The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States of America. Because of this, the Court leads the Judicial Branch of the United States Federal Government. It is the only U.S. court established by the United States Constitution. Its decisions are supposed to be followed by all other courts in the United States. The Court meets in its own building in Washington, D.C. However, until 1935, the Supreme Court met in the United States Capitol.
Background[change | change source]
There are 9 justices on the court now: one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. Courts (All the justices of the court under one specific Chief Justice) are unofficially named for the Chief Justice; the current Court is called the "Roberts Court" after Chief Justice John Roberts.
The Supreme Court chooses which cases it will decide on. Many people ask the Supreme Court to decide their cases, but the court refuses most of them. For the Supreme Court to decide a case, the case must be about federal law or be about the laws of more than one state. Cases must first be decided by a federal district court and a federal court of appeals or by a state supreme court. Even after that, the Supreme Court can choose not to decide a case for any reason. There are some cases that can start in the Supreme Court and that the Supreme Court must decide, but those are rare.
The justices serve for life unless they want to retire earlier or are impeached. If a justice retires, he or she can still be asked to serve as a judge on a federal Court of Appeals. New justices are nominated (picked) by the President of the United States, and later must be approved by the United States Senate. In February 2022, President Joe Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to succeed retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. Jackson will become the first female African American Supreme Court justice.
The current Court[change | change source]
The current court is named "the Roberts Court" named after Chief Justice John Roberts.
Living former justices[change | change source]
Birthdate and place
|Appointed by||Retired under||Age at||Tenure|
|Start||Retirement||Present||Start date||End date||Length|
|Sandra Day O'Connor
March 26, 1930
El Paso, Texas
|Reagan||G. W. Bush||51||75||92||September 25, 1981||January 31, 2006||24 years, 128 days|
July 23, 1936
|Reagan||Trump||51||82||86||February 18, 1988||July 31, 2018||30 years, 163 days|
September 17, 1939
|G. H. W. Bush||Obama||51||69||83||October 9, 1990||June 29, 2009||18 years, 263 days|
August 15, 1938
San Francisco, California
|Clinton||Biden||55||83||84||August 3, 1994||June 30, 2022||27 years, 319 days|
References[change | change source]
- Leu, Kristen (2022-02-27). "United States: First black woman judge nominated in Supreme Court". Khaleej Mag - News and Stories from Around the World. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
- "Current Members". www.supremecourt.gov. Washington, D.C.: Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved October 21, 2018.