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Us Supreme Court

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US Supreme Court


It is the highest court in the country and the court of final appeal. It’s the only one established by the Constitution (in Article III).The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction (that means to try a case in the first and last instance) and appellate jurisdidiction (review cases that are appealed from lower courts). They only have original juirsdiction in cases between states and involving foreign officials


There are the Chief Justice (John G. Roberts, Jr.) + 8 Associate Justices (Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Justice John Paul Steven, Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice David H. Souter, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.)

They’re appointed by the President for life. Since there are no qualifcations for being a supreme court justice, the president may nominate anyone. The appointments have to be confirmed by the Senate. Presidents tend to nominate justices that follow their political opinion, but after their appointment the justices are independent from the President. The judidcial independence is sometimes questioned, because the appointment of “liberal” or “conservative” judges influences the court ruling.


The main function od the Supreme Court is to guard and interpret the Constitution

Reasons why cases are tried by the court:

- to resolve a conflict in the interpretation of a federal law or a provision of the federal constitution

- to correct an egregious departure from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings

- to resolve an important question of federal law, or to expressly review a decision of a lower court that conflicts directly with a previous decision of the Court


The term begins on the first Monday in October and ends late June early July. It is divided between “Sittings” (the Justices hear cases and deliver opinions) and “recesses” (they consider business before the court and write opinions). They alternate at two-week intervals.During the recess period, the Justices study the argued and forthcoming cases and work on their opinions.

They also have to evaluate more than 130 petitions seeking review of lower courts to determine which cases are granted full review with oral arguments by attnorneys.

Each side is allowed up to 30 minutes argument and up to 24 cases may be argues at one sitting.

The entrance of the Justices is announced and everybody has to stand up until the Justices are seated.

The traditional chant: “The



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