U.S. Supreme Court | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee


Course: Introduction / Procedural Law / Legal Research

The U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States; composed of eight Associate Justices and one Chief Justice.

Commonly abbreviated as SCOTUS, standing for the Supreme Court of the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States and is composed of one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. The Court is responsible for interpreting the Constitution and ensuring that federal laws are in compliance with its provisions. The Justices are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and serve for life or until they choose to retire.

The Supreme Court hears cases that have been appealed from lower courts or that involve significant constitutional issues. The cases selected for review are typically those that have the potential to impact the rights and freedoms of individuals, as well as cases that have important implications for society as a whole. The Court’s decisions have far-reaching consequences and can set precedents that shape the legal system for years to come.

The Supreme Court has a long and storied history, with many landmark decisions that have had a profound impact on American society. In the landmark case of Marbury v. Madison, the Court established the principle of judicial review, which gives the Court the power to declare laws unconstitutional. In Brown v. Board of Education, the Court declared segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, paving the way for the civil rights movement.

Each year, the Supreme Court receives thousands of requests to review cases, but only a small fraction are actually heard. Cases that are selected for review typically involve complex legal issues or conflicting interpretations of the law. The Court’s decision-making process is highly deliberative, with each Justice taking the time to carefully consider the arguments presented and the implications of their decision.

In addition to its role as the final arbiter of legal disputes in the United States, the Supreme Court also has an important role in shaping public policy. The Court’s decisions can have a significant impact on social and political issues, including civil rights, reproductive rights, and the rights of criminal defendants.

The Supreme Court plays a vital role in the American legal system and in ensuring that the principles of justice, equality, and freedom are upheld. The Court’s decisions have a profound impact on American society, and its role as a neutral arbiter of the law is critical in maintaining the integrity of the legal system and upholding the principles of justice and equality for all.

Learn More

On This Site

On Other Sites


[ Glossary ]


Last Modified: 04/05/2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.