History, Jurisdiction & Current Justices
The Supreme Court's annual term begins in October. Five justices constitute a quorum to hear a case, and decision is rendered by majority vote. In the event of a tie, the previous judgment is affirmed. Under the Judiciary Law, cases are brought to the court by appeal or by writ of certiorari. Nine judges sit on the Court: the chief justice of the United States and eight associate justices. The president of the United States appoints them to the Court for life terms, but the U.S. Senate must approve each appointment with a majority vote. The Supreme Court wields complete authority over the federal courts, but it has only limited power over state courts. The Court has the final word on cases heard by federal courts, and it writes procedures that these courts must follow.The Supreme Court's interpretations of federal law and the Constitution also apply to the state courts, but the Court cannot interpret state law or issues arising under state constitutions, and it does not supervise state court operations.
The Supreme Court's most important responsibility is to decide cases that raise questions of constitutional interpretation. This power, known as judicial review, enables the Court to invalidate both federal and state laws when they conflict with its interpretation of the Constitution.
The history of the Supreme Court reflects the development of the U.S. economy, the alteration of political views, and the evolution of the Federal structure. The Supreme Court heard few cases in its early years, and played a rather insignificant role in the political system. The court began in 1789 with 6 members and was increased to 7 in 1807, to 9 in 1837, and to 10 in 1863. Since 1869, the court has been comprised of 9 members.
During the 1790s, three chief justices served only brief terms, and several nominees turned down presidential appointments. The status of the Supreme Court was... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2008, 10). The Us Supreme Court. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2008, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Us-Supreme-Court-170030.html
"The Us Supreme Court" StudyMode.com. 10 2008. 10 2008 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Us-Supreme-Court-170030.html>.
"The Us Supreme Court." StudyMode.com. 10, 2008. Accessed 10, 2008. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Us-Supreme-Court-170030.html.