Judiciary Act of 1789 Law & Legal Definition


The Judiciary Act is an Act made to establish the judicial system in the U.S. Article III of the U.S. Constitution provides that the judicial system should consist of Supreme Court and other lower courts. Thus, the Supreme Court is established through the constitutional provisions, and Congress is authorized for the creation of lower courts. Congress in 1789 established the structure and jurisdiction of the federal court system through the Judiciary Act. The Act provides:

1. the number of Supreme Court Judges to be six: one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices;

2. the Act provides exclusive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court over all civil actions;

3. the Act created 13 judicial districts within 11 states;

4. the Act established a circuit court and district court in each judicial district; and

5. the Act creates the position of attorney general.