History of the Federal Judiciary


History of the Federal Judiciary


  Landmark Judicial Legislation
1787
Article III, The U.S. Constitution provided the outline of the judicial branch of government.

1789

The Judiciary Act of 1789 established a federal court system.

1801

The Judiciary Act of 1801 reorganized the federal judiciary and established the first circuit judgeships.

1802

The Judiciary Act of 1802 reorganized the federal courts following repeal of the 1801 act.

1807

Establishment of the Seventh Circuit and a seventh seat on the Supreme Court.

1837

Establishment of the Eighth and Ninth Circuits and additional seats on the Supreme Court.

1855

Establishment of a California Circuit.

1863

Establishment of a Tenth Circuit and a tenth seat on the Supreme Court.

1866

Reorganization of the judicial circuits and reduction in the size of the Supreme Court.

1869

Establishment of circuit judgeships and setting the number of the Supreme Court seats at nine.

1875

Authorization for the federal courts to exercise the full jurisdiction allowed under the Constitution.

1891

Establishment of the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals.

1911

Abolition of the U.S. Circuit Courts as part of the recodification of laws relating to the federal judiciary.

1922

Establishment of the Conference of Senior Circuit Judges (later the Judicial Conference of the United States).

1925

The Judges’ Bill expanded the jurisdiction of the Courts of Appeals and allowed the Supreme Court to determine many of the cases it would hear.

1929

Division of the Eighth Judicial Circuit and establishment of a Tenth Circuit.

1939

Establishment of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

1967

Establishment of the Federal Judicial Center.

1968

The Federal Magistrates Act.

1978

Establishment of U.S. Bankruptcy Courts.

1980

Division of the Fifth Judicial Circuit and establishment of an Eleventh Circuit.

1982

Establishment of the Federal Circuit.

 

Submit Questions About Judicial History