In 1891, Congress established the Court of Appeals to relieve the burden of appeals under which the Supreme Court was laboring. There are twelve Courts of Appeals: one just for the District of Columbia and eleven for the rest of the country. Decisions of independent regulatory agencies, like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), can only be appealed to the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia. There is also a thirteenth appeals court that handles only copyright and patent cases.
There are also a number of specialized courts, such as the Court of International Trade, the Tax Court and the Court of Veterans Appeals.