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US Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the land. Questions about the US Supreme Court and the highest US State courts of appeal, as well as questions of relevant case law, Court opinions, and historical issues related to this venue are among the questions asked in our US Supreme Court category.
Asked in 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. Judiciary Act of 1789: Court size 6 Judiciary Act of 1801: Court size, 5 Repeal Act of 1802: Court size, 6 Seventh Circuit Act of 1807: Court size, 7 Judiciary Act of 1837:...
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...
Who is the current Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court?
Chief Justice of the United States is John Glover Roberts, Jr. Former President George W. Bush nominated Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States, to succeed the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who died in office in 2005. Important Note 1: Although most people think this office is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the official title is Chief Justice of the United States (28 USC § 1). The sixth Chief Justice, Salmon Chase, suggested the title change to emphasize the Supreme...
Who are the nine justices of the US Supreme Court?
*At any given time, there may be only 8, or even fewer justices serving on the US Supreme Court. Justices may die in office, or retire. As of early 2016, the serving Justices are: John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003. President George W. Bush nominated him as Chief Justice of the United States, after the death of former Chief Justice William...
What was Dred Scott v Sanford about?
Quick Summary Dred Scott and his family (except for his younger daughter, Lizzie) had lived for a significant time in "free" territory, which should have automatically guaranteed their right to emancipation under the "once free, always free" doctrine. Unfortunately, Scott didn't attempt to exercise this option until he and his family were living in Missouri, a slave-holding state. Scott attempted to purchase his family's freedom for $300, but Irene Emerson refused the offer, so Scott sued for their freedom in court, a strategy that...
Asked in US Presidents, US Supreme Court
What US President later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
William Howard Taft is the only person in US History to serve as both President of the United States and and a member of the US Supreme Court. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding nominated Taft to replace Chief Justice Edward Douglas White, who had died in office. The Senate confirmed his nomination in a secret vote by a margin of 60-4. Taft presided over the Court until 1930, when he was forced to retire due to ill health. ...
Who approves the President's US Supreme Court appointments?
The Senate (Legislative branch) votes to confirm or reject the Presidents' (Executive branch) US Supreme Court (Judicial branch) nominees. Approval requires a simple majority of the Senators voting, unless a Senator attempts to block the vote by filibuster, in which case a three-fifths (60) vote is required to end the filibuster. under current Senate rules. For more information, see Related Questions, below. congress A+ ...
Asked in US Supreme Court
What qualifications are needed to become a US Supreme Court justice?
There are no constitutional requirements for becoming a US Supreme Court justice; however, the President usually considers the recommendation and evaluation of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. The ABA lists the following suggested minimum criteria for nomination to the US Supreme Court: Member in good standing in the state bar for at least five years Practicing trial attorney and/or trial judge for at least 12 years Competent citizen of good character, integrity, reason, intelligence, and judgment Distinguished accomplishments Required to be legal scholar Practical...
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...
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. ...
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,...
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. Process 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...
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...
Asked in 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. Background 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...
What process allows the US Supreme Court to judge the constitutionality of a law?
Judicial Review The Supreme Court's ability to analyze laws in terms of their constitutionality is called "judicial review." If the Court decides a law is unconstitutional, the law will be nullified. The Supreme Court, under Chief Justice John Marshall, set precedent for this interpretation in their ruling in the case of Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137 (1803), when the Justices concluded Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional because it conferred upon the Supreme Court powers not explicitly provided as...
How did Miranda v Arizona change the standard for admissibility of confessions and admissions?
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966) Miranda applied the "exclusionary rule" to any statements or confessions the defendant made in response to police interrogation if the defendant hadn't been informed of relevant due process rights beforehand. Under the exclusionary rule, illegally obtained evidence may not be used to convict a defendant in court. According to the US Supreme Court, a person in police custody must be told he (or she) has the right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination (Fifth Amendment). The person...
Asked in US Supreme Court
How does Congress check the power of the US Supreme Court?
How Congress Checks the Supreme Court: Senate approves federal judges, including Supreme Court justices (Advise and Consent Clause) Impeachment power (House) Trial of impeachments (Senate) Power to initiate constitutional amendments (to undo supreme court decisions) Power to set courts inferior to the Supreme Court Power to set jurisdiction of courts (they can tell a court that they can not hear a case on a certain topic, which includes changing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court) Power to alter the size of the Supreme Court (if...
Asked in US Constitution, US Supreme Court
What is the Judicial Branch of the US government?
The Judicial Branch* is one of three independent parts of the US Government, and consists of the constitutional courts of the federal court system (not the entire federal court system, as most people believe). The primary responsibility of the judicial branch is to interpret and apply the laws, and ensure their constitutionality. The three branches of government share responsibility for the legal system. The Legislative branch (Congress) creates law; the Judicial branch determines their constitutionality and resolves disputes; and the Executive branch enforces the...
Asked in US Government, US Supreme Court, US Congress
How do Supreme Court nominees get approved?
The pre-selected 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. After a candidate has been selected, the Senate 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 confirm to the Senate floor. The Senate then...
What was the US Supreme Court case McCulloch v Maryland 1819 about and what did it establish?
McCulloch v. Maryland, (1819), was a landmark United States Supreme Court decision. In this case, the state of Maryland attempted to impede operation of a branch of the Second Bank of the United States by imposing a tax on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland. Though the law, by its language, was generally applicable, the U.S. Bank was the only out-of-state bank then existing in Maryland, and the law is generally recognized as specifically targeting the U.S. Bank. The Court invoked...
Asked in US Supreme Court
Who was the first Supreme Court Chief Justice in America?
John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court*, appointed on October 19, 1789 by President George Washington. Jay served on the Court until the end of June, 1795, when he resigned to become Governor of New York. The Supreme Court was first called to assemble on February 1, 1790, at the Royal Exchange Building on the corner of Broad and Water Streets in New York City, then the Nation's Capital, but travel impediments prevented the Court from meeting until...
Asked in US Supreme Court
In what branch of the US government is the Supreme Court?
The US Supreme Court is the head of the Judicial branch of the federal government, mandated by Article III, Section 1, of the Constitution and established by the Judiciary Act of 1789 and various Judiciary Acts thereafter. The other two branches are the Legislative branch (Congress), and the Executive branch (the President, Vice-President, Cabinet members, etc.). ...
Asked in US Supreme Court
Are all US Supreme Court cases italicized?
Yes, if you're citing the case for a research paper, or using legal format under any circumstances. Under the old MLA format, the case name was not italicized; however, the MLA now suggests using Legal Bluebook format (example): Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137, 138 (1803). Citation dissected Marbury v. Madison, [short case title or caption in italics] 5 U.S. [volume number of US Reports where opinion can be found] 137, [page number on which opinion begins] 138 [specific page being referenced] (1803). [year decision was issued] For...