US Government

Governing bodies of the United States including the Senate, House of Representatives and the President

29,181 Questions
History of the United States
US Constitution
US Government

Who becomes president of the US if both the president and vice president die?

the Speaker of the House of Representatives

by the way I would like to know what grade you in

US Constitution
US Government
US Supreme Court

What is the term of office for US Supreme Court justices?

Supreme Court justices serve "during good behavior," which means "for life" or until they choose to resign or retire, as long as they don't commit an impeachable offense (bad behavior).

The nine Supreme Court justices hold their offices "during good behavior" according to Article III, Section 1, of the US Constitution. This means that they may hold office for life; however they may be involuntarily removed from office by impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors, the same as the President.

Article III, Section 1

"The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office."

Only one US Supreme Court Justice has been impeached, but was acquitted of all charges, and that was Samuel Chase (1741 - 1811) for allegedly letting his politics affect the quality of his decisions. life.

US Government
US Supreme Court

How many justices are on the US Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has nine justices: one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices.

The Judiciary Act of 1789 provided for a 6-member Court, with a Chief Justice and 5 Associate Justices. Congress adjusted the size of the Court a number of times through the during the 19th-century.

  1. Judiciary Act of 1789: Court size 6
  2. Judiciary Act of 1801: Court size, 5
  3. Repeal Act of 1802: Court size, 6
  4. Seventh Circuit Act of 1807: Court size, 7
  5. Judiciary Act of 1837: Court size, 9
  6. Tenth Circuit Act of 1863: Court size, 10
  7. Judicial Circuit Act of 1866: Court size, 7
  8. Habeas Corpus Act of 1867: Court size, 8
  9. Judiciary Act of 1869: Court size, 9

After the election of President Ulysses S. Grant, Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1869, which set the Court's membership to nine. This number has remained the same ever since.

In 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted unsuccessfully to expand the membership of the court to gain support on the Court for his New Deal programs. He proposed adding one justice to the Supreme Court for every member over 70.5 years of age, with the potential of adding as many as six additional justices, for a total of 15. Congress refused to pass Roosevelt's legislation; however, the President had an opportunity to nominate eight justices* to vacancies that occurred during his terms of office, which created a court more receptive to his ideas.

* Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed more Supreme Court Justices, at 8, than any other President, with the exception of George Washington, who appointed a total of 10.

US Constitution
US Government
US Supreme Court

Who is the current Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court?

Since the Supreme Court was established in 1789, 17 people have served as chief justice, beginning with John Jay (1789–1795). The current chief justice is John Roberts (since 2005).

US Government
Court Procedure
US Supreme Court

Who are the nine justices of the US Supreme Court?

know idea

US Constitution
US Government

What in Article VI of the US Constitution establishes the document as the Supreme Law of the Land?

The Constitution itself, and all federal laws and treaties, are the supreme law of the land. Article 6, Paragraph 2 is referred to as the supremacy clause.

The Supremacy Clause of Article VI (6) of the US Constitution declares the Constitution, as well as federal laws and treaties made in accordance with the Constitution are the supreme law of the land. In lay terms, this means that the Constitution, federal laws and treaties can overrule state and local laws.

Article VI, Clause 2 (Supremacy Clause)

Article VI of the US Constitution addresses federal powers, and was part of the original Constitution created September 17, 1787 and ratified June 21, 1788. Upon ratification, the text of the Constitution became law, and supersedes anything that came before or after, although the document has been modified a number of times. The Bill of Rights was initially proposed as part of the original draft, but not added until 1791, when ten amendments were ratified as a single entity.

Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the US Constitution states: "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

The United States Constitution states that it, and all federal laws and treaties, are the supreme law of the land (Article VI). After it was ratified, it went into effect. No other law can be considered higher than them within the United States.


But keep the 10th amendment in mind. It reads:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Also, keep in mind the process of making amendments. Amendments take effect only when three fourths of the states say they take effect. The federal government does not decide or veto the making of amendments. So while the constitution is the supreme law of the land, its authority extends to the rights it grants to itself, and which it prohibits the states from assuming. The founders were very, very wise.

U.S. Const., Art. VI, Cl. 2:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."

This is called the Supremacy Clause. It forms the textual basis for the doctrine of federal preemption.

In lay terms, this means that the Constitution, federal laws and treaties can overrule state and local laws.

US Constitution
State Laws
US Government

What is the supreme law of the land in the US?

  • The US Constitution and federal laws and treaties that adhere to the Constitution officially became the "supreme law of the land" in the United States
  • Article VI the document and the laws of the United States which "shall be made in pursuance thereof..." are the "Supreme Law of the Land." The phrase, "shall be made in pursuance thereof" indicates the Constitution is the ultimate authority to which all other laws and treaties must conform.

Article VI, Clause 2 (Supremacy Clause)

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

Salary and Pay Rates
US Government
US Supreme Court

How much are US Supreme Court justices paid?

As of 2011, the Chief Justice of the United States receives an annual salary of $223,500, and the Associate Justices receive annual salaries of $213,900.

To read how much the first Supreme Court justices earned, see Related Questions, below.

US Government

What are the NIMS 100 and 700 answers for 2011?

Organizations are encouraged to establish procedures to ensure completion of the examination is an individual effort. Personnel within an organization who feel that test answers are being improperly provided should follow their organization's measures for reporting unethical conduct.

If a student is found to have cheated on an exam, the penalty may include--but is not limited to--expulsion; foreclosure from future classes for a specified period; forfeiture of certificate for course/courses enrolled in at NETC or NTC; or all of the above in accordance with NETC Instruction 1100.1. A letter notifying the student's sponsoring organization of the individual's misconduct will be sent by the appropriate official at NETC.

US Government
Court Procedure
US Supreme Court

Who nominates US Supreme Court justices?

The President of the United States (Executive branch) nominates US Supreme Court justices and other federal judges.

The Senate must approve the nomination by a simple majority vote (51%) in order for the appointment to be made. If the Senate rejects the nomination, the President must choose someone else.

This process is mandated by Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution:

"[The President] shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments."

For more information, see Related Questions, below. Yes. Candidates for the United States Supreme Court are nominated by the President, and must be confirmed by the Senate in order to take office.

History of the United States
China and Chinese Territories
US Government

Is China better than the United States?

The DebateThe most commonly debated ideas between the two: Society and DemographicsPointing out the obvious, China's 1.34 billion population far outsizes the 314 million people in the United States (US). However, in terms of total geographical area, China and the US are on par at around 9,700,000 km2. As a result, China has a population density more than 4 times that of the US.

The US has a much higher human development index (HDI), which it ranks 4th compared to China which ranks 101st. However, prevalence of HIV/AIDS and obesity among adults in the US is 6 times and 12 times more than of that in China respectively. The average life expectancy in China stands at 74.8 years, slightly lower than 78.4 years in the US, which can be attributed to higher incomes and better healthcare in the US.

The US is one of the world's most ethnically-diverse and multicultural nations due to large-scale immigration from countries all over the world. Migration rates in the US stand at 3.62/1000 people, in stark contrast to China's which is -0.33/1000 people. And even though China has a lower urbanization percentage at 51.3% as compared to 82.0% in the US, it has a higher urbanization rate of 2.3% to 1.2% of the US'.

China's literacy rate of 95.9% is also sightly lower than the US' 99.0%. In the 2009 international PISA test taken by 15-years-old students, Chinese students have shocked the world by topping the scores in all reading, math and science subjects, while the Americans ranked in the middle range, a position they have held for a long time. This can be attributed to the hardworking attitudes of the Chinese.

Due to the one-child policy that has been implemented in China since 1970 to prevent its population from exerting huge strains on the country's limited resources, the population growth rate in China is at a shockingly low figure of 0.481% as compared to 0.899% in the US. A social mindset which favours males over females has also resulted in an imbalanced sex ratio of 1.17 males for every female under the age of 15 in China as compared to 1.05 males per female in the US. Forced abortions of female foetuses occur comparatively frequently, especially in rural areas of China where people still hold on to outdated thinkings like favouritism for males.


Even though China's main political party is called 'The Communist Party of China (CPC)', China's model is one of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and has embraced capitalism fervently. This has no doubt caused much misconceptions about the Chinese social and political model, with many retaining the thinking that China is communist or even a dictatorship.

The CPC is the world's largest political party comprising of approximately 80 million members nationwide. Leaders are replaced and the cabinet is reshuffled once in a decade, with the President and Premier and other members of the Politburo Standing Committee being elected internally by top party members instead of the citizens.

China has vowed to bring about political reforms, but stated that its priority is currently economic reforms. Small democratic experiments have been made at the local level, with elections for the village committee members being held. One notable example would be the southern Chinese fishing village of Wukan in Guangdong Province. The CPC has also dedicated Shenzhen, a miracle of economic reform, as the first mainland city to hold democratic elections in a bid for political reform.

On the other hand, the US is one of the world's most democratic nations, with the two main political parties being the Republican and the Democratic Parties. The President of the United States is being elected by the people every term, which lasts four years. This model of governance is being exported and encouraged in other developing nations, especially in the wake of the Arab Spring. This sometimes-intrusive replication of the democratic model without regard for local historical and cultural contexts results in many conflicts between locals and Americans, which partly explains the hostile sentiments of muslims in the Middle Eastern states towards Americans.

Military PowerBy manpower and active personnel, China far outranks the United States. In reference to technology and military advancement, the United States currently places ahead, although China is making a quick comeback.

The United States is far more superior when concerning nuclear weapons and has a much higher budget for military. China is raising its military expenditure year-on-year in a bid to catch up with the US' superiority in military technology.

The result of war pitched between these two superpowers remains inconclusive, though many agree that both could completely wipe out every other country on Earth with a snap of their fingers due to their huge nuclear arsenal. In this, they are usually considered to be equal.

Economic Power

From the fall of the Qing Dynasty to the Mao era, China underwent a series of industrial revolutions in an attempt to catch up with western powers. However, there were many obstacles and failed policies that did not result in the emergence of a strong economy during that time, for example, the Japanese invasion during World War II and Mao Zedong's 'Great Leap Forward'.

After the Mao era, Deng Xiaoping, Mao's successor, initiated a series of economic reforms in the 1980s, introducing a free market system and abolishing government control on the matter. This vastly improved the standards of living in China.

In the US, economic freedom had always been in place, allowing it to prosper and advance dramatically. In comparison to China, the United States only had one industrial revolution. However, it was enough to push it to a superpower level next to Great Britain in the 1800s.

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States, both total and per capita, remains substantially higher than China's. However, the labor force, growth rate, and rate of unemployment in China is significantly better than in the United States.

The United States also has a substantially higher national debt than China. Its federal reserves of gold are also lower than China and it tends to import more than it exports, resulting in an unfavorable trade balance. In contrast, China exports more than it imports, has little national debt, and has lower government expenditures. However, the United States outranks China in all energy resource productions.

China also holds the world's largest foreign-exchange reserves, standing at US$3.24 trillion as of Jun 2012. This is in stark contrast to the US' US$150 billion.

On the individual level, the US far outstrips China in terms of the number of High Net Worth Individuals (HWNIs). The US has 412 billionaires and 3,068,000 millionaires while China has only 95 billionaires and 562,000 millionaires in 2011. However, due to macroeconomic effects of both countries, the growth rate of number of HWNIs in China races ahead, with a 5.0% growth from 2010 to 2011, while the US suffered a decline in number of HWNIs during the same period.

The United States has a much higher GDP per capita as compared to China. Due to the fact that the US has less than 25% of China's population and a little less than 3 times of China's GDP, the US has a GDP per capita of more than 10 times that of China. As such, for China to overtake the US in terms of GDP per capita, it would have to raise its GDP to more than 4 times that of the US. As a result, it would most likely experience an unusual phenomenon: It will exist as both a developed and developing country at the same time, based on total GDP and GDP per capita respectively.


There are various discussions on the environmental impacts due to industrialization. In 2007, China overtook the US to become the world's largest emitter of all greenhouse gases, also in top place for emissions of sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, CFCs and other ozone depleting substances. China has also overtaken the US to become the world's largest oil consumer in 2010. According to the World Bank, China is home to 20 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world, due to unhealthily large amounts of emissions by factories, motor vehicles and coal mining, with the most polluted city, Linfen, located in China. Loose environmental laws and regulations are also to blame.

However, China has been investing heavily in green technology. In 2010, China overtook the US in terms of green investment. Its green investment expands in all fields. It currently has the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest dam in terms of energy production, and Dabancheng Wind Farm, the largest wind farm in Asia. It is planning the world's largest solar farm in Qinghai, made significant improvements in green vehicles and came up with tight transport regulations such as the one on car usage in Beijing.

It must also be noted that China has a population of more than 4 times that of the US, so in terms of emissions per capita, such as carbon dioxide, the US, although not top in the world, is about 4 times that of China's. Moreover, China, dubbed the factory of the world, houses factories from all around the world. This means that emissions are exported to China from developed countries in the form of factories, and it is reported to make up about 40% of all emissions.

US Presidents
US Constitution
US Government
US Congress

What is impeachment?

Impeachment is the process used by a legislative body to bring charges of wrongdoing against a public official. Basically, it is the indictment of an appointed or elected public officer on serious criminal charges. The legal basis for impeachment is stated in Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution:

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

The House of Representatives is the only body that can impeach federal officials. If a federal official is impeached, a trial by the Senate follows, which is where guilt and the potential removal from office is debated. It is important not to confuse impeachment with conviction. Impeachment is just a formal accusation; it is only the first step in removing a public official from office.

The idea of impeachment in the United States is usually discussed in reference to the president, although only two presidents have ever actually been impeached, compared to seventeen officials in other positions. Andrew Johnson was impeached on February 24, 1868, on charges of violating the Tenure of Office Act by removing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton from office. William ("Bill") Clinton was impeached on December 19, 1998, on charges of lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstruction of justice. Both Johnson and Clinton were acquitted in the Senate. Impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon had made it out of committee, but he resigned from office on August 9th, 1974 before it could be debated on the House floor.

Impeachment inquiries have been attempted on a number of presidents throughout the United States' history, including John Tyler, Harry Truman, and Ronald Reagan. In fact, every elected president since 1980 has been the subject of at least one Congressional resolution that suggested impeachment inquiries.

US Constitution
US Government
US Supreme Court

What is judicial review and how is it used?

Judicial review is the power of the courts to review laws, treaties, policies or executive orders relevant to cases before the court and nullify (overturn) those that are found unconstitutional.

The Marbury v. Madison decision and provides the Supreme Court with the power to interpret the Constitution.

Judicial Review is not an American invention, but a standard part of British common law that became part of the legal process in the United States. The first recorded use under the US Constitution was in 1792, when the circuit courts found an act of Congress related to military veterans unconstitutional. Congress rewrote the law, without protest, in 1793.

The US Supreme Court first exercised judicial review 1796, in the case of Hylton v. United States, although the rationale for using it had been laid in Federalist No. 78. Hylton v. United States was the first instance in which the Supreme Court evaluated the constitutionality of a federal law. In Hylton, the legislation, a carriage tax, was upheld. In a later case that year, Ware v. Hylton, the Ellsworth Court determined The Treaty of Paris took precedence over an otherwise constitutional state law and nullified the law.

The US Supreme Court case most often credited with affirming the doctrine of judicial review is Marbury v Madison,(1803) in which Chief Justice John Marshall declared Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 unconstitutional. This was the first time the Supreme Court overturned federal legislation. It greatly strengthened the power of the judicial branch, which had thus far been weaker than the other two.

Judicial review in the United States also refers to the power of the Court to review the actions of public sector bodies in terms of their lawfulness, or to review the constitutionality of a statute or treaty, or to review an administrative regulation or executive order for consistency with either a statute, a treaty, or the Constitution itself.

Judicial review is part of the United States' system of checks and balances on government. The Supreme Court has the power to review acts of the Legislative (Congress) and Executive (Presidential) branches to ensure they don't become too powerful or abrogate the Constitutional rights of the country's citizens.

Examples of Supreme Court Cases Involving Judicial Review

Hylton v. United States, 3 US 171 (1796)

Ware v. Hylton, 3 US 199 (1796)

Marbury v. Madison, 5 US (Cranch 1) 137 (1803)

Dred Scott. v. Sanford, 60 US 393 (1857)

West Virginia v. Barnette, 319 US 624 (1943)

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 US 483 (1954)

Baker v. Carr, 369 US 186 (1962)

Roe v. Wade, 410 US 113 (1973)

United States v. Nixon, 418 US 683 (1974)

interpret executive actions, legislation, and lower court decisions. (GradPoint)

US Constitution
US Government
US Supreme Court

What process allows the US Supreme Court to judge the constitutionality of a law?

judicial review

US Constitution
US Government
US Supreme Court

How does someone become a US Supreme Court justice?

The President nominates a candidate for the US Supreme Court; the Senate votes whether to confirm or reject the nomination. If the candidate is confirmed, he or she is appointed to the US Supreme Court.


The preselected list of candidates is usually recommended by people in the President's political party or by members of legislation (House of Representatives, and Congress), usually it's a combination of both. The President nominates a potential justice.

After a candidate has been nominated, the FBI investigates the person's background and provides a report to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee conducts hearings (questioning) on the candidate. The hearing is meant to determine whether the candidate is qualified and suitable for the position.

After the Committee reviews the nominee, they pass a recommendation to reject or coor. The Senate then votes for or against the candidate. In order to become a Supreme Court Justice, the nominee must receive a simple majority (51 votes) of the Senate, unless a group chooses to filibuster, in which case a three-fifths (60) cloture vote is required to end the filibuster and complete the appointment.

It is highly unlikely that a candidate will be rejected. Since 1789, the Senate has rejected 30 out of the 144 nominees, the most recent being Robert Bork in 1987.

A Contributor's Tip

First, get into law: go to a good College or University, then to a specialized law school. All in all, a LOT of years in school. Then, you probably start out as an intern for a defense lawyer or crown council. You could join a defense firm later on. If you're really good, and once you have enough experience, you can become employed by the government as a provincial crown, then a supreme court crown. After 30+ or so years, you can apply for a judging job, then work your way up to supreme court Judge.

US Constitution
US Government
US Supreme Court

How does the US Supreme Court check the power of Congress and the President?

The Supreme Court uses judicial review to declare actions by the President or Congress to be invalid if they are contrary to the Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and no presidential act or congressional laws may conflict with it. The Courts are the interpreters of the laws and as such they interpret the Constitution and laws to decide if they conflict with one another.

Further, it allows the Judicial Branch to "define" that law by answering questions about it that are not spoken to directly in the regulation itself.

Chief Justice John Marshall clearly affirmed the power of judicial review in the case Marbury v. Madison, (1803), when the Court declared Section 13 of the Judicial Act of 1789 unconstitutional.

It should be noted that the US Supreme Court, for the most part, determines what laws to review based on decisions made in lower Federal Courts. In most cases the Court waits for a case to be presented to them. It then can reject hearing the case or depend on the ruling of the lower courts.

For more information on Marbury v. Madison, see Related Links, below.

The US Supreme Court uses the process called Judicial Review to see if the laws passed by the Congress and the President are in alignment with the constitution. If they are contrary to the constitution, the laws are declared unconstitutional and are deemed null and void.

History of the United States
US Constitution
US Government

What rights are guaranteed by the US Constitution's Bill of Rights?

The Bill of Rights is in the US Constitution and guarantees rights that are vital to a free and open democratic society. The Bill of Rights specifies such important rights as freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. The idea behind these ten amendments is to make sure the federal government does not become a tyranny.

US Supreme Court
Richard Nixon
US Government

What was the Supreme Court case US v Nixon about?

United States v. Nixon, (1974) involved the disposition of taped conversations between President Nixon and various members of the White House staff regarding the Watergate scandal, the administration's criminal conspiracy to obstruct an investigation of the break-in at Democratic campaign headquarters in the Watergate complex, in Washington, D.C.


On June 17, 1972, five members of the Nixon re-election campaign broke into the Democratic campaign headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., to steal important files relevant to the upcoming election.

When the crime was discovered, President Nixon promised the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would appoint Archibald Cox as independent counsel to investigate the break-in.

In the course of the investigation, Cox subpoenaed Nixon for copies of eight tapes containing conversations recorded in the Oval Office. The President refused to comply with the subpoena, claiming executive privilege gave him immunity from releasing sensitive information. He instead offered a compromise in which he would allow Senator John Stennis (D-MS), a respected member of Congress, to review the tapes and summarize their content for the prosecutor. Nixon claimed he didn't want the tapes or transcripts on the public record because he had used foul language and uttered racial slurs during the conversations. The President's resistance implicated him as being involved in the cover-up of the Watergate break-in, making him part of a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice.

When Cox refused the compromise, Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. When the men refused to comply with the Executive order, they were forced to resign their positions. The removal of Cox, Richardson and Ruckelshaus later became known as the "Saturday Night Massacre."

Due to strong public pressure, Nixon was forced to appoint a new prosecutor to the investigation, Leon Jaworski.

Jaworski went to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and obtained a subpeona from Judge John Sirica ordering Nixon to release tapes and documents associated with the Watergate investigation. Nixon responded by returning 43 edited and typed transcripts of the White House telephone conversations, only 20 of which were among those requested in the court order.

Nixon's counsel then filed a motion in District Court requesting Sirica quash the subpoena. Sirica denied the motion and ordered the President to provide Jaworski with the required material by May 31, 1974.

Supreme Court Ruling

Both parties appealed directly to the Supreme Court.

Nixon's attorney argued the matter was outside the Court's jurisdiction because it involved incidents occurring exclusively within the Executive branch. He also claimed Nixon had absolute executive privilege to protect the content of the tapes.

Chief Justice Warren Burger delivered the unanimous (8-0; Justice Rehnquist recused himself for conflict of interest) opinion of the Court proclaiming the judiciary did, indeed, have jurisdiction over the matter, and that Jaworski had proven a "sufficient likelihood that each of the tapes contains conversations relevant to the offenses charged in the indictment." The Court further rejected the claim of unqualified executive privilege, and implied Nixon could be found in contempt by refusing to produce the evidence. Nixon's rights under this criminal investigation were no greater than that of any other person.

The Court also remarked that only the Attorney General had the authority to revoke the Special Prosecutor's commission but, because they refused to do so, the Executive branch was bound by the prosecutor's request, and the other two branches of government were bound to enforce it.

Nixon reluctantly complied with the ruling.

Under threat of impeachment and probable prosecution in the Senate, which would remove him from office, Nixon chose to resign in August 1974.

This case further established the power of the Supreme Court to act as a check on the Executive branch of government.

Additional Notes

Nixon had appointed four Supreme Court Justices, three of whom participated in the unanimous vote to affirm the District Court's decision: Chief Justice Burger and Justices Blackmun, Powell and Rehnquist (who recused himself). Ironically, Nixon chose these four individuals because of their hard-line conservative stance on issues.

The Nixon administration engaged in more legal confrontation over the extent of Executive power than any other administration. Other cases against Nixon's orders and policies included:

United States v. U.S. District Court, 407 US 297 (1972)

The Court upheld the Fourth Amendment in limiting the government's ability to conduct surveillance on people labeled domestic terrorists. This particular case dealt with wire-tapping the phones of three people conspiring to destroy government property. The ruling established the precedent that law enforcement must obtain a warrant to engage in electronic surveillance.

Train v. City of New York, 420 US 35 (1975)

The Court held that President Nixon had exceeded his authority by refusing to distribute 18 billion dollars in state aid Congress allocated under the Water Pollution Control Act.

New York Times v. United States, 403 US 713 (1971)

In a Per Curiam decision, the Supreme Court upheld the District and Circuit courts' ruling that Nixon did not have executive authority to exercise prior restraint against The New York Times and The Washington Post to prevent them from publishing parts of a Department of Defense report colloquially known as the "Pentagon Papers."

Case Citation:

United States v. Nixon, 418 US 683 (1974)

To read the Court's opinion on United States v. Nixonor listen to copies of the original Watergate audio tapes, see Related Links, below.

Politics and Government
Political Office Holders
US Government
Canadian Prime Ministers

What are questions about the Prime Minister of the United States?

There is not a Prime Minister in the United States.

The head of state and head of government in the United States is the US president. Currently, this is Barack Obama.

The executive branch of the US is elected separately from the legislative branch, although they are related by their political parties. It is possible to have a President whose party does not hold a majority in Congress.

Americas' Prime Minister

Each country in North America and South America has its own political structure, with its own head of state. Canada and many other countries with a British parliamentary heritage have prime ministers.

History of the United States
US Constitution
US Government

How many states had to ratify the constitution before it went into effect?

According to Article VII, the Constitution was required to be ratified by 9 of the 13 states before it went into effect. All 13 eventually ratified, the last two being North Carolina (1789) and Rhode island (1790). In June 1788, New Hampshire fulfilled the requirement for ratification set forth in Article VII by becoming the ninth state to approve.

The Constitution didn't become law until it formally replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789, however.

History, Politics & Society
US Government

What are bad things the us has done?

Every Country makes mistakes, and yes the United States government has done bad things as well. A 'few' of them are:

Political Greed. We must remember that all creatures are greedy, it is only through intelligence that we can attempt to over come greed. The problem is we, each and every one of us, need to use our intelligence to watch out for the leaders that are not over coming greed.

To quote, if I may, Buddha-"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

I hope this helps to shed light on your question.

Law & Legal Issues
US Constitution
US Government

What are the three levels of the US federal court system?


The three levels are:

  1. Trial level
  2. Appellate level
  3. Supreme Court

Trial level includes many types of courts, such as the District Court, Bankruptcy Court, Court of Federal Claims and other courts with specialized subject matter jurisdiction.

The Appellate level is the US Court of Appeals, to which an appeal of decisions from any trial level court may be taken.

The Supreme Court is where appeals from decisions in the Court of Appeals are taken. The decision of the Supreme Court is final.


The three courts of general jurisdiction that make up the Judicial branch of the federal government are:

US District Courts (trial level)

The 94 US District Courts are the trial courts of the federal judiciary. They have jurisdiction over most types of cases, both civil and criminal, within their geographic areas. Appeals from US District Courts go to the US Court of Appeals Circuit Courts.

US Courts of Appeals (intermediate appellate level)

There are thirteen United States Courts of Appeals Circuit Courts comprising the intermediate appellate step between the District Courts and the Supreme Court. Twelve of these courts handle cases from District Courts within their geographic areas. The Circuits are specifically referred to by name or number; for example, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit or United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The thirteenth Circuit court is the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has nationwide jurisdiction over cases from the courts of International Trade and Federal Claims. They also review patent and copyright cases.

Supreme Court of the United States (final appellate level)

Although we often refer to the highest court in the nation as the US Supreme Court (to distinguish it from state supreme courts), the official name is the Supreme Court of the United States, often abbreviated SCOTUS.

The nine justices (one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices) primarily hear cases on appeal from the Circuit Courts, although they may hear certain types of cases directly from the US District Courts, and also from state supreme courts, if the case involves a preserved matter of federal or constitutional law.

Most cases are submitted to the Supreme Court on a petition for a writ of certiorari, a request for the Court to review the petitioner's case. In 2009, the Court received more than 7,700 petitions, and accepted fewer than 100 for oral argument. The Court has sole discretion over which cases it hears, so the justices choose matters of national importance or issues where the constitution is being interpreted inconsistently or in opposition to the Court's opinion.

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