony of two witnesses." In Haupt v. United States, however, the Supreme Court found that two witnesses are not required to prove intent; nor are two witnesses required to prove that an overt act is treasonable. The two witnesses, according to the decision, are required to prove only that the overt act actually occurred. The Treason Act 1695 is an Act of the Parliament of England (citation 7 & 8 Will. ... Cramer v. ...


Punishment for treason may not "work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person" so convicted. The descendants of someone convicted for treason could not, as they were under English law, be considered "tainted" by the treason of their ancestor. Furthermore, Congress may confiscate the property of traitors, but that property must be inheritable at the death of the person convicted.


References

  1. ^ The Federalist Papers : No. 78. Retrieved on October 28, 2006.
  • Irons, Peter. (1999). A People's History of the Supreme Court. New York: Penguin.

October 2006 was a month that began on a Sunday. ... Peter H. Irons is a political activist, civil rights attorney, legal scholar, and professor of political science. ...

External links

  • Kilman, Johnny and George Costello (Eds). (2000). The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation.
  • CRS Annotated Constitution: Article 3

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The Constitution of the United States of America (4025 words)
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.
The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states by the Congress.
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