The Dueling Banjos State vs. Federal

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The Dueling Banjos (State vs. Federal)
The United States Judicial System

Dee Montano
April 3, 2012
Sherre D. Corniel

The Dueling Banjos (State vs. Federal) The United States Judicial System

Frustration, confusion, and complexity; these three words can and are used regularly to describe the justice system within the United States. A better understanding of the history, principles, and role of the dual court system is necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the American justice system.
FEDERALISM vs. ANTI-FEDERALISM The roots of the modern court system in the United States can be found in the principle of federalism. When the delegates met in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention among other issues that needed to be addressed was a national judicial system; the Articles of Confederation was woefully inadequate in providing for this. The dual judicial system that exists today was given life with the passage of Article III of the U.S. Constitution ("[t]he judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.") Article III was a compromise between the Federalists, supporters of a strong central government, who thought that the federal judiciary should contain all of the courts (trial, appellate, and supreme). Whereas the Anti-Federalists, proponents of states’ rights, believed that an all-inclusive federal judiciary would minimize states’ rights and lead to an all-powerful federal government. Instead of the all-inclusive federal judiciary, they proposed that states hold jurisdiction over trial and appellate courts and that a national supreme court would hear final appeals. One of Congress’ first acts when it first met was to pass the Judiciary Act of 1789. This laid out the establishment of the Supreme Court,…...

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