American Judicial System
By Liu Yuanli
The Federal Government of the United States is the central government entity /'ɛntətɪ/
established by the United States Constitution, which shares sovereignty /'sɑvrɪntɪ/ over the United
States with the governments of the individual U.S. states.
The federal government has three branches: the legislative, executive, and judicial. Through a system of separation of powers and the system of "checks and balances,"(分权与制衡) each of
these branches has some authority to act on its own, some authority to regulate the other two branches, and has some of its own authority, in turn, regulated by the other branches.
Today my topic is; American justice system. That is the judicial branch of U.S.federal
; the Supreme Court
; 13 courts of appeals
; 94 district courts
; two courts of special jurisdiction
； The Supreme Court is the highest court in the federal court system which was established in
1789. Below the Supreme Court are the courts of appeals, and below them in turn are the district courts,
which are the general trial courts for federal law.In addition ,there are two courts of special jurisdiction
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States, and leads the federal judiciary.
； It consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight Associate Justices, who are nominated
by the President and confirmed with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. Once appointed, Justices
effectively have life tenure, serving "during good Behaviors", which terminates only upon death,
resignation, retirement, or conviction on impeachment.
； The Court meets in Washington, D.C. in the United States Supreme Court Building. The Supreme Court
is primarily an appellate court, but it has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases.
The left picture is the United States Supreme Court Building and the right one is the
current court of The Supreme Court of America,It is the Roberts court.
The role of the Supreme Court
； The court deals with matters pertaining to the federal government, disputes between states, and
interpretation of the United States Constitution, and can declare legislation or executive action made at
any level of the government as unconstitutional, nullifying the law and creating precedent for future law
Tenure of justices
； The Constitution provides that justices "shall hold their offices during good behavior" (unless
appointed during a Senate recess). The term "good behavior" is well understood to mean Justices may
serve for the remainder of their lives, although they can voluntarily resign or retire. A Justice can also be
removed by Congressional impeachment and conviction.
； Because Justices have indefinite tenure, timing of vacancies can be unpredictable. Sometimes
vacancies arise in quick succession. Sometimes a great length of time passes between nominations.
； A jury trial is a legal proceeding in which a jury either makes a decision or makes findings of fact which
are then applied by a judge. It is distinguished from a bench trial, in which a judge or panel of judges
make all decisions.
； English common law and the United States Constitution recognize the right to a jury trial to be a
fundamental civil liberty or civil right that allows the accused to choose whether to be judged by judges
or a jury. The use of jury trials evolved within common law systems rather than civil law systems. Jury
trials are of far less importance (or of no importance) in countries that do not have a common law
； Juries usually weigh the evidence and testimony to determine questions of fact, while judges usually rule
on questions of law. Jury determination of questions of law, sometimes called jury nullification, may lead
to the overturning of a verdict by the judge.
The Role of Jury Trials
； In most common law jurisdictions, the jury is responsible for finding the facts of the case, while the
judge determines the law. These "peers of the accused" are responsible for listening to a dispute,
evaluating the evidence presented, deciding on the facts, and making a decision in accordance with the
rules of law and their jury instructions. Typically, the jury only judges guilt or a verdict of not guilty, but
the actual penalty is set by the judge.
； In the United States, because jury trials tend to be high profile, the general public tends to
overestimate the frequency of jury trials. Approximately 150,000 jury trials are conducted in state courts
in the U.S., and an additional 5,000 jury trials are conducted in federal courts. Two-thirds of jury trials are
criminal trials, while one-third are civil and "other" (e.g., family, municipal ordinance, traffic).
Nevertheless, the vast majority of cases are in fact settled by plea bargain, which removes the need for a
The basic framework of my presentation
The judicial structure
The suprem court
The jury system
OK,that is all. Thank you!