The federal courts in the United States play an important role in upholding the law and justice. There are three levels in the federal judiciary, and all of them have specific roles. The Supreme Court is the highest level, and under them there are smaller courts that deal with cases of high importance, or with cases that are brought before an appellate court. Meanwhile, there are other courts that handle lower profile cases.
Federal judges are appointed by the President of the United State, with the agreement of the senate. They do not serve fixed terms. Rather, they serve until they are impeached, they resign, or they die. It is not uncommon for judges to continue to serve well into their 70s.
The number of judges has grown over the years. Roosevelt wanted to institute a rule which would allow the appointment of an additional federal judge for each judge over the age of 75, up until a maximum limit of 15 judges, but this idea was heavily resisted, because it was thought that he was not trying to reduce the docket workload of the older judges, but rather pad the federal judge list with judges that would pass bills that he was interested in.
The judges have significant responsibilities, and they take on some complex and important cases. That’s not to say that the state courts are not important though. The state courts take on a significant number of smaller, lower profile civil and criminal cases within their jurisdiction. The federal courts are more concerned with things that are a matter of national security, or things that have been taken to the highest level of appeal. Both courts are essential for ensuring that justice is done and that the people are represented fairly and transparently.