New “Single Sheet Classic” from the Green Bag – The Evarts Act of 1891

December 27th, 2016

Ross Davies has designed a “Single Sheet Classic” poster for the Green Bag about The Evarts Act of 1891, which created the initial nine regional circuit courts of appeals. The FJC offers this description:

In 1890 the House of Representatives approved by a large majority a bill to abolish the circuit courts, establish courts of appeals, and free Supreme Court justices from any circuit duties. In the Senate, William Evarts of New York offered a substitute that achieved many of the same goals but preserved more of the existing structure of the judiciary. The enactment of Evarts’ proposal in 1891 established a court of appeals in each of the nine circuits, but maintained the circuit courts to operate as trial courts alongside the district courts. The Evarts Act established an additional judgeship for each circuit and authorized the circuit justice, the circuit judges, or district judges to preside over each three-person court of appeals. In diversity suits and in several categories of cases before the courts of appeals, there was no right of appeal to the Supreme Court, although those courts could certify cases for a decision from the high Court. The Supreme Court justices also could grant a writ of certiorari to hear individual appeals. The impact of the act was quickly apparent as the number of new cases before the Supreme Court fell from 623 in 1890 to 379 in 1891 and 275 in 1892.

The poster illustrates drawings of each of the nine circuit courts of appeals, with fascinating tidbits about each.


The First Circuit in Boston:

The Second Circuit in New York:

The Third Circuit in Philadelphia:

The Fourth Circuit in Richmond:

The Fifth Circuit in New Orleans:

The Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati:

The Seventh Circuit in Chicago:

The Eighth Circuit in St. Louis:

And the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco:

What a cool poster. I can’t wait to hang it up!