|United States Circuit Court of the District of Columbia|
|Established||February 27, 1801|
|Abolished||March 3, 1863|
The United States Circuit Court of the District of Columbia (in case citations, C.C.D.C.) was a United States federal court which existed from 1801 to 1863. The court was created by the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801.
The D.C. circuit court was not one of the United States circuit courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789. The Circuit Court of the District of Columbia was established on February 27, 1801 by the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, 2 Stat. 103, which authorized one chief judge and two assistant judges who were to serve during good behavior. Congress granted the court the same powers as the U.S. circuit courts as well as local civil and criminal jurisdiction within the District of Columbia. On March 3, 1801, by 2 Stat. 123, Congress authorized the chief judge of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia to hold the United States District Court for the District of Potomac, but this jurisdiction was short lived. On March 8, 1802, by 2 Stat. 132, the Potomac District was abolished, effective July 1, 1802. Shortly thereafter, on April 29, 1802, by 2 Stat. 156, the Judiciary Act of 1802 established the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and specified that the court would have the same jurisdiction and powers as the U.S. district courts. The act authorized the chief judge of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia to preside in the district court.
Congress established the Criminal Court of the District of Columbia on July 7, 1838, by 5 Stat. 306. This act authorized one judge, and granted the Criminal Court the powers of the U.S. circuit courts and the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia in criminal matters. The act of February 20, 1839, 5 Stat. 319, provided that the chief judge of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia would preside in the absence of the Criminal Court judge. On July 9, 1846, by 9 Stat. 35, The county of Alexandria in the District of Columbia was returned to the state of Virginia, and the division of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia seated in that county was abolished upon the formal approval of retrocession, occurred September 7, 1846.
The circuit court, district court, and criminal court of the District of Columbia were finally abolished altogether on March 3, 1863, by 12 Stat. 762. A new court, the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia (later renamed the "United States District Court for the District of Columbia"), was created in its place, thus terminating the service of the three U.S. circuit court judges appointed to serve during good behavior.
|Judge||Began service||Ended service||Appointed by|
|William Cranch||February 28, 1801||February 24, 1806||John Adams|
|February 24, 1806||September 1, 1855|| Thomas Jefferson |
(as chief judge)
|Allen Duckett||March 17, 1806||July 19, 1809||Thomas Jefferson|
|James Dunlop||October 3, 1845|
|November 27, 1855||James Polk|
|November 27, 1855|
|March 3, 1863|| Franklin Pierce |
(as chief judge)
|Nicholas Fitzhugh||November 25, 1803||December 31, 1814||Thomas Jefferson|
|Thomas Johnson||Declined||–|| John Adams |
(as chief judge)
|William Kilty||March 23, 1801|
|January 27, 1806|| Thomas Jefferson |
(as chief judge)
|James Marshall||March 3, 1801||November 16, 1803||John Adams|
|William Merrick||December 14, 1855||March 3, 1863||Franklin Pierce|
|James Morsell||January 11, 1815||March 3, 1863||James Madison|
|Buckner Thruston||December 14, 1809||August 30, 1845||James Madison|
The United States courts of appeals or circuit courts are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal judiciary. The courts are divided into 13 circuits, and each hears appeals from the district courts within its borders, or in some instances from other designated federal courts and administrative agencies. Appeals from the circuit courts are taken to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal judiciary. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in district courts, each of which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States district court. Each federal judicial district has at least one courthouse, and many districts have more than one. Most decisions of district courts may be appealed to the respective court of appeals of their circuit, with a small number instead being appealable to the Federal Circuit, or directly to the Supreme Court.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia is one of two United States district courts serving the Commonwealth of Virginia. It has jurisdiction over the Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Richmond metro areas and surrounding locations with courthouses located in Alexandria, Norfolk, Richmond and Newport News.
The United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee is the Federal district court covering the western part of the state of Tennessee. Appeals from the Western District of Tennessee are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina is the federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of South Carolina. Court is held in the cities of Aiken, Anderson, Beaufort, Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Spartanburg.
The United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of Rhode Island. The District Court was created in 1790 when Rhode Island ratified the Constitution. The Federal Courthouse was built in 1908.
The Midnight Judges Act represented an effort to solve an issue in the U.S. Supreme Court during the early 19th century. There was concern, beginning in 1789, about the system that required the Justices of the Supreme Court to "ride circuit" and reiterate decisions made in the appellate level courts. The Supreme Court Justices had often voiced concern and suggested that the judges of the Supreme and circuit courts be divided. President Thomas Jefferson did not want the judiciary to gain more power over the executive branch.
The United States circuit courts were the original intermediate level courts of the United States federal court system. They were established by the Judiciary Act of 1789. They had trial court jurisdiction over civil suits of diversity jurisdiction and major federal crimes. They also had appellate jurisdiction over the United States district courts. The Judiciary Act of 1891 transferred their appellate jurisdiction to the newly created United States circuit courts of appeals, which are now known as the United States courts of appeals. On January 1, 1912, the effective date of the Judicial Code of 1911, the circuit courts were abolished, with their remaining trial court jurisdiction transferred to the U.S. district courts.
The Judiciary Act of 1869, sometimes called the Circuit Judges Act of 1869, a United States statute, provided that the Supreme Court of the United States would consist of the chief justice of the United States and eight associate justices, established separate judgeships for the U.S. circuit courts, and for the first time included a provision allowing federal judges to retire without losing their salary. This is the most recent legislation altering the size of the Supreme Court.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Supreme Court of the United States shall hereafter consist of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum; and for the purposes of this act there shall be appointed an additional associate justice of said court.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Maine is the U.S. district court for the state of Maine. The District of Maine was one of the original thirteen district courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, even though Maine was not a separate state from Massachusetts until 1820. The court is headquartered at the Edward T. Gignoux United States Courthouse in Portland, Maine and has a second courthouse in Bangor, Maine. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine represents the United States in criminal and civil litigation before the court. Halsey Frank was confirmed as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine on October 3, 2017.
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee is the federal trial court for most of Middle Tennessee. Based at the Estes Kefauver Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Nashville, it was created in 1839 when Congress added a third district to the state. Tennessee—along with Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan—is located within the area covered by United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and appeals are taken to that court.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee is the federal court in the Sixth Circuit whose jurisdiction covers all of East Tennessee and a portion of Middle Tennessee. The court has jurisdiction over 41 counties with 4 divisions. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, it maintains branch facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Greeneville, Tennessee; and Winchester, Tennessee.
The Government of Guam (GovGuam) is a presidential representative democratic system, whereby the President is the head of state and the Governor is head of government, and of a multi-party system. Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States with policy relations between Guam and the US under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs.
The United States District Court for the District of Potomac was a short-lived United States federal court. Named for the Potomac River, it had jurisdiction over the District of Columbia and pieces of Maryland and Virginia, making it the first United States district courts to cross state lines. It was established in the Judiciary Act of 1801 – also known as the "Midnight Judges Act", because it sought to redistrict the federal courts to allow outgoing President John Adams to make additional appointments – and was abolished in the Judiciary Act of 1802. The language of the first Judiciary Act, setting forth the geographic jurisdiction of the District, was as follows:
And a new district shall be established, in the districts of Maryland and Virginia, to consist of the territory of Columbia, of all that part of the district of Maryland, which lies west and southwest of the river Patuxent, and of the western branch thereof, and south of the line which divides the county of Montgomery in the last mentioned district, from the county of Frederick, and of a line to be drawn from the termination of the last mentioned line, a northeast course to the western branch of the Patuxent; and of all that part of the district of Virginia, which lies north of the river Rappahannock, and east of the line which divides the counties of Fauquier and Loudon, in the last mentioned district from the counties of Fairfax, Prince William, and Stafford; which new district shall be called the district of Potomac, and a district court in and for the same, shall be holden at Alexandria, by the district judge of the district of Maryland, on the first Tuesday in April, and the first Tuesday in October, in each and every year.
The Marshall Court (1801–1835) heard forty-one criminal law cases, slightly more than one per year. Among such cases are United States v. Simms (1803), United States v. More (1805), Ex parte Bollman (1807), United States v. Hudson (1812), Cohens v. Virginia (1821), United States v. Perez (1824), Worcester v. Georgia (1832), and United States v. Wilson (1833).
United States v. More, 7 U.S. 159 (1805), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that it had no jurisdiction to hear appeals from criminal cases in the circuit courts by writs of error. Relying on the Exceptions Clause, More held that Congress's enumerated grants of appellate jurisdiction to the Court operated as an exercise of Congress's power to eliminate all other forms of appellate jurisdiction.
A certificate of division was a source of appellate jurisdiction from the circuit courts to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1802 to 1911. Created by the Judiciary Act of 1802, the certification procedure was available only where the circuit court sat with a full panel of two: both the resident district judge and the circuit-riding Supreme Court justice. As Chief Justice John Marshall wrote, he did not have "the privilege of dividing the court when alone."