The Circuit Courts
There are 13 judicial circuits, each with a court of appeals. The smallest court is the First Circuit with six judgeships, and the largest court is the Ninth Circuit, with 28 judgeships. A case may go a circuit court, then the circuit court’s court of appeals and then finally to the United States Supreme Court.
Circuit court decisions directly apply to the states in the respective circuit. For example, if the Ninth Circuit court strikes down a juvenile curfew, then all states and cities within the Ninth Circuit must repeal or revise similar curfews. The Ninth Circuit’s decision may also influence judges in other circuits. If you are fighting a curfew in Ohio, your lawyer may refer to the Ninth Circuit’s decision.
Here is a list of the states that compose each circuit.
District of Columbia District of Columbia.
First: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island.
Second: Connecticut, New York, Vermont.
Third: Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virgin Islands.
Fourth: Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia.
Fifth District of the Canal Zone, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas.
Sixth: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee.
Seventh: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin.
Eighth: Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota.
Ninth: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, Hawaii. Northern Mariana Islands.
Tenth: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming.
Eleventh: Alabama, Florida, Georgia.
Federal: All Federal judicial districts.