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Homework answers / question archive / The constitution of US created a structure for government for the United States which is known as federalism

The constitution of US created a structure for government for the United States which is known as federalism

Computer Science

The constitution of US created a structure for government for the United States which is known as federalism. Federalism is nothing but sharing of powers between the state and national governments. The constitution of US provides certain powers to the federal government and retains rest for the state.

That is why Constitution of US states that federal government is supreme with respect to powers expressively or implicitly which are delegated to it. The state will be supreme only is some matters reserved to them. Both the federal and state government should have their own court systems to apply and interpret their laws. Moreover, both federal and state governments attempt to have done this by spelling out the jurisdiction of their court systems respectively. That is why there are two types of legal systems in United States.

Federal vs. State:


The Federal courts have limited jurisdiction since they are able to decide only certain types of cases. In general, federal courts hear only 2 types of cases namely federal question and diversity of citizenship ([The Relationship….], n.d).

Federal Question includes the following:

·         Crime which is violating federal law which include robbery, drug, gun, or kidnapping.

·         Cases which include interstate criminal activities.

·         Civil cases such as laws prohibiting discrimination of employee etc.

·         A case which includes social security claims or federal tax violations.

·         When there is a controversy between two states.

·         Patent, bankruptcy, maritime cases.

Diversity of citizenship include:

·         These mainly include dispute between 2 individuals who are not from the same state or country.

o   It can be between citizens of 2 different states

o   It can be between citizen of US and another country citizen

Federal courts include District Courts, Courts of Appeal and United State Supreme court.

District Courts: The first level court are the federal district courts which are mainly considered as the trail court for federal system.

Courts of Appeal: Cases from the district courts are heard in courts of appeal ([The Relationship….], n.d).

United States supreme court: It is the final level where overseeing all the federal courts in The US supreme court. It mainly consists of 9 justices, the chief justice followed by 8 associate justice.


The state courts are mainly the courts of general jurisdiction. They are responsible for all the cases which are not taken up by the federal court. About 90% of the cases are heard in state legal system.

State court systems have limited jurisdiction courts, general jurisdiction courts and appellate courts.

·         Limited Jurisdiction courts: In most of the urban states and literally smaller states, there are level four and five courts. This lowest level is known as limited Jurisdiction courts which includes petty assaults/cases, traffic violation etc.

·         General jurisdiction: All civil and criminal related cases comes under general jurisdiction and includes the following:

o   A crime which violates state law and that include robbery, assault, murder etc.

o   Some of the controversy arising out of the state laws.

o   Cases related to state tax violations.

o   Cases related to family, divorces, study etc.

o   Trafficking and Juvenile cases ([The Relationship….], n.d).

·         Appellate Courts: The losing party can appeal to either one or two higher level courts which mainly consists of a single panel of around 5 to 9 judges usually located in the state capital.

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