Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The original jurisdiction of a court refers to matters on which the court rules on directly, rather than on matters which are referred to it after being heard by another court. The latter is appellate jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court of the United States generally has appellate jurisdiction over its cases i.e. cases are appealed through the judicial system until they reach the Court, most commonly through writs of certiorari. However, in a certain limited class of cases, the Court has original jurisdiction to consider the facts and the law of a case without it having first been passed on by a lower court. Currently, the only cases commonly handled by the Supreme Court are disputes between two or more U.S. states, typically regarding boundary lines or water claims.
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