The United States Supreme Court is the judicial power of the United States. The Supreme Court is responsible for interpreting the United States Constitution. The United States Constitution is also responsible for ensuring that federal and state laws comply with the Constitutions articles and amendments. The Supreme Court has been instrumental in shaping the history of the United States.
The Judiciary Act of 1789 was the first bill introduced in the United States Senate. The bill divided the country into 13 judicial districts. It required that the Supreme Court consist of one Chief Justice and 5 associate justices. The Supreme Court justices were required to hold court twice a year in each of the 13 judicial districts. The bill stated that each justice was to be nominated by the President of the United States and must be approved by a majority vote in the Senate. Every justice is required to serve as a justice until they either retire, die or get impeached.
The Supreme Court’s first call to assemble was on February 1st, 1790 at the Merchants Exchange Building in New York City, because at that time, New York was the nations capital. The first Supreme Court was made up of: Chief Justice John Jay, John Rutledge, William Cushing, James Wilson, John Blair and James Iredell.
John Jay was succeeded as Chief Justice by John Marshall. Marshall served as the United States Supreme Court’s Chief Justice for a record 34 years. He is most notably credited for establishing the principle of judicial review in the 1803 court case Marbury v. Madison in which it was determined that the United States Supreme Court should have the power to interpret the United States Constitution. Marshall also established that is was the right of all courts to refuse the enforcement of any unconstitutional enactments made by Congress.
There have been many notable Supreme Court cases which have made huge impacts on the lives of American citizens. In 1954, in the Supreme Court case Brown v. the Board of Education, it was ruled that there should be no segregation in the public school system. This allowed children of every ethnicity the chance to go to school and learn together. In 1969, in the Supreme Court case Tinker v Des Moines, symbolic speech was established after two teenagers were reprimanded for publicly protesting the Vietnam War by wearing arm bands to school. In 1973, in the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, it was established that women had the right to choose abortion.
Throughout the history of the United States, the Supreme Court has played a large role in shaping the way we, as Americans, live. In the future, the Supreme Court will continue to make critical decisions to support the needs of the American citizen.