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District courts serve as trial courts of the federal court system. The federal system also has trial courts of special and exclusive jurisdiction that hear particular disputes, such as copyright or bankruptcy issues. Appeals from the district and special courts are taken to the court of appeals for the judicial circuit in which the district court sits. The United States is divided into eleven circuits (plus DC and the special Federal Circuit). Appeals from the circuit courts are taken to the Supreme Court
District courts are created under the authority granted by Article II, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which allows Congress to establish federal courts inferior to the Supreme Court (sometimes known as "legislative courts").