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There are three ways in which cases get to the Supreme Court of the United States. These include:
- Original jurisdiction. These cases originate in the Supreme Court rather than getting there on appeal. Very few of the Court's cases (about 5%) come in this way. These are cases such as those that involve two states in conflict with one another.
- From state courts. These cases come to the Supreme Court on appeal from state Supreme Courts. They constitute about 30% of the caseload.
- From federal courts. The rest of the cases come up through the federal courts. They start at the district court level, are appealed to the circuit courts, and are finally appealed to the Supreme Court.
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