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How did the American court system develop? What is the dual-court system? Why do we have a dual-court system in America?
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The dual-court system is the result of compromise. The nation’s founders stressed a need for individual states to retain significant legislative authority and judicial autonomy separate from federal control. States, when joining the union, were assured of limited federal intervention into their affairs. States were free to create laws and create a court system to interpret such laws. Unique features include the fact that state courts do not hear cases of federal law and the federal courts only decide issues of state law when there is a conflict between state statutes and constitutional guarantees. The dual-court system in America is comprised of courts on two levels—the federal and the state. The dual-court system results from America’s adoption of the federal system of governance. The federal government holds to itself power over matters that are national in scope while relinquishing power to the states over other matters. This structure necessitates the existence of court systems in each resulting jurisdiction that are empowered to rule on matters from the unique perspective of that jurisdiction’s constitution.
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