Bell Ringers

Bell Ringer: The Federal Court System

The Federal Court System

The Federal Court System


Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor discusses the differences in being a judge for the District, Appellate, and Supreme Court, as well as the role of each court system.

Bell Ringer Assignment

  • Explain the job of a District court judge according to Justice Sotomayor.
  • Describe the differences between being a judge on the District and Appellate courts.
  • Explain the role and type of decisions of the Circuit courts (U.S. Court of Appeals)?
  • What is the difficulty in making a decision on the Supreme Court?
  • Describe the type of cases the Supreme Court takes. What is the responsibility of the Supreme Court in its decisions?
  • Explain why Justice Sotomayor encourages citizens to read the written opinions of the Supreme Court.



  • Appellate Court
  • Brief
  • Circuit Court
  • Collaboration
  • Conference
  • District Court
  • Opinions
  • Precedent
  • Supreme Court


Judicial Branch


Middle SchoolHigh School