Paul Mitchell's letter to Dan Meador, 9/28/98 18:16:50

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Posted by Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S. on September 30, 1998 at 17:17:48:

In Reply to: CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS, from "Encyclopedia of the American Constitution" posted by Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S. on September 29, 1998 at 15:39:19:

Quoting now from "Moore's Manual Federal Practice
and Procedure," Volume 1, New York, Matthew Bender
& Co., Inc. (Release 62, June 1998), page 1-1:

[begin quote]

Types of Federal Courts ("Article III" Courts)

Supreme Court. Article III of the Constitution
provides for a single Supreme Court. The United States
Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal for the
entire federal judicial system, and the only
constitutionally-mandated federal court.
The Supreme Court entertains appeals from both the
lower federal courts as well as the highest available
state courts.

United States Courts of Appeals. Congress has created
intermediate courts of appeals known as "United States
Courts of Appeals." At the intermediate appellate
level, the United States is divided into 13 judicial

United States District Courts. The federal trial courts
are known as "District Courts." Periodically, Congress
determines whether to create new federal district courts,
and at the end of the twentieth century, the United States
is divided into more than 90 federal districts.
Some more populous states have more than one federal
district court, while other states may have only one
federal judicial district. Federal district courts
typically are denominated by geographical location,
such as the Southern, Eastern, Western, and Northern
Districts of New York. In addition, some federal courts
may have divisions within the district.

Three tiers of courts just described are "Article III" courts.
These United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts
of Appeals, and the United States District courts are called
"Article III" courts. These are the courts that may exercise
the judicial power of the United States. [citing Northern
Pipeline Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U.S. 50, 87,
102 S.Ct. 2858, 73 L.Ed. 2d (1982) (Article I bankruptcy
courts created under Bankruptcy Act of 1798 were given
jurisdiction that was unconstitutionally broad)]


For a complete discussion of the distinction between
Article III and Article I courts, and the limits on
Article I courts that flow from this distinction,
se 15 Moore's Federal Practice, Ch. 100, "The Structure
of the Federal Judicial System" (Mathew Bender, 3rd ed).

[end quote]

This latter volume is not a holding in the library
I am presently using.

See also footnote 1 in U.S. v. United Steelworkers
of America, 271 F.2d 676 (1959), to wit:

[begin quote]

Although ordinarily we think of federal
courts being classified only as District
Courts, Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme
Court of the United States, there is also
another classification of federal courts,
that of "constitutional" and "legislative"
courts. The former, also known as
"Article III courts," are created in
accordance with Article III, Section 1
of the Constitution which declares that
"the 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."
These "constitutional courts" are subject
to the jurisdictional restrictions of
Article III, Section 2, the most important
of which, for present purposes, is the
exercise of judicial power only in a
justiciable "case or controversy," and the
judges of these courts have the protection
of Article III, Section 1 in that they hold
office during good behavior and cannot have
their compensation diminished during their
continuance in office.

"Legislative" or "Article I courts,"
on the other hand, do not have such juris-
dictional limitations nor do the judges
thereof have the protections afforded to
judges of "Article III courts." The
"legislative courts" are created by Congress
as a "necessary and proper" adjunct to its
enumerated powers under Article I, Section 8
of the Constituiton; such courts may perform
legislative and administrative as well as
judicial functions. Courts which have been held
to be legislative courts include the Territorial
courts, the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals,
the Customs Court, and the Court of Claims.
See 1 Moore, Federal Practice Sec. 0.4[3]
(2d ed. 1959). The three courts last named,
however, have been made constitutional courts
by Acts of Congress which need not be detailed here.

The District Courts held in the various States
and the Courts of Appeals for the First through
the Tenth Circuits are "constitutional courts"
as is the Supreme Court of the United States.
The United States District Court and Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
are "legislative courts" for some purposes and
"constitutional courts" for other purposes.
Id. at Sec. 0.4[2].

For a general discussion of the legislative-
constitutional court dichotomy see Hart & Wechsler,
The Federal Courts and the Federal System
370-72 (1953), and 1 Moore, supra, at Sec. 0.4.

[end quote]

Sincerely yours,

/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.

Counselor at Law, Federal Witness,
and Private Attorney General

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