Article III of the Constitution established the judicial branch of government with the creation of the Supreme Court. This court is the highest court in the country and vested with the judicial powers of the government. There are lower Federal courts but they were not created by the Constitution. Rather, Congress deemed them necessary and established them using power granted from the Constitution. Courts decide arguments about the meaning of laws, how they are applied, and whether they violate the Constitution. The latter power is known as judicial review and it is this process that the judiciary uses to provide checks and balances on the legislative and executive branches.
Read more about the Judicial Branch at Ben's Guide to US Government.
Federal Judiciary Court Links--Fourth Circuit
From the US Courts homepage (see below), links to federal courts for the North Carolina area
U.S. Courts | The Federal Judiciary
Official site for the federal judiciary, includes links to the US Supreme Court, circuit courts, district courts, and bankruptcy courts
FindLaw: Federal Courts of Appeals
From FindLaw, circuit court opinions 1994-present
The North Carolina Court System
Official website of the NC Court system. Provides information about and links to the five levels of the state judicial system, case status, court locations, forms, FAQs, employee benefits, and more.