History of the Supreme Court


The Supreme Court: The Judicial Branch

“I believe that the establishment of the Supreme Court of the United States as a constitutional court … is the most significant single contribution the United States has made to the art of government.”
—Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist

The Supreme Court is the highest form of judicial authority in the United States. Only nine justices are given responsibility over the monumental judgments of the court, which handles matters of constitutional and federal law. Each vote is extremely influential in the structure and application of the American judicial system.

Overview of the United States Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court is the general overseer of the entire American judicial system, and has more ... read more »

History of the Supreme Court

Today's cases are considered by looking back upon earlier rulings, and the Court's background is drawn upon to determine virtually every case. The following resources outline the history of the Supreme Court so you can trace the roots of current decisions.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • There is an ongoing debate about loose vs. strict interpretation of the Constitution. “Loose constructionism” supports a flexible Constitution that adapts to a changing society, whereas “strict constructionism” discourages straying from the precise wording of the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were the original proponents of these respective forms of interpretation; to learn more about their debate visit this U.S. Department of State Web site.

Dulcinea's Picks

Back to Top

Supreme Court Cases

The meat of the Court is its cases. Before the development of the Internet, lawyers had to shuffle ... read more »

Supreme Court Justices

Supreme Court justices are entrusted with so much authority and knowledge that they dedicate their ... read more »

News about the Supreme Court

The daily newspaper is frequently the only way citizens find out about Supreme Court decisions. For ... read more »

Most Recent Guides