Seal of the United States Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest federal court of the United States. Established in 1789, pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court has ultimate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state cases involving federal laws. The Court also has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. Under the doctrine of judicial review, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law.
US Supreme Court

The Court is comprised of the Chief Justice of the United States (currently David Souter) and eight associate justices (currently Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Cass Sunstein, XXXX, XXXX, and a vacancy caused by the death of Antonin Scalia). All justices are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They serve for life tenure, unless of resignation, retirement, or removal by impeachment (the last of which has never occurred). 

Each justice has one vote, and while many cases are decided unanimously, the highest profile cases often expose ideological beliefs - between conservative, moderate, and liberal - that track with those philosophical or political categories. The Court meets in the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.


Current Justices

  • Chief Justice David Souter (appointed 1990 as Associate Justice; appointed 2005 as Chief Justice)
  • Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy (appointed in 1988)
  • Associate Justice Clarence Thomas (appointed in 1991)
  • Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (appointed in 1993)
  • Associate Justice Stephen Breyer (appointed in 1994)
  • Associate Justice Cass Sunstein (appointed in 2005)
  • Associate Justice XXXX (appointed in 2006)
  • Associate Justice XXXX (appinted in 2009)
  • Vacancy (to suceed Antonin Scalia; XXXX nominated in 2016)

Justices Since 2001

Stephen Breyer (Blue Florida)Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Blue Florida)Clarence Thomas (Blue Florida)Cass Sunstein (Blue Florida)David Souter (Blue Florida)Anthony Kennedy (Blue Florida)Antonin Scalia (Blue Florida)Sandra Day O'Connor (Blue Florida)John Paul Stevens (Blue Florida)David Souter (Blue Florida)William Rehnquist (Blue Florida)

Landmark Cases

  • Kansas v. March (2005-6) - Overturned a Kansas law on the death penalty
  • Rapanos v. US (2005-6) - Permitted federal government to continuing enforcing parts of the Clean Water Act

Resource (05-10)

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