the Supreme Court of the United States


The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest federal court of the United States.

The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.

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Established pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution in 1789, it has ultimate 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.

The original jurisdiction of a court is the power to hear a case for the first time, as opposed to appellate jurisdiction, when a higher court has the power to review a lower court's decision.

A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed.

Appellate jurisdiction is the power of a higher court to review decisions and change outcomes of decisions of lower courts.

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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 normally consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The Chief Justice is the presiding member of a supreme court in any of many countries with a justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Supreme Court of Singapore, the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong, the Supreme Court of Japan, the Supreme Court of India, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Supreme Court of Nepal, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Supreme Court of Ireland, the Supreme Court of New Zealand, the High Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of the United States, and provincial or state supreme courts.


Once appointed, justices have life tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed after impeachment.


In modern discourse, the justices are often categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation.

Judicial interpretation is a theory or mode of thought that describes a general approach which the judiciary uses to interpret the law, particularly constitutional documents and legislation.

In politics and religion, a moderate is an individual who is not extreme, partisan, nor radical.


Each justice has one vote, and while many cases are decided unanimously, 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.

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as "Washington", "the District", or simply "D.C.", is the capital of the United States.


The Supreme Court is sometimes colloquially referred to as "SCOTUS", in analogy to other acronyms such as POTUS.

An acronym is a word or name formed as an abbreviation from the initial components in a phrase or a word, usually individual letters and sometimes syllables.

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