The justice system in the United States is one of the most unique in the world. It consists of two separate levels of courts, state and federal, that can peacefully co-exist under the concept of federalism . The type of court that a case is tried in depends on the law, state or federal, that was allegedly violated. Most of the laws that govern our day-to-day living are state laws; violations of federal law include offenses involving federal government employees, crimes committed across state lines (for example, kidnapping or evading arrest), and fraud involving the national government (such as income tax or postal fraud).
Was your ancestor an attorney? prosecutor? justice of the peace? judge? If so, he (or she) helped to maintain this unique system that guarantees our civil liberties, our right to a trial, the belief that we are innocent until proven guilty.
Please add your ancestors to this project!