Supreme Court of U.S. is the highest judicial body in the United States that leads the federal judiciary. It consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight Associate Justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed with the advice and consent (majority vote) of the Senate. Once appointed, Justices effectively have life tenure which terminates only upon death, resignation, retirement, and conviction on impeachment.
The court meets in Washington, District of Columbia, in the United States Supreme Court building. The Supreme Court is primarily an appellate court, but it has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases.
With few exceptions, the life of a U.S. Supreme Court case begins when a lower court case ends since the Supreme Court is primarily a court of appeals. The losing party in a lower court case must request entry onto the court’s calendar. The justices then decide whether to hear the case, the crucial factor being whether the case can shed new light on an issue of constitutional law. The court hears about 100 of the 10,000 cases that compete for a spot on the court’s calendar each year.
Once the court agrees to hear the case, lawyers from each side must submit written arguments. Each justice will typically choose a clerk to review the arguments and prepare a memo, outlining the issues the case presents. The lawyers for each side are informed the date of their oral arguments. Shortly before oral arguments, justices review the memos so that they can anticipate each party’s argument and the theories behind their reasoning.
Each party receives half an hour for their oral arguments, including questions from the justices. The justices are seated in order of seniority with the Chief Justice seated in the center. Justices often question the lawyers as their arguments proceed.
Supreme Court of U.S. was established in 1789 and is based in Washington, District of Columbia.
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Supreme Court of the United States
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