Special Courts


Special Courts

The Supreme Court has held that ``. . . Article III does not express the full authority of Congress to create courts, and that other

Articles invest Congress with powers in the exertion of which it may create inferior courts and clothe them with functions deemed essential or helpful in carrying those powers into execution.'' Such courts, known as legislative courts, have functions which ``. . . are directed to the execution of one or more of such powers and are prescribed by Congress independently of section 2 of Article III; and their judges hold office for such term as Congress prescribes, whether it be a fixed period of years or during good behavior.'' Appeals from the decisions of these courts, with the exception of the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, may be taken to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Appeals from the decisions of the Tax Court may be taken to the court of appeals in which judicial circuit the case was initially heard. Certain decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces are reviewable by writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court.

United States Court of Federal Claims The U.S. Court of Federal Claims, formerly known as the U.S. Claims Court, has jurisdiction over claims seeking money judgments against the United States. A claim must be founded upon the United States Constitution; an act of Congress; the regulation of an executive department; an express or implied-in-fact contract with the United States; or damages, liquidated or unliquidated, in cases not sounding in tort. Judges in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims are appointed by the President for 15-year terms, subject to Senate confirmation. Appeals are to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

For further information, contact the Clerk, United States Court of Federal Claims, 717 Madison Place NW., Washington, DC 20005-1086. Phone,


United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces This court was established under Article I of the Constitution of the United States pursuant to act of May 5, 1950, as amended (10 U.S.C. 867). Subject only to certiorari review by the Supreme Court of the United States in a limited number of cases, the court serves as the final appellate tribunal to review court-martial convictions of all the Armed Forces. It is exclusively an appellate criminal court, consisting of five civilian judges who are appointed for 15-year terms by the...

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