George Washington by Gilbert Stuart

Judicial Branch / U.S. Supreme Court


The Judicial Branch, is the last branch of government to be established in the Constitution. The Supreme Court is currently made up of nine Justices, who serve for life or during good behavior once appointed by the President. One of the Supreme Court’s main roles is to make sure Congress’s laws are Constitutional and do not violate the rights of the people. It is also the highest court in America, which means it serves as the final court where a case can be heard. The decisions of the Supreme Court must be followed by all lower courts throughout the nation.

“[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court”—The Constitution, Article 2, Section 2
”No higher duty, or more solemn responsibility rests upon this Court than that of translating into living law and maintaining this constitutional shield.”—Hugo Black, 1940

The Supreme Court is asked to review over 7000 cases a year, but they only choose to hear between 100 and 150 of them.

The Constitution does not actually say how many Justices the Supreme Court should have. Over the years, America has had as few as 5 and as many as 10 in office.

The Supreme Court has its own police force, called the Supreme Court police, which is made up of 125 officers.