THE FEDERAL COURTS
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the federal judiciary. It consists of the Chief Justice and eight associate justices. The Supreme Court handles disputes between states as well as cases from federal courts of appeals and from state supreme courts.
The nation’s 94 judicial districts are organized into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a court of appeals. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit hears appeals from the district courts located within the vast Ninth Circuit as well as appeals from certain federal administrative agencies. The court reviews the decisions and records of proceedings from the district courts. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is one step below the United States Supreme Court.
The United States district courts are the principal trial courts in the federal judiciary and handle nearly all types of federal cases – civil, criminal, and bankruptcy. There are 94 federal judicial districts, including one or more in each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and overseas territories. The Pioneer Courthouse was once home to the United States District Court of Oregon.