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1802: How Not to Think about the Judiciary Repeal Act

1802: How Not to Think about the Judiciary Repeal Act

Chapter:
VIII. 1802: How Not to Think about the Judiciary Repeal Act
Source:
A Community Built on Words
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226677224.003.0009

The original Judiciary Act of 1789 established a tripartite federal judicial system staffed by only two ranks of federal judges. The district courts and the Supreme Court, as today, each had distinctive personnel, but in each district an intermediate circuit court (which acted as a trial court in many matters in addition to exercising appellate review over the district court) was constituted by the local district judge sitting together with two justices of the Supreme VIII. The onerous nature of the justices' duty to “ride circuit” was experienced at once, and the surviving correspondence of 1790s justices is replete with complaints about the labor and weariness that accompanied their efforts to hold court in the widely separated locations designated by Congress.

Keywords:   Judiciary Repeal Act, federal judicial system, federal judges, Supreme Court, circuit court, Congress

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