Article IV Courts

Cite this article as: Jason Mance Gordon, "Article IV Courts," in The Business Professor, updated January 3, 2015, last accessed April 7, 2020,
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Article IV Courts
What are Art. IV Courts?

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 Article IV Courts

These are territorial courts specially created to act as the court of general jurisdiction in select federal jurisdictions. These courts have jurisdictions similar to that of federal district courts; however, they also exercise subject-matter jurisdiction over matters typically reserved to state and local courts in a jurisdiction. These courts are designated to a specific circuit court of appeals for all appeals from the trial court.

  • Example: With regard to appellate matters, the Virgin Islands district court falls under the 3rd Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals, while the district courts of Guam and the Mariana Islands fall under the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Discussion: State governments generally create laws pursuant to its police power. The Federal Government generally creates laws pursuant to the Commerce Clause or Taxing and Spending Power under the US Constitution. How do you feel about the creation of federal courts to hear matters traditionally controlled under state law?

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