Supreme Court Facts


The Supreme Court of the United States is the Judicial Branch of the three branches of government designed in the U.S. Constitution.  A checks and balance to the Executive Branch (President) and the Legislative Branch consisting of the Senate and House of Representatives (Congress).

Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the United States President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. However the the number of justices of the Supreme Court is determined by Congress. The first Supreme Court in 1789 appointed by President George Washington consisted of one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices. Congress has since changed the members from six to ten. But the current members of nine Justices was established with the 1869 Judiciary Act. An Odd number has been found to be a better mathematical choice. The Supreme court appointment is a lifetime term. A justice can only be removed by impeachment. The only Justice in History to be impeached was Samuel Chase in 1805. He was acquitted of charges by the U.S. Senate and not removed.

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~ 1925 U.S. Supreme Court ~

Chief Justice and former U.S. President William Howard Taft seated center


Supreme Court Justices Oath of Office

"I _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Interesting Facts about SCOTUS

WHO WAS THE FIRST JUSTICE ?

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John Jay was the first Chief Justice in United States History. He was appointed by the first President in U.S. History George Washington. Justice Jay took the oath on October 19, 1789

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William Howard Taft was the first and only President of the United States to become Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was appointed by President Warren G. Harding in 1921. Justice Taft served for eight years.

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Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967. Marshall served for twenty-four years.

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Sandra Day O'Connor is the first women in history to become a Supreme Court Justice. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Justice O'Connor served until she retired in 2006.

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Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic to become Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. She was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009. Justice Sotomayor is currently serving the court.



WHO WAS THE YOUNGEST JUSTICE?

  • John Jay was the youngest Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court at forty-four years of age. He was appointed by President George Washington in 1789. Justice Jay served the Supreme Court for six years.

  • Joseph Story was the youngest associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court at the age of thirty-two. He was appointed by President James Madison in 1811. Justice Story served for thirty-four years.

WHO WAS THE OLDEST JUSTICE?

  • Harlan F. Stone was the oldest Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court at the age of sixty-eight. He was appointed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925. Justice Stone served for sixteen years.

  • Horace Lurton was the oldest Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court at the age of sixty-five. He was appointed by President William Howard Taft in 1909. Justice Lurton served for four years.

WHO WAS THE OLDEST SERVING JUSTICE ?

  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was the oldest U.S. Supreme Court Justice at the age of 90. He was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902. Justice Holmes served for twenty-nine years.

Current Supreme Court Justices

CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN G. ROBERTS, Jr.
Justice Roberts was appointed by President George W. Bush and he took the oath of office on September 29, 2005

Birth
Born January 27, 1955 in Buffalo New York.

Marriage
Jane Marie Sullivan

Children
Josephine and John

Education
AB from Harvard College in 1976
JD from Harvard Law School in 1979


ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA
Justice Scalia was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and he took the oath of office on September 26, 1986

Birth
Born March 11, 1936 in Trenton, New Jersey

Marriage
Maureen McCarthy

Children
Sons: Eugene, John Francis, Paul David, Mathew, Christoper, James
Daughters: Ann Forrest, Catherine Elisabeth, Mary Clare, Margaret Jane

Education
A.B. from Georgetown University
LLB. from Harvard Law School


ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ANTHONY M. KENNEDY
Justice Kennedy was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and he took the oath of office on February 18, 1988

Birth
Born July 23, 1936 in Sacramento, California

Marriage
Mary Davis

Education
B.A. from Stanford University
B.A. London School of Economics
LL.B. from Harvard Law School


ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS
Justice Clarence Thomas was appointed by President George H. W. Bush and he took the oath of office on November 1, 1991

Birth
Born on June 23, 1948 in Pin Point near Savannah, Georgia

Marriage
Virginia Lamp in 1987

Children
Jamal Adeen

Education
A.B. Cum Laude from Holy Cross College
J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974


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ASSOCIATE JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by President Bill Clinton and she took the oath of office on August 10, 1993

Birth
Born on March 15, in Brooklyn, New York

Marriage
Martin Ginsburg in 1954

Children
James and Jane

Education
B.A. from Cornell University
Attended Harvard Law School
LL.B. from Columbia Law School


ASSOCIATE JUSTICE STEPHEN G. BRYER
Justice Stephen Bryer was appointed by President Bill Clinton and he took the oath of office on August 3, 1994

Birth
Born on August 15, 1938 in San Francisco, California

Marriage
Joanna Hare in 1967

Children
Chloe, Nell and Michael

Education
A.B. from Stanford University
B.A. from Magdalen College
Attended Oxford College
LL.B. from Harvard Law School


ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SAMUEL ANTHONY ALITO
Justice Samuel Alito was appointed by President George W. Bush and he took the oath of office on January 31, 2006

Birth
Born on April 1, 1950 in Trenton, New Jersey

Marriage
Martha Ann Bomgardner in 1985

Children
Phillip and Laura


ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR
Justice Sonia Sotomayor was appointed by President Barack Obama and she took the oath of office on August 8, 2009

Birth
Born on June 25, 1954 in Bronx, New York

Education
B.A. from Princeton University summa cum laude
J.D. from Yale Law School


ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ELENA KAGEN.
Justice Elena Kagan was appointed by President Barack Obama and she took the oath of office on August 7, 2010

Birth
Born on Aprpil 28, 1960 in New York, New York

Education
A.B. Princeton University, summa cum laude
Attended Oxford University
Attended Worcester College
J.D. from Harvard Law School




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AMERICAN PRESIDENTS OATH OF OFFICE

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
~United States Constitution, Article II, Section I, Clause 8

U.S. Supreme Court Cases