In 1787 Article three of the constitution created the Supreme Court, but not until 1789 was it configured. The way it was originally set up was with one Chief Justice and five associate judges, with all six members being appointed for life. This court serves as the supreme law of the land, it has the power to determine if state or federal laws are in conflict with how the Court interprets the constitution.
Presently the supreme court has nine members, which include one Chief Justice and eight associate Justices. The Chief Justice Appoints each associate Justice to oversee one or more various circuits. Every year the Supreme Court has a term in which it revues selected cases. This term starts on the first Monday of October and ends either in the end of June or the beginning of July. During this term the Justices review one-hundred out of 6,000 or so cases with no clear guidelines on which ones they must look at.
There are two major ways that the Constitution is interpreted. One of which is called the Strict Constitution of national law, an example of this would be the Dred Scott decision. The other way is the federalist position, where the Constitution grants broad power to the federal government. Two great examples of this type of interpretation were Chief Justices John Marshall and Earl Warren.
During the years the Supreme Court has gone through some changes of its own. While Chief Justice Earl Warren was there the first African-American Justice was named to the court: Thurgood Marshall. Chief Justice Warrens leadership marked a force in social issues. Along the lines of desegregation, election reform and the rights of defendants.
Then in 1969 Warren Burger was named Chief Justice. That is when the Court started to lean more to the conservatives. By 1989 during William Rehnquists leadership, which runs from 1986 to the present, the conservatives held a majority on most issues. One other Major thing that happened to the Supreme Court in the 1980s was the appointment of the first lady Justice: Sandra Day OConnor.
The present members of the Supreme Court are as follows: William Hubbs Rhenquist, Chief Justice: born 1924 in Wisconsin, graduated Stanford Law School. He was an assistant Attorney General from 1969 till 1971 when President Nixon appointed him to the Court. 1986 President Reagan appointed him Chief Justice.
Stephen Gerald Breyer, born 1938 in San Francisco, graduated Harvard Law School. Served on U.S. court of Appeals, First Circuit from 1981, in 1990 he became chief judge, then in 1994 President Clinton appointed him to the Supreme Court.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, born 1933 in New York, graduated Columbia Law school. Was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia in 1980, then in 1993 was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton.
Anthony Kennedy, born 1936 in California, graduated Harvard Law school. He served on the U.S. Court of Appeals from 1975 up until 1988 which is when President Reagan appointed him to the Supreme Court.
Sandra Day OConnor, born 1930 in Texas, graduated Stanford Law school. Served as judge of the Arizona Court of Appeals from 1979 till 1981 when President Reagan appointed her to the Supreme Court.
Antonin Scalia, born 1936 in New Jersey, graduated Harvard Law School. Assistant attorney general in the Justice Department from 1974-1977, then served from 1982-1986 on the U.S. court of Appeal for the district of Columbia. In 1986 President Reagan appointed him to the Supreme Court.
David Hackett Scouter, born 1939 in Massachusetts, graduated Harvard Law school. Served as attorney general for New Hampshire (1976-1978), served as associate justice of the New Hampshire superior court and supreme court until 1990 when President Bush appointed him to the Supreme Court.
John Paul Stevens, born 1920 in Chicago, graduated Northwestern Univ. Law school. Served as judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals seventh circuit from 1970 until 1975 when President Ford appointed him to the Supreme Court.
Clarence Thomas, born in Georgia, graduated Yale Law school. Appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1990, then in 1991 President Bush appointed him to the Supreme Court.
The most important decision that the Supreme Court