The US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest federal court in the United States of America and is also the head of the judicial branch of the government.

The Supreme Court was established in 1789 by Article Three of the US Constitution. The Judiciary Act of 1789 signed into law by George Washington, specified that the court would be made up of six justices who would serve on the court until they retired.

The first 10 amendments are:

Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press

Amendment 2 – The Right to Bear Arms

Amendment 3 – The Housing of Soldiers

Amendment 4 – Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

Amendment 5 – Protection of Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property

Amendment 6 – Rights of Accused Persons in Criminal Cases

Amendment 7 – Rights in Civil Cases

Amendment 8 – Excessive Bail, Fines, and Punishments Forbidden

Amendment 9 – Other Rights Kept by the People

Amendment 10 – Undelegated Powers Kept by the States and the People

The 13th amendment is the amendment that freed all slaves and indentured servants in the United States. It made it so the Congress should have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Section 1 of the amendment says: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The 13th amendment was passed through congress on January 31st, 1865.

The 19th amendment is the amendment that gave women the right to vote. The amendment says: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” It was ratified through congress on August 18th, 1920.

The Supreme Court

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established our federal government and defined our government’s relationship with the states and citizens. It controls the juridical branch of the American political system.

 

An important decision made by the supreme court is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Mellon. This took place in 1923 and the case was that the 1921 Maternity Act gave states money for programs aimed to help mothers and their infants. A woman named Frothingham thought the act would lead to an increase in her taxes, so she tried to sue the federal government. The issue was whether a taxpayer had to stand to sue when the only injury was going to be an increase in taxes. 

The Supreme Court unanimously held she did not have standing because the injury was too small and indeterminable. It led to the legal concept of a “particularized” injury, which needs to be traced to a legal violation. Without this decision, it would be a lot easier to take a suit to court.

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