Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



Why should we have federal district courts? What should be their primary function? These questions are fundamental to the formulation of a rational basis for the distribution of judicial power between state courts and the trial courts of the federal government.

Our American federal system seeks as a constant objective an appropriate division of governmental power between a national unit, which deals with problems requiring uniform treatment, and state units, which have responsibility for problems depending more upon local conditions. Applying the principle to the federal district courts, it seems clear that their primary function should be to adjudicate federal substantive rights and duties.