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A Community Built on WordsThe Constitution in History and Politics$
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H. Jefferson Powell

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226677231

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226677224.001.0001

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1802: How Not to Think about the Judiciary Repeal Act

1802: How Not to Think about the Judiciary Repeal Act

VIII. 1802: How Not to Think about the Judiciary Repeal Act
A Community Built on Words
University of Chicago Press

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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