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The US Constitution mandated the creation of the Supreme Court and the federal court system, but left the details to Congress. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution states:

Section 1. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

The Judiciary Act of 1789 was the first legislation enacted by the new Congress. It established a federal court system consisting of 13 judicial districts within eleven states, with each district comprising one District court (original trial court) and one Circuit court (court of appeals).

The six Supreme Court justices were responsible not only for the high court, but for "riding the circuit" twice a year to hear lower court cases on appeal. This practice was modified somewhat in 1793, because the schedule was too grueling for the Justices to handle.

The Court convened for the first time on February 2, 1790, in the Merchant's Exchange Building, in New York City, which was temporarily the new nation's capitol. They had just six members, and no cases on the first docket.

Article Three of the United States Constitution established the Federal Court system and defined the functions of the Supreme Court.

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Q: What piece of legislation established the federal court system and defined the responsibilities of the US Supreme Court?
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