Feb 1, 1790: First Session of the U.S. Supreme Court

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The first meeting in New York City of the United States Supreme Court in 1790 and 1791. From left, William Cushing, Chief Justice John Jay, John Blair, and James Wilson. They did not hear a case until 1792.

In the Royal Exchange Building on New York City’s Broad Street, the Supreme Court of the United States meets for the first time, with Chief Justice John Jay of New York presiding.

The U.S. Supreme Court was established by Article Three of the U.S. Constitution, which took effect in March 1789. The Constitution granted the Supreme Court ultimate jurisdiction over all laws, especially those in which constitutionality was at issue. The court was also designated to rule on cases concerning treaties of the United States, foreign diplomats, admiralty practice, and maritime jurisdiction.

In September 1789, the Judiciary Act was passed, implementing Article Three by providing for six justices who would serve on the court for life. The same day, President George Washington appointed John Jay to preside as chief justice, and John Rutledge of South Carolina, William Cushing of Massachusetts, John Blair of Virginia, Robert Harrison of Maryland, and James Wilson of Pennsylvania to serve as associate justices. Two days later, all six appointments were confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The Supreme Court later grew into arguably the most powerful judicial body in the world in terms of its central place in the U.S. political order. In times of constitutional crisis, for better or worse, it always played a definitive role in resolving the great issues of the time.

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2 comments on “Feb 1, 1790: First Session of the U.S. Supreme Court
  1. A position even rarer.and perhaps almost as prestigious as that of Commander in Chief is.being appointed the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court..Up until now there have only been 17 men that have fulfilled the.position that requires a great deal of skill dedication and.knowledge. ..John.Jay was the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court .which is the highest and most powerful court in the nation..Judge John Jay served from 1789-1795 and was appointed by the.nation s first President George Washington..The Supreme Court is composed of one Chief Justice and eight.Associate Justices all of which are nominated by the President and.then confirmed by the United States Senate..Many.public service occupations have term limits however the term of.Chief Justice of the United States is for life and 9 past Chief.Justices have served until their death. As of January.2007 the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Chief Justice.John G.

  2. […] Feb 1, 1790: First Session of the U.S. Supreme Court (censorshipinamerica.wordpress.com) […]

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