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States. And as Congress have the power to establish inferior courts, they have, as a necessary consequence, the right to define their respective jurisdictions. Congress, accordingly, have vested the Circuit Courts with original jurisdiction, concurrently with the courts of the several states, of all suits of a civil nature, where the matter in dispute exceeds five hundred dollars, exclusive of costs, and the United States are plaintiffs, or an alien is a party, or the suit is between a citizen of the state where the suit is brought, and a citizen of another state. They have, too, original jurisdiction of all suits arising under any law of the United States relative to copyrights, and the rights growing out of inventions and discoveries.

325. They have also exclusive jurisdiction of all crimes and offences against the United States, the punishment of which is capital, and concurrent jurisdiction with the District Courts of all such crimes and offences where the punishment is not capital. And they have appellate jurisdiction from all final decrees and judgments in the District Courts, where the matter in dispute, exclusive of costs, exceeds fifty dollars.


Jurisdiction —Original Exclusive ConcurTent—Appellate. 326. By original jurisdiction is meant the right vested in a court to hear and determine a cause in the first instance. This may be an exclusive or concurrent right. It is exclusive when the particular cause can only be brought before the particular court; and concurrent when it may be brought in any one of two or more courts. By appellate jurisdiction is meant the right vested in a court to hear and determine appeals from the judgment of another court. The Circuit Courts, it will be observed, exercise jurisdiction of each description, that is, exclusive, concurrent, and appellate.

District Courts.

327. The United States are at present divided into forty-five districts, in each of which is established a District Court. These districts, for the most part, consist of an entire state, though in several of the states it has been found necessary to constitute two or more districts. A District Court is composed of a single judge, who holds annually four stated terms, and also special courts, in his discretion. In districts where the business of the court may require it to be done for the purposes of justice, the judges must hold monthly adjournments of the regular terms for the trial of criminal causes.

Jurisdiction of the District Courts.

328. The District Courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Courts of all crimes and offences against the United States, the punishment of which is not capital. They have also exclusive, original cognisance of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; of all seizures under the impost, navigation, or trade laws of the United States, where the seizures are made upon the high seas, or on waters within their districts navigable from the sea with vessels of ten or more tons burthen; and of all other seizures made under the laws of the United States, and also of all suits for penalties and forfeitures incurred under those laws.

329. They have also cognisance, concurrent with the Circuit and state courts, of causes where an alien sues for a tort committed in violation of the law of nations, or of a treaty of the United States; and concurrently with the Circuit Courts, and the courts and magistrates of the several states, of all suits at common law where the United States, or any officer thereof, acting under the authority of an Act of Congress, shall sue. They have also jurisdiction, exclusively of the state courts, of all suits against consuls, vice-consuls, except for offences of a capital nature.


330. The Supreme, Circuit, and District Courts have power to appoint clerks; and this power of appointment includes that of removal. These clerks have the custody of the seal and records, and are bound to sign and seal all process, and seasonably to record the decrees, judgments, and determinations of their respective courts. In addition to an oath of office, they are required to give security in the sum of two thousand dollars, for the faithful discharge of their duties.


331. The President and Senate appoint a Marshal for each judicial district, whose duty it is to attend the District and Circuit Courts when sitting therein, and to execute, within the district, all lawful precepts which are directed to him, and issued under the authority of the United States. He may command all necessary assistance in the execution of his duty, and may appoint one or more deputies, who are removable at his pleasure, as well as at the pleasure of the District or Circuit Courts. The Marshal himself is appointed for the term of four years; but at the same time, with the concurrence of the Senate, is removable at the pleasure of the President. Before entering upon the duties of his office, he is obliged to give security in the sum of twenty thousand dollars for the faithful performance of the same by himself and his deputies, and, together with his deputies, to take an oath of office.

Tenure of Office.

332. The judges both of the Supreme and inferior Courts hold their offices during good behavior, and at stated times receive for their services a compensation which cannot be diminished during their continuance in office.

333. The President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints the judges of the Supreme and inferior Courts; but he does not possess the power of removing them. Their tenure of office is independent of both government and people; it depends absolutely upon themselves. Their continuance in office is during good behavior. If they behave properly they are secured in their places for life; if they misbehave, if they violate the trust confided to them, they may be impeached, and, if convicted, removed from office.

Their Salary.

334. The Constitution has also secured to the judges a fixed provision for their support. They

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