Federal Judiciary

This branch is made up of Federal District Courts (91), Federal Courts of Appeal (11) and at the top is the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court determines whether or not the laws and acts of the other two branches are in accordance with the Constitution. To safeguard the authority and independence of the judiciary against the interests of the executive and legislative branches, judges are protected from a political reprisal by the Constitution. The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and eight associate justices. All of them are nominated by the President but must be also approved by the Senate. Their appointments are for life, unless they commit some offence for which they can be impeached and removed. Federal courts decide cases involving federal law, conflicts between states or between citizens of different states, issues involving foreign citizens or governments, etc.