The Supreme Court consists of nine justices including a chief justice appointed to life terms by the president with the consent of the Senate. It has appellate jurisdiction over the lower federal… Scope and jurisdiction The Supreme Court was created by the Constitutional Convention of as the head of a federal court system, though it was not formally established until Congress passed the Judiciary Act in In suits affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls and in cases in which states are a party, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction—i.
The Court and Constitutional Interpretation "The republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith. The Court is the highest tribunal in the Nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States.
As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.
Few other courts in the world have the same authority of constitutional interpretation and none have exercised it for as long or with as much influence. A century and a half ago, the French political observer Alexis de Tocqueville noted the unique position of the Supreme Court in the history of nations and of jurisprudence.
A more imposing judicial power was never constituted by any people.
The United States has demonstrated an unprecedented determination to preserve and protect its written Constitution, thereby providing the American "experiment in democracy" with the oldest written Constitution still in force.
The Constitution of the United States is a carefully balanced document. To assure these ends, the Framers of the Constitution created three independent and coequal branches of government.
That this Constitution has provided continuous democratic government through the periodic stresses of more than two centuries illustrates the genius of the American system of government.
This power of "judicial review" has given the Court a crucial responsibility in assuring individual rights, as well as in maintaining a "living Constitution" whose broad provisions are continually applied to complicated new situations.
While the function of judicial review is not explicitly provided in the Constitution, it had been anticipated before the adoption of that document.
Prior tostate courts had already overturned legislative acts which conflicted with state constitutions. Moreover, many of the Founding Fathers expected the Supreme Court to assume this role in regard to the Constitution; Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, for example, had underlined the importance of judicial review in the Federalist Papers, which urged adoption of the Constitution.
Hamilton had written that through the practice of judicial review the Court ensured that the will of the whole people, as expressed in their Constitution, would be supreme over the will of a legislature, whose statutes might express only the temporary will of part of the people.
And Madison had written that constitutional interpretation must be left to the reasoned judgment of independent judges, rather than to the tumult and conflict of the political process.
If every constitutional question were to be decided by public political bargaining, Madison argued, the Constitution would be reduced to a battleground of competing factions, political passion and partisan spirit.
In this decision, the Chief Justice asserted that the Supreme Court's responsibility to overturn unconstitutional legislation was a necessary consequence of its sworn duty to uphold the Constitution.
That oath could not be fulfilled any other way. In retrospect, it is evident that constitutional interpretation and application were made necessary by the very nature of the Constitution.
The Founding Fathers had wisely worded that document in rather general terms leaving it open to future elaboration to meet changing conditions.
Maryland, a constitution that attempted to detail every aspect of its own application "would partake of the prolixity of a legal code, and could scarcely be embraced by the human mind. Its nature, therefore, requires that only its great outlines should be marked, its important objects designated, and the minor ingredients which compose those objects be deduced from the nature of the objects themselves.
The Court does not give advisory opinions; rather, its function is limited only to deciding specific cases. The Supreme Court also has "original jurisdiction" in a very small number of cases arising out of disputes between States or between a State and the Federal Government.
When the Supreme Court rules on a constitutional issue, that judgment is virtually final; its decisions can be altered only by the rarely used procedure of constitutional amendment or by a new ruling of the Court.
However, when the Court interprets a statute, new legislative action can be taken. Chief Justice Marshall expressed the challenge which the Supreme Court faces in maintaining free government by noting:The Justices must exercise considerable discretion in deciding which cases to hear, since approximately 7,, civil and criminal cases are filed in the Supreme Court each year from the various state and federal courts.
The Supreme Court also has "original jurisdiction" in a very small number of cases arising out of disputes between States or between a State and the Federal Government.
notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash- ington, D. C. , of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections . The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the acronym SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United timberdesignmag.comished pursuant to Article III of the U.S.
Constitution in , it has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases, such as suits between two or more states, and those involving ambassadors. "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW"-These words, written above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building, express the ultimate responsibility of the Supreme Court of the United States.
The United States federal government is divided into three branches, separating government’s principal powers among different actors.
The Constitution defines the powers of each branch. Article I defines the legislative, or congress. Article II defines the executive, or timberdesignmag.come III creates broad outlines for the judicial, primarily the Supreme Court. Updated by Gregory Bass, by Jeffrey S.
Gutman. Federal courts have a “virtually unflagging obligation” to exercise the jurisdiction vested in them by Congress.1 Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has identified certain important countervailing interests that have justified the development of doctrines under which federal courts have discretion to decline to exercise jurisdiction