How The Supreme Court Works (Part 2 of 4)

This is part two of How The Supreme Court Works, and in this post I will write about the foundation of the Judicial branch of the United States and traditions that the court holds.

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) first met in 1790, as the official Judicial Branch of government. There are 9 Justices all led by the Chief Justice of the United States and are all nominated by the President and must also be approved by the Senate. To avoid corruption, the 9 Justices are appointed for life, until they decide to step down.



The original framers of the constitution had intended for the judicial branch to be the “weakest” branch of the government. However, as we can see today, they have used their power to change the face of our country with decisions derived from cases such as Brown v. Board of Ed 1954 (integrating public schools), Roe v. Wade 1973 (legalizing abortion), Gibbon v. Ogden 1824 (federal law overrides state law) and many, many more.


The court has occupied its current building in Washington only since 1935 on One First Street N.E. Washington, DC 20543. Tradition is important. As you may have noticed in the picture above, justices wear black robes, as they have for more than two centuries.

P.S. Sonia Sotomayor (top left) is the first Latina woman Justice in the U.S Supreme Court, and truly my inspiration. She was born and raised in the South Bronx, just as I am, and I am amazed by her accomplishments; completely disregarding the challenges she has faced throughout her life. I read her autobiography, My Beloved World, and I recommend it if you want true inspiration!



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