United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, a court of law and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States district court; each federal judicial district has at least one courthouse, many districts have more than one. The formal name of a district court is "the United States District Court for" the name of the district—for example, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. In contrast to the Supreme Court, established by Article III of the Constitution, the district courts were established by Congress. There is no constitutional requirement. Indeed, after the ratification of the Constitution, some opponents of a strong federal judiciary urged that, outside jurisdictions under direct federal control, like Washington, D. C. and the territories, the federal court system be limited to the Supreme Court, which would hear appeals from state courts.
This view did not prevail and the first Congress created the district court system, still in place today. There is at least one judicial district for each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico; the insular areas of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands each have one territorial court. There are 89 districts in the 50 states, with a total of 94 districts including territories. There are other federal trial courts that have nationwide jurisdiction over certain types of cases, but the district court has concurrent jurisdiction over many of those cases, the district court is the only one with jurisdiction over civilian criminal cases; the United States Court of International Trade addresses cases involving international trade and customs issues. The United States Court of Federal Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over most claims for money damages against the United States, including disputes over federal contracts, unlawful takings of private property by the federal government, suits for injury on federal property or by a federal employee.
The United States Tax Court has jurisdiction over contested pre-assessment determinations of taxes. A judge of a United States district court is titled a "United States District Judge". Other federal judges, including circuit judges and Supreme Court Justices, can sit in a district court upon assignment by the chief judge of the circuit or by the Chief Justice of the United States; the number of judges in each district court is set by Congress in the United States Code. The President appoints the federal judges for terms of good behavior, so the nominees share at least some of his or her convictions. In states represented by a senator of the President's party, the senator has substantial input into the nominating process, through a tradition known as senatorial courtesy can exercise an unofficial veto over a nominee unacceptable to the senator. With the exception of the territorial courts, federal district judges are Article III judges appointed for life, can be removed involuntarily only when they violate the standard of "good behavior".
The sole method of involuntary removal of a judge is through impeachment by the United States House of Representatives followed by a trial in the United States Senate and a conviction by a two-thirds vote. Otherwise, a judge if convicted of a felony criminal offense by a jury, is entitled to hold office until retirement or death. In the history of the United States, only twelve judges have been impeached by the House, only seven have been removed following conviction in the Senate. A judge who has reached the age of 65 may elect to go on senior status and keep working; such senior judges are not counted in the quota of active judges for the district and do only whatever work they are assigned by the chief judge of the district, but they keep their offices and staff, many of them work full-time. A federal judge is addressed in writing as "The Honorable John/Jane Doe" or "Hon. John/Jane Doe" and in speech as "Judge" or "Judge Doe" or, when presiding in court, "Your Honor". District judges concentrate on managing their court's overall caseload, supervising trials, writing opinions in response to important motions like the motion for summary judgment.
Since the 1960s, routine tasks like resolving discovery disputes can, in the district judge's discretion, be referred to magistrate judges. Magistrate judges can be requested to prepare reports and recommendations on contested matters for the district judge's consideration or, with the consent of all parties, to assume complete jurisdiction over a case including conducting the trial. Federal magistrate judges are appointed by each district court pursuant to statute, they may be reappointed for additional eight-year terms. A magistrate judge may be removed "for incompetency, neglect of duty, or physical or mental disability". A magistrate judgeship may be a stepping stone to a district judges
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
The President pro tempore of the United States Senate is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate. Article One, Section Three of the United States Constitution provides that the Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate, mandates that the Senate must choose a President pro tempore to act in the Vice President's absence. Unlike the Vice President, the President pro tempore is an elected member of the Senate, able to speak or vote on any issue. Selected by the Senate at large, the President pro tempore has enjoyed many privileges and some limited powers. During the Vice President's absence, the President pro tempore is empowered to preside over Senate sessions. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore presides. S. Senators of the majority party to give them experience in parliamentary procedure. Since 1890, the most senior U. S. Senator in the majority party has been chosen to be President pro tempore and holds the office continuously until the election of another.
This tradition has been observed without interruption since 1949. Since the enactment of the current Presidential Succession Act in 1947, the president pro tempore is third in the line of succession to the presidency, after the vice president and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and ahead of the Secretary of State; the current President pro tempore of the Senate is Iowa Republican Charles Grassley. Elected on January 3, 2019, he is the 91st person to serve in this office. Although the position is in some ways analogous to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the powers of the president pro tempore are far more limited. In the Senate, most power rests with party leaders and individual senators, but as the chamber's presiding officer, the president pro tempore is authorized to perform certain duties in the absence of the vice president, including ruling on points of order. Additionally, under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, the president pro tempore and the speaker are the two authorities to whom declarations must be transmitted that the president is unable to perform the duties of the office, or is able to resume doing so.
The president pro tempore is third in the line of presidential succession, following the vice president and the speaker, is one of the few members of Congress entitled to a full-time security detail. Additional duties include appointment of various congressional officers, certain commissions, advisory boards, committees and joint supervision of the congressional page school; the president pro tempore is the designated legal recipient of various reports to the Senate, including War Powers Act reports under which he or she, jointly with the speaker, may have the president call Congress back into session. The officeholder is an ex officio member of various commissions. With the secretary and sergeant at arms, the president pro tempore maintains order in Senate portions of the Capitol and Senate buildings; the office of president pro tempore was established by the Constitution of the United States in 1789. The first president pro tempore, John Langdon, was elected on April 6 the same year. Between 1792 and 1886, the president pro tempore was second in the line of presidential succession following the vice president and preceding the speaker.
Through 1891, the president pro tempore was appointed on an intermittent basis only, when the vice president was not present to preside over the Senate, or at the adjournment of a session of Congress. Langdon served four separate terms from 1789 to 1793. During the 4th Congress; when called upon to serve, they would preside, sign legislation, perform routine administrative tasks. Whenever the vice presidency was vacant, as it was on 10 occasions between 1812 and 1889, the office garnered heightened importance, for although he did not assume the vice presidency, the president pro tempore was next in line for the presidency. Before the ratification of the Twenty-fifth Amendment in 1967, a vacancy in the vice presidency could be filled only by a regular election; when President Andrew Johnson, who had no vice president, was impeached and tried in 1868, Senate President pro tempore Benjamin Franklin Wade was next in line to the presidency. Wade's radicalism is thought by many historians to be a major reason why the Senate, which did not want to see Wade in the White House, acquitted Johnson.
The President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House were removed from the presidential line of succession in 1886. Both were restored to it in 1947, though this time with the president pro tempore following the speaker. William P. Frye served as President pro tempore from 1896 a tenure longer than anyone else, he resigned from the position due to ill health a couple of months before his death. Electing his successor proved difficult, as Senate Republicans in the majority, were split be
Nancy Patricia Pelosi is an American politician serving as speaker of the United States House of Representatives since January 2019. First elected to Congress in 1987, she is the only woman to have served as speaker, is the highest-ranking elected woman in United States history. Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession after the vice president. A member of the Democratic Party, Pelosi is in her 17th term as a congresswoman, representing California's 12th congressional district, which consists of four-fifths of the city and county of San Francisco, she represented the 5th district, when district boundaries were redrawn after the 1990 Census, the 8th district. She has led House Democrats since 2003, serving twice each as Speaker and as House Minority Leader depending upon whether Democrats or Republicans held the majority. Pelosi was a major opponent of the Iraq War as well as the Bush Administration's 2005 attempt to privatize Social Security. During her first speakership, she was instrumental in the passage of many landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act, along with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and 2010 Tax Relief Act, which served as economic stimulus amidst the Great Recession.
In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats won control of the House. Afterward, when the 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, Pelosi was elected Speaker for the second time, becoming the first former speaker to return to the post since Sam Rayburn in 1955. Pelosi was born in Baltimore to an Italian-American family, the youngest, only girl, of seven children of Annunciata M. "Nancy" D'Alesandro, Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. Both of Pelosi's parents had Italian roots, her mother was born in Campobasso, in South Italy, her father could trace his Italian ancestry to Genoa and Abruzzo. When Nancy was born, her father was a Democratic Congressman from Maryland and he became Mayor of Baltimore seven years later. Pelosi's mother was active in politics, organizing Democratic women and teaching her daughter the value of social networking. Pelosi's brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III a Democrat, was Mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971. Pelosi was involved with politics from an early age, she helped her father at his campaign events.
She attended John F. Kennedy's inaugural address when he became U. S. President in January 1961, she graduated from the Institute of a Catholic all-girls high school in Baltimore. In 1962, she graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D. C. with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. Pelosi interned for Senator Daniel Brewster in the 1960s alongside future House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. After moving to San Francisco, Pelosi worked her way up in Democratic politics, she became a friend of one of the leaders of the California Democratic Party, 5th District Congressman Phillip Burton. In 1976, Pelosi was elected as a Democratic National Committee member from California, a position she would hold until 1996, she was elected as party chair for Northern California on January 30, 1977, for the California Democratic Party, which she held from 1981 until 1983. That same year, she ran to succeed Chuck Manatt as chair of the Democratic National Committee, but lost to then-DNC Treasurer Paul G. Kirk.
Pelosi left her post as DSCC finance chair in 1986. Phillip Burton was succeeded by his wife, Sala. In late 1986, Sala became ill with cancer and decided not to run for reelection in 1988, she picked Pelosi as her designated successor, guaranteeing her the support of the Burtons' contacts. Sala died on February 1987, just a month after being sworn in for a second full term. Pelosi won the special election to succeed her, narrowly defeating San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt on April 7, 1987 easily defeating Republican candidate Harriet Ross on June 2, 1987. Pelosi represents one of the safest Democratic districts in the country. Democrats have held the seat since 1949 and Republicans, who make up only 13 percent of registered voters in the district, have not made a serious bid for the seat since the early 1960s, she won reelection in the regular election in 1988 and has been reelected another 16 times with no substantive opposition, winning with an average of 80 percent of the vote. She has not participated in candidates' debates since her 1987 race against Harriet Ross.
The strongest challenge Pelosi has faced was in 2016 when Preston Picus polled 19.1% and Pelosi won with 80.9%. For the 2000 and 2002 election cycles, she held the distinction of contributing the most among members of Congress to other congressional campaigns, in part because she is in a safe district and does not need the campaign funds. In the House, she served on the Appropriations and Intelligence Committees, was the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee until her election as Minority Leader. Pelosi is a member of the House Baltic Caucus. In 2001, Pelosi was elected the House Minority Whip, second-in-command to Minority Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri, she was the first woman in U. S. history to hold that post. In 2002, after Gephardt resigned as minority leader to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election, Pelosi was elected to replace him, becoming the first woman to lead a major party in the House. In the 2006 midterm elections, the Democrats took control of the House.
The change in control meant as House Minority Leader, Pelosi w
Cabinet of the United States
The Cabinet of the United States is part of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. The Cabinet's role, inferred from the language of the Opinion Clause of the Constitution, is to serve as an advisory body to the President of the United States. Additionally, the Twenty-fifth Amendment authorizes the Vice President, together with a majority of certain members of the Cabinet, to declare the president "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office". Among the senior officers of the Cabinet are the Vice President and the heads of the federal executive departments, all of whom—if eligible—are in the line of succession. Members of the Cabinet serve at the pleasure of the President, who can dismiss them at will for no cause. All federal public officials, including Cabinet members, are subject to impeachment by the House of Representatives and trial in the Senate for "treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors"; the President can unilaterally designate senior White House staffers, heads of other federal agencies as members of the Cabinet, although this is a symbolic status marker and does not, apart from attending Cabinet meetings, confer any additional powers.
The tradition of the Cabinet arose out of the debates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention regarding whether the president would exercise executive authority singly or collaboratively with a cabinet of ministers or a privy council. As a result of the debates, the Constitution vests "all executive power" in the president singly, authorizes—but does not compel—the president to "require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices"; the Constitution does not specify what the executive departments will be, how many there will be, or what their duties should be. George Washington, the first U. S. President, organized his principal officers into a Cabinet, it has been part of the executive branch structure since. Washington's Cabinet consisted of five members: himself, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of War Henry Knox and Attorney General Edmund Randolph.
Vice President John Adams was not included in Washington's Cabinet because the position was regarded as a legislative officer. It was not until the 20th century that Vice Presidents were included as members of the Cabinet and came to be regarded as a member of the executive branch. Presidents have used Cabinet meetings of selected principal officers but to differing extents and for different purposes. Secretary of State William H. Seward and Professor Woodrow Wilson advocated the use of a parliamentary-style Cabinet government, but President Abraham Lincoln rebuffed Seward, Woodrow Wilson would have none of it in his administration. In recent administrations, Cabinets have grown to include key White House staff in addition to department and various agency heads. President Ronald Reagan formed seven subcabinet councils to review many policy issues, subsequent Presidents have followed that practice. In 3 U. S. C. § 302 with regard to delegation of authority by the President, it is provided that "nothing herein shall be deemed to require express authorization in any case in which such an official would be presumed in law to have acted by authority or direction of the President."
This pertains directly to the heads of the executive departments as each of their offices is created and specified by statutory law and thus gives them the authority to act for the President within their areas of responsibility without any specific delegation. Under the 1967 Federal Anti-Nepotism statute, federal officials are prohibited from appointing their immediate family members to certain governmental positions, including those in the Cabinet. Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, an administration may appoint acting heads of department from employees of the relevant department; these may be existing high-level career employees, from political appointees of the outgoing administration, or sometimes lower-level appointees of the administration. The heads of the executive departments and all other federal agency heads are nominated by the President and presented to the Senate for confirmation or rejection by a simple majority. If approved, they receive their commission scroll, are sworn in and begin their duties.
An elected Vice President does not require Senate confirmation, nor does the White House Chief of Staff, an appointed staff position of the Executive Office of the President. The heads of the executive departments and most other senior federal officers at cabinet or sub-cabinet level receive their salary under a fixed five-level pay plan known as the Executive Schedule, codified in Title 5 of the United States Code. Twenty-one positions, including the heads of the executive departments and others, receiving Level I pay are listed in 5 U. S. C. § 5312, those forty-six positions on Level II pay are listed in 5 U. S. C. § 5313. As of January 2016, the Level I annual pay was set at $205,700; the annual salary of the Vice President is $235,300. The salary level was set by the Government Salary Reform Act of 1989, which provides an automatic cost of living adjustment for federal employees; the Vice President receives th
Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a television personality. Trump was born and raised in the New York City borough of Queens and received an economics degree from the Wharton School, he was appointed president of his family's real estate business in 1971, renamed it The Trump Organization, expanded it from Queens and Brooklyn into Manhattan. The company built or renovated skyscrapers, hotels and golf courses. Trump started various side ventures, including licensing his name for real estate and consumer products, he managed the company until his 2017 inauguration. He co-authored several books, including The Art of the Deal, he owned the Miss Universe and Miss USA beauty pageants from 1996 to 2015, he produced and hosted The Apprentice, a reality television show, from 2003 to 2015. Forbes estimates his net worth to be $3.1 billion. Trump entered the 2016 presidential race as a Republican and defeated sixteen opponents in the primaries.
His campaign received extensive free media coverage. Commentators described his political positions as populist and nationalist. Trump has made many misleading statements during his campaign and presidency; the statements have been documented by fact-checkers, the media have described the phenomenon as unprecedented in American politics. Trump was elected president in a surprise victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, he became the oldest and wealthiest person to assume the presidency, the first without prior military or government service, the fifth to have won the election despite having lost the popular vote. His election and policies have sparked numerous protests. Many of his comments and actions have been perceived as racially charged or racist. During his presidency, Trump ordered a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, citing security concerns, he enacted a tax cut package for individuals and businesses, which rescinded the individual health insurance mandate and allowed oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
He repealed the Dodd-Frank Act that had imposed stricter constraints on banks in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. He has pursued his America First agenda in foreign policy, withdrawing the U. S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Iran nuclear deal. He recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imposed import tariffs on various goods, triggering a trade war with China, negotiated with North Korea seeking denuclearization, he nominated two justices to the Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. The Justice Department investigated links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government regarding its election interference; when Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey, in charge of the investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to proceed with the probe. The Special Counsel investigation led to guilty pleas by five Trump associates to criminal charges including lying to investigators, campaign finance violations, tax fraud.
Trump denied accusations of collusion and obstruction of justice, calling the investigation a politically motivated "witch hunt". Attorney General William Barr wrote that the special counsel's final report did not find that Trump or his campaign had "conspired or coordinated" with Russia during the 2016 election, but did not reach a conclusion regarding obstruction of justice, neither implicating him regarding obstruction of justice nor exonerating him. Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, at the Jamaica Hospital in the borough of Queens, New York City, his parents were Frederick Christ Trump, a real estate developer, Mary Anne MacLeod. Trump grew up in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens, attended the Kew-Forest School from kindergarten through seventh grade. At age 13, he was enrolled in the New York Military Academy, a private boarding school, after his parents discovered that he had made frequent trips into Manhattan without their permission. In 1964, Trump enrolled at Fordham University.
After two years, he transferred to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. While at Wharton, he worked at Elizabeth Trump & Son, he graduated in May 1968 with a B. S. in economics. When Trump was in college from 1964 to 1968, he obtained four student draft deferments. In 1966, he was deemed fit for military service based upon a medical examination and in July 1968, a local draft board classified him as eligible to serve. In October 1968, he was given a medical deferment that he attributed to spurs in the heels of both feet, which resulted in a 1-Y classification: "Unqualified for duty except in the case of a national emergency." In the December 1969 draft lottery, Trump's birthday, June 14, received a high number that would have given him a low probability to be called to military service without the 1-Y. In 1972, he was reclassified as 4-F. In 1973 and 1976, The New York Times reported that Trump had graduated first in his class at Wharton. However, a 1984 Times profile of Trump noted.
In 1988, New York magazine reported Trump conceding, "Okay, maybe not'first,' as myth has it, but he had'the highest grades possible.'" Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney, testified to the House Oversight Committee in February 2019 that Trump "directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores." Days after Trump stated in 2011, "I heard [Barack O