Elements of Civil Government eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 218 pages of information about Elements of Civil Government.

Appeals are taken from the courts of the District of Columbia and from the territorial courts to the supreme court of the United States.

A United States commissioner’s court consists of a commissioner appointed by the judge of the district court.  The chief duties of this court are to arrest and hold for trial persons charged with offenses against the United States, and to assist in taking testimony for the trial of cases.  A judge of a State court or a justice of the peace may act as United States commissioner, but while engaged in such duties he is an officer of the United States, and not of the State.

TERM OF SERVICE.—­Justices of circuit courts, district courts, the customs court, the court of claims, the courts of the District of Columbia, and of the territorial courts, are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  The justices of these courts, except of the territorial courts, hold their offices during life, unless impeached.  This life tenure of office, and the provision that a salary of a justice shall not be reduced during his term, render the courts of the United States independent of Congress and public opinion, and tend to preserve the purity and dignity of their decisions.

The salary of a judge of the circuit court is seven thousand dollars; that of a judge of a district court is six thousand dollars; that of a judge of the customs court is seven thousand dollars; and that of a justice of the court of claims is six thousand dollars, except the chief justice, who receives six thousand five hundred dollars.

OFFICERS OF COURTS.—­The United States district courts have grand juries and trial juries, who perform duties similar to those of juries in State courts.  With the consent of the Senate, the President appoints for each district a United States district attorney and a United States marshal.

The district attorney represents the United States in all civil cases to which it is a party, and is the prosecuting officer in criminal cases.

The marshal is the executive and ministerial officer of the court, with duties similar to those of a sheriff.

The Supreme Court of the United States appoints a reporter, who reports—­that is, edits and publishes—­its decisions.  This court also appoints its own marshal.  The decisions of the district court are reported by the Judge, or by an attorney under the judge’s sanction.  Each court appoints a clerk, who keeps a record of its proceedings; gives a history of each case; notes all orders, decisions, and judgments; has charge of all money paid; and keeps and fixes the seal of the court.

The circuit courts of appeals appoint their own marshals and clerks.  The duties of these officers are similar to those performed by the marshal and clerk of the Supreme Court.  The circuit courts of appeals have no reporters.


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Elements of Civil Government from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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