The United States Supreme Court is just one of the four federal courts established in the United States. Other federal courts include the United States Courts of Appeals, the United States District Courts and the Bankruptcy Courts. The federal courts have been often referred to as the guardians of the Constitution of the United States. This is because the rulings passed down by the US Supreme Court and other federal courts in the country are meant to guarantee the protection of the rights stated in the US Constitution.
It is the obligation and duty of the US Supreme Court and other federal courts to objectively interpret the laws that govern the country and apply the necessary consequences mandated by these laws (“About US Federal Courts” 2008). Federal Courts versus State Courts Since the United States follows a federal system of government, the governing power of the judiciary system is both shared by federal and state courts. There are two general differences between the federal courts and the state courts. The first are the kinds of cases that these two courts handle.
State courts handle most, if not all, common legal matters affecting Americans each and every day. These legal matters range from the execution of wills to divorce and criminal cases. On the hand, federal courts are tasked to handle legal matters involving national security, disputes between two or more states within the country, legal matters involving public officials such as ambassadors and ministers and other legal matters that directly deal with the constitutionality of the US Constitution (“Comparing Federal and State Court Systems” 2008).
Another difference deals with the intervention that the US Supreme Court can do. In state court proceedings, parties who are not satisfied with the ruling of the state court may have their case escalated to the highest court within the state in order for the case to be reviewed. It is only in certain situations when the case may be reviewed by the US Supreme Court.
Oftentimes, this would only occur when there is sufficient evidence proving that the constitutionality of a law and how it was carried out in the state court is questionable. On the other hand, federal court cases may immediately be escalated to be reviewed by the US Supreme Court after the case has been reviewed by the US Court of Appeals (“Comparing Federal and State Court Systems” 2008).