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On This Day in History: The Supreme Court Met for the First Time

gavel with scales of justice in background

On this day in 1790, the Supreme Court convened for the first time.

On February 2, 1790, the Supreme Court met for the first time in New York City.  While the Court was supposed to meet the day before, only three of the six judges showed up, so the meeting was delayed until the next day.  The first meeting was attended by Chief Justice, John Jay, and five Associate Justices: James Wilson, William Cushing, John Blair, John Rutledge, and James Iredell.

While the Supreme Court was first established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, it underwent changes under the Judiciary Act of 1869.  Under the 1869 Act, the Court was expanded to one chief justice and eight associate justices with lifetime tenure.  This means that Supreme Court justices will serve until they resign, retire, die, or are removed from office.  When a vacancy opens, the president, with consent from the Senate, appoints a new justice.

Since its establishment, The Supreme Court has acted as the highest court of the United States.  The Court holds jurisdiction over all federal and state court cases that involve federal law.  The Court also holds the power of judicial review—the power to strike down a statute for violating the U.S. Constitution.  The Court also has the ability to strike down presidential directives for violating the Constitution or statutory law.

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope you will enjoy this brief overview of the U.S. Supreme Court to commemorate the anniversary of its first meeting.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown.   Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.

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