The Judicial Branch

Federal Home | Executive | Judicial | Legislative

The Judicial Branch of the US Government was created by Article III of the Constitution and the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court is the highest court in the country and is the final arbiter of issues relating to the constitutionality of laws.

The Courts decide arguments about the meaning of laws, how they are applied, and whether they violate the Constitution. The latter power is known as judicial review and it is this process that the judiciary uses to provide checks and balances on the legislative and executive branches. Judicial review is not an explicit power given to the courts but it is an implied power, clearly articulated in the precedent set by Marbury v. Madison (1803).

Federal Courts

Supreme Court of the United States
1 First Street, NE
Washington DC 20543

Inquiries:
Public Information Officer,
Supreme Court of the United States,
Washington, DC 20543

Visitor Line: (202) 479-3211
Comment Line: (888) 293-6498

Lower Courts
There are 94 US Judicial Districts. These Districts are collated into regional circuits, and many of the following courts are distributed thusly. The reference below for these courts will be noted as such and those courts will be listed on the appropriate AFR.com COURT PAGES by STATE. IN the meantime, you can access those court locations through http://www.uscourts.gov/courtlinks

Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
Clerk’s Office Location and Hours of Operation
Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building
One Columbus Circle, NE
Room G-255, North Lobby
Washington, DC 20002-8004

Telephone: (202) 502-2800 / FAX: (202) 502-2888
Office Hours (M-F): 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm Eastern Time

U.S. Bankruptcy Courts
http://www.uscourts.gov/courtlinks

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Court of Appeals
for the Federal Circuit
717 Madison Place, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20439
Phone: (
202) 633-6550

U.S. Court of International Trade
Clerk of the Court
United States Court of International Trade
One Federal Plaza
New York, New York 10278-0001
Phone: (212) 264-2800
Fax: (212) 264-1085

U.S. Courts of Appeals
http://www.uscourts.gov/courtlinks

Special Courts:

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
Clerk of The Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
450 E. Street N.W., Washington, DC 20442

U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
625 Indiana Avenue NW Suite 900
Washington, D.C. 20004-2950

For Case Related Matters ONLY
Phone: (202) 501-5970
Fax: (202) 501-5848

U.S. Court of Federal Claims
717 Madison Place, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-357-6400

U.S. Tax Court
Attention: Office of the Clerk of the Court.
U.S. Tax Court
400 Second Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20217
Phone: (202) 521-0700

Agencies are allowed to charge fees related to storage, retrieval and delivery of information open to the public under the freedom of information act.  Each agency has different rules and fee schedules and should be consulted directly to better understand what those are.