Like the other two branches of our government the Judicial Branch is a complicated, big and powerful piece of the U.S. Government. But in reality what the Judicial Branch does is quite simple. The main purpose of the Judicial Branch is to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and ensure that citizens liberties and rights, granted under the Constitution are upheld. It is important to remember that the Judicial Branch does not make laws, or enforce them, those responsibility’s fall to the U.S. Congress and various law enforcement agency’s respectively.
The Judicial System is made up of district courts, appellate courts, bankruptcy courts, tax courts. and the Supreme Court of the U.S. District courts only have the power to rule on certain types of cases like: criminals sought by the U.S., breaking of federal laws, and civil action between citizens of different sates. Rulings from district courts can be appealed to appellate courts.
The U.S. courts of appeal are considered the most powerful courts in the nation because of the Supreme Courts small cases load. Another reason why the appellate courts are considered so powerful is because their decisions establish binding precedence. Which means all other lower federal courts must follow the appellate courts ruling in similar cases.
The true gem or U.S. Judicial power lies with the Supreme Court. The Supreme court is considered the “court of last resort” all rulings made by the Supreme court are final and can not be appealed any farther. Because of this the Supreme Court usually only hears about one hundred cases a year. But it is in these cases that justices can change national policy with one vote. So people will argue that the most powerful people in the U.S. government are the nine Supreme Court justices, because there decision on a matter is final and no one can challenge it. Also what makes them so powerful is the fact that they serve for life and don’t have to vote one way or another to stay in office. This last fact is also handy because it allows the court to be relatively politically unbiased and lets the justices make controversial decisions with out fear of losing office.
So as you can see the Judicial Branch plays an important role in making sure that of government and our people are following the rules set out in the Constitution.