Last modified on July 13, 2016, at 20:55

U.S. courts of appeal

U.S. courts of appeal are intermediate federal appellate courts in the United States. They are intermediate courts in that they hear appeals from U.S. federal district courts and other federal trial-level courts, but their decisions may, in turn, be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The United States Congress established established nine courts of appeals in the Judiciary Act of 1891. They've grown in size, and today

Currently, there are twelve geographic circuits (1st through 11th and the District of Columbia) and the Federal Circuit, which hears appeals from specific courts, as well as from U.S. district courts that concern certain subject matter.[1] The thirteen courts have a total of 179 judgeships,[2] although not all of these judgeships are necessarily filled at any given time.

Federal appellate courts are governed by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. 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.

There are thirteen U.S. courts of appeal:


  1. United States Courts of Appeals
  2. Federal Judgeships