The Supreme Court's appellate and original jurisdiction are divided by the Constitution, which states that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in "all disputes concerning ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls," as well as those presented to it by a state. The Supreme Court also has original jurisdiction over cases involving violations of treaties ratified by the United States. Finally, the Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction over federal laws and regulations that conflict with federal statutes or come into conflict with rules established by the Supreme Court.
In addition to its appellate jurisdiction, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in "such other cases as are provided for in the Constitution." These "other cases" include cases involving disputes between two states, which are resolved through litigation before the Supreme Court; cases involving questions of federal law raised by individuals or corporations; and cases arising under federal laws regulating commerce. Although there is no statutory limit on how many times a court may hear an individual case, most courts will not review issues that have been previously resolved against them. As such, if a case raising an issue within the Court's jurisdiction is already pending before another court, it usually will be dismissed as duplicative.
Courts may have discretion about whether to hear an appeal, but they do not have discretion about whether to grant certioriuris pendens (Latin for "while [the action] is pending").
The Supreme Court's power in this regard stems from Article III of the Constitution, which provides that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction "in all issues concerning ambassadors, other public officers, and consuls, as well as those in which a state shall be party." The Court's initial jurisdiction...
States cannot pass laws that conflict with the Constitution. However, the Supreme Court can decide whether a state law violates the Constitution. If it finds that the law violates the Constitution, it can declare the law unconstitutional and prevent its application in future cases.
In addition to issuing rulings on disputes between different states or between a state and the federal government, the Supreme Court can also issue rulings on disputes between individuals before judgment is entered by a court. For example, if you sue another person for libel and they file a motion to dismiss your case, the Supreme Court could rule on the motion and either allow or deny your case to go forward. If the Court rules in your favor, then the defendant would have to pay you damages; if not, you would have to drop your case.
Supreme Court justices are appointed by the president and confirmed by Congress. Judges serve for life unless they choose to retire. Recent appointments have included Sonia Sotomayor, who was the first female justice, and Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual misconduct but was subsequently confirmed by the Senate.
Clause 2: The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over all disputes involving ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, as well as those involving states.... The Supreme Court's power to review decisions by lower courts is called appellate jurisdiction.
In short, yes, Congress can determine which cases the Supreme Court decides. The Constitution gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over certain matters related to foreign relations and interstate affairs that do not involve a federal judge or court. Also under the Constitution, the Supreme Court has the power to review decisions made by lower courts. In addition, the Supreme Court can choose not to hear cases submitted to it by federal appeals courts.
The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the first system of federal courts. It provided for a Supreme Court, inferior courts (called "district courts"), and justices. Each state had one vote in the Senate when voting on who would be appointed to the Supreme Court, so senators from large states like Pennsylvania or Virginia could have an impact on whom they selected. Judges were nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. There was no salary attached to judicial positions at the time, so people expected to be chosen for these jobs because of their reputation as experts in law or politics.
The Supreme Court's jurisdiction (legal competence to hear a matter) is established under Article III, Section II of the Constitution. Certain matters, such as litigation between two or more states and/or cases involving ambassadors and other public officials, fall under the Court's original jurisdiction (they are tried before the Court). Otherwise, the jurisdiction of the federal courts is limited to cases or controversies under Article III of the Constitution. This means that they can decide only actual cases or controversies, not hypothetical ones.
Federal courts are divided into three levels: trial court, appellate court, and supreme court. The lowest level is called the district court. There are over 100 of these courts across the country. They conduct initial hearings and case management practices for each case filed in their jurisdictions. The district judges may appoint lawyers to represent individuals without charge or at reduced rates. However, some cases may need to be heard by a jury trial or reviewed by an appeals court before reaching a final judgment.
At the next level are the circuit courts. There are 11 circuits within the United States Court of Appeals system. Each circuit has one or more courts which serve as review boards for cases originating in the lower courts. Circuit courts also have the power to appoint attorneys for individuals who cannot afford legal representation. But, like the district courts, they can choose not to take on any cases at all if there are already enough cases pending before them.