The United States Supreme Court “The Court of Last Resort

The United States Supreme
“The Court of Last Resort”
Article III of the Constitution
1 Supreme Court
Life Tenure
No Decrease in Salary
Nominated by the President and
Confirmed by the Senate
• Impeachable by Congress
Life Tenure
What can influence
a Supreme Court
Legal Influences
A.Constraints of the Facts
They can only respond to the facts of the case
B. Constraints of the Law
Must determine which laws are relevant
Political Influences
A.Outside Influences
Forces of public opinion+
B. Inside Influences
Personal beliefs and political attitudes
Article III section 2
Original Jurisdiction
“Conducts Trials”
–Disputes between states
–Cases dealing with Ambassadors +
Appellate Jurisdiction
Judiciary Act of 1789
Appellate Jurisdiction
“Reviews Earlier Decisions”
Has the authority to review cases from
the lower courts. (Uphold or overturn)
-Constitutional Issues
-Great Social Impact
Brown v. Board of Education
Judiciary Act of 1789
Est. Lower Court Structure
(1) U.S. Supreme Court
(13) Circuits or Court of Appeals
(94) District Courts (Trial Courts)
9 Supreme Court Justices
• 1 Chief and 8 Associates
• Chief: John Roberts (Conservative)
John Paul Stevens (Liberal) (Elena Kagan)
Antonin Scalia (Conservative)
Anthony Kennedy (Centrist)
Sonia Sotomayor (Liberal)
Clarence Thomas (Conservative)
Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Liberal)
Stephen Beyer (Centrist)
Samuel Alito (Conservative)
Case Loads
District Courts
550 Judges
267,000 Cases
Court of Appeals
158 Judges
41,000 cases
Supreme Court
9 Judges
4,500 case
(200 Decisions)
1990 statistics
John Marshall