Removal Act of 1875 Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

A bill granting lower federal courts original and removal jurisdiction over federal question cases.

The Removal Act of 1875, also known as the Judiciary Act of 1875, provided federal courts with original and removal jurisdiction. The Judiciary Act of 1789 was Congress’s initial exercise of the powers in Article III of the U.S. Constitution. It allowed state courts to retain jurisdiction over federal question cases, those cases arising under the Constitution, federal laws, or treaties. The end of the Civil War brought expansion and growth of federal government power. Three constitutional amendments and various congressional statutes were passed during the Reconstruction period. The primary purpose of these enactments was to secure equal rights for the newly emancipated slaves. Congress viewed the federal courts as necessary to the implementation of Reconstruction legislation and to the expansion of federal court jurisdiction and powers.District courts

The Removal Act awarded federal courts jurisdiction over cases alleging that a state law or an action of a state official violated the Constitution. The Removal Act allowed a federal question suit to be filed in federal district court. Such actions filed in state court could be removed to federal district court for disposition. No subsequent jurisdictional statute enacted by Congress has so significantly enlarged the caseloads and jurisdiction of the federal courts. The Removal Act resulted in federal courts, including the Supreme Court, becoming the primary forum for litigating constitutional rights.

Civil Rights Acts

Civil War

Equal protection clause


Judicial powers

Judiciary Act of 1789

Judiciary Acts of 1801-1925

Lower federal courts


Restrictions on court power

Categories: History