Supreme Court of the United States
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The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS〔Safire, William, ("On language: POTUS and FLOTUS," New York Times, October 12, 1997 ). Retrieved August 27, 2013.〕) is the highest federal court of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution in 1789, it has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law, plus original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. In the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law, although it may only act within the context of a case in which it has jurisdiction.
The Court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have life tenure unless they resign, retire, take senior status, or are removed after impeachment (though no justice has ever been removed). In modern discourse, the justices are often categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. Each justice has one vote, and while many cases are decided unanimously, many of the highest profile cases often expose ideological beliefs that track with those philosophical or political categories. The Court meets in the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.
(詳細はUnited States Constitution established the Supreme Court in 1789. Its powers are detailed in Article Three of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is the only court specifically established by the Constitution, and all the others were created by Congress. Congress is also responsible for conferring the title "justice" upon the associate justices, who have been known to scold lawyers for instead using the term "judge", which is the term used by the Constitution.〔Johnson, Barnabas. ''Almanac of the Federal Judiciary'', (p. 25 ) (Aspen Law & Business, 1988).〕
The Court first convened on February 2, 1790, by which time five of its six initial positions had been filled. The sixth member (James Iredell) joined on May 12, 1790. Because the full Court had only six members, every decision that it made by a majority was also made by two-thirds (voting four to two).〔Shugerman, Jed. "A Six-Three Rule: Reviving Consensus and Deference on the Supreme Court", ''Georgia Law Review'', Vol. 37, p. 893 (2002-2003).〕 However, Congress has always allowed less than the Court's full membership to make decisions, starting with a quorum of four judges in 1789.〔Irons, Peter. ''A People's History of the Supreme Court'', p. 101 (Penguin 2006).〕
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