Supreme Court


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Pursuant to Article III of the constitution, the Supreme Court of the United States was created. This Court which has variously been referred to as the court of last resort is empowered as the U.S Constitution ultimate interpreter in addition to hearing and deciding a number of other federal statutes legal issues. As the court of last resort, the Supreme Court the role of the Supreme Court remains unique in the justice system.

The purpose of the Supreme Court

According to Fingeroth (2008), the Supreme Courts role remains significant in the U.S. justice system as it has influence as well as authority in a wide range of issues including but not in any way limited to social, political as well as legal issues. It is important to note that the operations of the Supreme Court can be rather said to be obscure but over time, a number of events i.e. the 2000 presidential elections have enhanced the consciousness of the public wit regard to its role as far as the political and legal affairs of the nation are concerned. In that regard, the purpose of the Supreme Court as the court of last resort cannot be overstated.

The structure, personnel and process of the Supreme Court

Nine justices make up or constitute the U.S. Supreme Court. The President appoints such judges and they include the chief justice. It can be noted that only a small portion of certiorari requests are granted by the Supreme Court as compared to the appellate courts which are bound to subject all the cases advanced to them to review. For a case to gain acceptance for review in the Supreme Court, it must be accepted by not les that four judges of the nine. Fingeroth (2008) is of the opinion that based on the sheer magnitude of cases submitted to the Supreme Court for review on an annual basis, a sober selection of cases which appear to have significant legal issues must be carried out. Those cases that more often than not merit the attention of the court include those that involve the constitutional rights application. These are the cases that call on the justices to apply to modern scenarios the two centuries old constitutional principles. It is also important to note that the court is usually called upon to assist in the resolution of lower courts precedents that in one way or the other look contradictory.

Discretion powers

When it comes to the scope, the Supreme Court exercises original jurisdiction though in a small portion of cases. This is especially in matters informed by Federal Government and the state disputes or even disputes between states. The court also has the final say on constitutional issues. Indeed, in this regard, only an amendment of the constitution can alter constitutional issues heard and decided by the court. It is however important to note that when it comes to a statue interpretation by the Supreme Court, a legislative action can be instituted.

Further, as earlier noted, the Supreme Court also concerns itself with cases that revolve around the constitutional rights application. Those cases which may be considered in this case include the right to bear arms as contained in the Second Amendment. While this right was largely relevant then, how should it be taken in the current day and age where machine guns are a norm rather than a rarity. Hence in such a scenario, the justices might have to consider the applicability of constitutional principles relevant in the past to the current day scenario. It therefore follows that the importance of the U.S Supreme Court extends well beyond its interpretation of constitution to the resolution of other significant legal issue as well as provisions.

Further, the effects of the Supreme Court on law and citizens can be felt due to the unique role the Supreme Court lays in the system of government in the U.S. This includes its ability to act as a check in regard to the actions of not only congress but the president as well. However, according to Fingeroth (2008), the Supreme Court is not as powerful as it is supposed to be essentially because in several instances, government branches can limit its power. There is also a possibility that due to the presidents active nomination of the nine judges (subject to the approval of congress), political interests might end up clouding national interests.


It is important to note that as far as the progression of a number of criminal cases through the courts is concerned, the significance of the appellate process cannot be overstated. As the highest Judicial body in the U.S. the Supreme Court continues to play a critical role in the administration of justice.


Fingeroth, D. (2008). The U.S. Supreme Court. Capstone Press

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