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The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court of the United States, established by Article III of the Constitution of the United States.
See the fact file below for more information on the United States Supreme Court or alternatively, you can download our 25-page United States Supreme Court worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The Supreme Court was established in 1789 by Article III of the United States Constitution. It also granted Congress the power to create inferior federal courts.
- The US Constitution permitted the Congress to decide how to organize the Supreme Court. The legislative branch first exercised this power with the Judiciary Act of 1789.
- The act was signed into law by President George Washington. It stated that the court would be made up of six justices who would serve on the court until they died or retired.
- The Supreme Court first assembled on February 1, 1790 at the Merchants Exchange Building in New York City.
- The six justices handed down their first decision on August 3, 1791 in the case West v. Barnes – involving a financial dispute between a farmer and a family he owed debt to.
SUPREME COURT JUSTICES
- The highest judicial officer of the US courts is the Chief Justice, responsible for presiding over the Supreme Court and setting the agenda for the justices’ weekly meetings.
- The Chief Justice also presides over trials of impeachment against the President of the United States in the U.S. Senate.
- The first Supreme Court was led by Chief Justice John Jay. His Associate Justices were John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson.
- In 1869, Congress set the Supreme Court number of seats were increased from six to nine, where it has remained until today.
NOTABLE SUPREME COURT CASES
- In its more than 200-year history, the United States Supreme Court has decided important cases, which have had lasting impacts on the nation.
- Mapp v. Ohio (1961) – Evidences obtained illegally cannot be used in criminal cases
- Texas v. Johnson (1989) – Flag burning and other potentially offensive speech is protected by the First Amendment
- Roe v. Wade (1973) – Women have a right to an abortion during the first two trimesters
- US v. Nixon (1974)- The President cannot use his or her power to withhold evidence in criminal trials
- Lawrence v. Texas (2003) – Struck down state anti-sodomy laws
- United States v. Windsor (2013) – Revoked the US government’s ability to deny federal benefits to same-sex couples
- Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), – Legalized same-sex marriage across all 50 states
SCOPE AND JURISDICTION OF US-SC
- Section 1 of Article 3 of the US Constitution vests the judicial power of the United States in one supreme court and in such inferior courts as Congress establishes.
- Section 2 defines the scope of US judicial power and establishes the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
- The judicial power extends to all cases stemming under the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States; to cases with respect to foreign diplomats and admiralty practice; and to diversity cases and cases in which the United States or a state is a party.
- All other federal cases are under the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, but are subject to limitations and regulations by Congress.
THE COURT AND ITS TRADITIONS
- The record for length of service in the US Supreme court is held by Justice William O. Douglas, who retired on November 12, 1975, after serving a total of 36 years and 6 months.
- As is customary in American courts, the nine justices are seated by seniority. The Chief Justice occupies the center chair; the senior Associate Justice sits to his right, the second senior to his left, and so on. They sit alternating right and left by seniority.
- It has been traditional for justices to wear black robes while in Court.
- But the first Chief Justice Jay lent a colorful air to the earlier sessions by wearing robes with a red facing.
- The Supreme Court has its own traditional seal, similar to the Great Seal of the United States, but has a single star beneath the eagle’s claws— symbolizing the Constitution’s creation of “one Supreme Court.”
- White quills had traditionally been placed on counsel tables each day that the court sits, as was done at the earliest sessions of the court.
United States Supreme Court Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the United States Supreme Court across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use United States Supreme Court worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Supreme Court of the United States which is the highest court of the United States, established by Article III of the Constitution of the United States.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- U.S. Court Hierarchy
- Court Roles
- Powers of Supreme Court
- Our Supreme Court
- John Roberts
- Symbols of Justice
- Becoming a Judge
- A Landmark Case
- Wisdom of Justice
- Visiting the Court
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Link will appear as United States Supreme Court Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 5, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.