How to Use the Images
Photo 2: Courtroom, Pioneer Courthouse today
(General Services Administration)
The U.S. court system consists of 94 judicial districts, including one or more in each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and overseas territories. These judicial districts are arranged into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a court of appeals. These circuit appellate courts are one step below the U.S. Supreme Court. Since 1973, Pioneer Courthouse has been one of four primary locations where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit hears appeals.
This two-story courtroom in the Pioneer Courthouse is located on the second floor of the building. It features pilasters, original wood trim and molding, and an ornamented ceiling. During the 1970s restoration, Ninth Circuit Judges Richard Chambers and John Kilkenny acquired lamps, counsel tables, chairs, benches and other historic items from several federal courthouses to furnish the courtroom and other public spaces in the building.
Questions for Photo 2
1. What types of cases were originally heard in this courtroom? (Refer to Reading 2 if necessary.) What types of cases would be heard here today?
2. How did the building become home to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals? (Refer to Reading 2 if necessary.) Do you think this was an appropriate reuse for the building? Explain your answer.
3. Why do you think Judges Chambers and Kilkenny took the actions described above? Based on the photo, do you think their efforts made a significant contribution to the courtroom? Explain your answer.
* The image on this screen may print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Photo 2.