Encyclopedia > Article Three of the United States Constitution

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Article Three of the United States Constitution

Article III of the United States Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal (national) government. The judicial branch comprises the Supreme Court of the United States along with lower federal courts established pursuant to legislation by Congress.

Today the federal judiciary[?] has a three-tiered structure. At the top is the Supreme Court, which currently has nine members (a chief justice and eight associate justices). For purposes of the two lower tiers, the judiciary is organized into several "circuits", each of which is in turn divided into several "districts". The United States District Courts[?] are the trial courts, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the several circuits exercise appellate jurisdiction[?]. Federal judges are appointed for life (or, more accurately, "good behavior") by the President, whose judicial nominees must, however, be approved by the Senate.

In addition to creating the judicial branch of the federal government, Article III also limits the definition, conviction, and punishment of treason.

The complete text of this article can be found at http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/charters_of_freedom/constitution/constitution_transcription#3.0

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