United States Court of Appeals

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The United States Court of Appeals consist of courts which hear appeals from federal district courts, bankruptcy courts, and tax courts. There are twelve geographic circuits (1st through 11th and District of Columbia) and one nationwide circuit specialized by subject matter, the Federal Circuit.[1]

They generally hear cases on small panels, but may elect to hear a case en banc, which is to say, with the entirety of the Circuit's appellate judges. They are limited to federal subject matter.

The title of "circuit courts" refers to the fact that judges used to "ride the circuit" between national courthouses to administer justice fairly nationwide. This proved to be quite taxing on justices, and was suspended shortly after the enabling act's promulgation.

The circuits


  1. United States Courts of Appeals