History of the Supreme Court
- 1 Inaugural session
- 2 Jurisdiction
- 3 Number of justices
- 4 Terms
- 5 Chief Justice eras
- 5.1 The Jay Court (1789-1795)
- 5.2 The Rutledge Court (1795)
- 5.3 The Ellsworth Court (1796-1800)
- 5.4 The Marshall Court (1801-1835)
- 5.5 The Taney Court (1836-1864)
- 5.6 The Chase Court (1864-1873)
- 5.7 The Waite Court (1874-1888)
- 5.8 The Fuller Court (1888-1910)
- 5.9 The White Court (1910-1921)
- 5.10 The Taft Court (1921-1930)
- 5.11 The Hughes Court (1930-1941)
- 5.12 The Stone Court (1941-1946)
- 5.13 The Vinson Court (1946-1953)
- 5.14 The Warren Court (1953-1969)
- 5.15 The Burger Court (1969-1986)
- 5.16 The Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)
- 6 List of all Supreme Court justices
- 7 Locations
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
The Supreme Court of the United States was established under Article III of the Constitution of the United States. Though Article III provided for the creation of "one Supreme Court" and "inferior Courts," the Judiciary Act of 1789 actually created the structure of the court system. On September 24, 1789, the Act was signed into law by President George Washington. That same day, he nominated John Jay to serve as the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
The size, jurisdiction, location and recognized authority of the Supreme Court have changed over the years. The only thing that has remained constant is the selection of its justices. Both the Chief Justice and Associate Justices are nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate. Once justices are confirmed, they are appointed for life and are only removed from office by death, retirement or impeachment.
The Supreme Court was supposed to convene for the first time on February 1, 1790 in the Royal Exchange Building in New York City. However, only three justices were present, so a quorum was not met. The next day, John Blair was present and the Court officially came to order.
In addition to nominating Chief Justice Jay, on September 24, 1789, President Washington also nominated five Associate Justices: John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, James Wilson and Robert Harrison. All five were confirmed by the Senate, though Harrison declined the nomination for health reasons. In his place, Washington nominated James Iredell.
Article III of the United States Constitution outlines the jurisdiction of the federal courts of the United States:
|“||The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.||”|
Article III did not define the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, but instead granted Congress the power to define the specific jurisdiction of the Court. As defined by the Judiciary Act of 1789, the Supreme Court court reviews:
- By writ of error, judgments in civil actions of the circuit courts if the amount in question was more than $2,000.
- State court decisions when federal authority was challenged.
- Any case where a right, law or treaty of the United States was denied.
The Court's original jurisdiction is narrowly focused, as defined in Article III, Section 2:
|“||In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the Supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.||”|
The Court's appellate jurisdiction encompasses all cases within the scope of Article III, but is subject to limitation by Act of Congress under the Exceptions Clause in Article III and by the discretion of the Court.
The federal courts may only entertain "cases" or "controversies." Therefore, the Court avoids deciding cases that are moot and does not render advisory opinions. This exception is not absolute; if an issue is "capable of repetition yet evading review," the Court will address it even though the party before the Court would not himself be made whole by a favorable result.
Number of justices
|Number of Justices||Set by||Change|
|Chief Justice + 5 Associate Justices||Judiciary Act of 1789|
|Chief Justice + 4 Associate Justices||Judiciary Act of 1801 (later repealed)|| |
|Chief Justice + 6 Associate Justices||Seventh Circuit Act of 1807|| |
|Chief Justice + 8 Associate Justices||Eighth and Ninth Circuits Act of 1837|| |
|Chief Justice + 9 Associate Justices||Tenth Circuit Act of 1863|| |
|Chief Justice + 6 Associate Justices||Judicial Circuits Act of 1866|| |
|Chief Justice + 8 Associate Justices||Judiciary Act of 1869|| |
Politics and the number of seats
Judiciary Act of 1801
The first example of a political party attempting to shape the Court came with the Judiciary Act of 1801. After President Adams lost his bid for re-election in 1800, the Federalist-controlled Congress passed this Act, which reduced the number of Supreme Court justices by one with the next vacancy. The reduction of Supreme Court justices was intended to delay President Jefferson's chance to nominate someone to the court.
Judicial Circuits Act of 1866
The only other time that the number of Supreme Court justices was reduced was with the Act of 1866. This Act can be viewed from two different perspectives. One, the passage of it eliminated three seats on the Supreme Court, nullifying the pending nomination of Henry Stanberry. Stanberry was the only justice nominated to the Court by President Andrew Johnson, who two years later was impeached by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
However, Johnson signed the legislation into law prior to his impeachment. According to the Federal Judicial Center, it was Chief Justice Salmon Chase who urged lawmakers to reduce the size of the Court in an attempt to increase the salaries of sitting justices.
President Roosevelt's plan
One notable attempt to increase the number of Associate Justices came from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who proposed the Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937. In what was seen as a blatant attempt to fill the court with more justices favorable to New Deal legislation, Roosevelt proposed appointing a new justice for every sitting justice over the age of 70. This would have amounted to six new justices at the time. Later, the Reorganization Bill was passed without the additional justice provision.
The original Court held two sessions per year, in February and August. The Judiciary Act of 1802 eliminated the separate sessions and instead dictated that there would be one session which started on the first Monday in February.
In 1873, Congress changed the start of a new term to the second Monday in October. Forty-four years later, Congress moved the start of a new term to the first Monday in October to accommodate a growing docket.
Until 1978, the Court had a formal recess in July and August, though it would reconvene for matters of national significance. Presently, the court recesses in June, but continues to work throughout the summer.
Chief Justice eras
The Jay Court (1789-1795)
John Jay was a defining justice, not only as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but also as a defender of national politics. While on the court, Jay strengthened ties between England and the United States as the primary negotiator of the Jay Treaty. Jay's tenure as Chief Justice paved the way for an established judiciary, from defining the jurisdiction of the federal courts to defining the authority of the Supreme Court.
For more on this era, see The Jay Court.
The Rutledge Court (1795)
With such a short tenure, Rutledge had little time to imprint his legacy on the history and courts of the United States. He was able to define jurisdiction over cases involving the high seas and United States citizenship, however.
For more on this era, see The Rutledge Court.
The Ellsworth Court (1796-1800)
John Rutledge (1789-1791); James Wilson (1789-1798); James Iredell (1790-1799); William Cushing (1790-1810); William Paterson (1793-1806); Samuel Chase (1789-1811); Bushrod Washington (1798-1829); Alfred Moore (1799-1804)
The Ellsworth Court was both brief and important. It helped to establish the rights of the president, states, laws and court system. Decisions during the Ellsworth Court created the definition of ex post facto laws and clarified rights of the president. By determining that the president did not have the power to amend the Constitution, the Ellsworth Court ensured a stronger system of checks and balances and highlighted the importance of Congress.
For more on this era, see The Ellsworth Court.
The Marshall Court (1801-1835)
William Cushing (1789-1810); William Paterson (1793-1806); Samuel Chase (1796-1811); Bushrod Washington (1798-1829); Alfred Moore (1799-1804); William Johnson, Jr. (1804-1834); Henry Brockholst Livingston (1807-1823); Thomas Todd (1807-1826); Gabriel Duvall (1811-1835); Joseph Story (1811-1845); Smith Thompson (1823-1843); Robert Trimble (1826-1828); Henry Baldwin (1830-1844); John McLean (1829-1861); James Moore Wayne (1835-1867)
The Marshall era saw the Supreme Court's supremacy as the highest court in the United States established. It affirmed that the Court had the power to review decisions made by the state courts. Furthermore, this era of the Supreme Court continued to clarify Congress' right to regulate interstate commerce and to establish a federal bank.
As Chief Justice, Marshall presided over some of the most storied and formative legal cases in American history. Among them were: Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, Cohens v. Virginia, and Gibbons v. Ogden.
For more on this era, see The Marshall Court.
The Taney Court (1836-1864)
Joseph Story (1811-1845); Smith Thompson (1823-1843); Henry Baldwin (1830-1844); John McLean (1829-1861); James Moore Wayne (1835-1867); Philip Pendelton Barbour (1836-1841); John Catron (1837-1865); John McKinley (1837-1852); Peter Vivian Daniel (1841-1860); Levi Woodbury (1846-1851); Samuel Nelson (1845-1872); Robert Cooper Grier (1846-1870); Benjamin Robbins Curtis (1851-1857); John Archibald Campbell (1853-1861); Nathan Clifford (1958-1881); Samuel Freeman Miller (1862-1890); David Davis (1862-1877); Noah Haynes Swayne (1862-1881); Stephen Johnson Field (1863-1897)
During Taney's tenure, the issue of slavery increased tensions across the nation, eventually leading to Civil War. Although Taney did not take a hard stance on the issue, he favored moderate states' rights. Taney’s most historic cases stressed the notion of white supremacy, and for the most part, the power of states to regulate within their own territories. Taney strongly believed in his Dred Scott decision, writing to Franklin Pierce in 1857 that he believed with "abiding confidence that this act of my judicial life will stand the test of time and the sober judgment of the country."
When Abraham Lincoln became president, he and Taney held different views on a number of issues of the day. Lincoln even went as far as disregarding a Taney decision that forbade the suspension of habeas corpus in Maryland during the Civil War. By the time of Taney's death in 1864, he was largely viewed as a villain and the Supreme Court felt the public's trust and respect declining.
Overall, the Taney Court provided clarity when it came to states’ rights, defining their powers in relation to that of the federal government. Historically, the era of Taney as Chief Justice is most remembered for its rulings on inequality of the races.
For more on this era, see The Taney Court.
The Chase Court (1864-1873)
James Moore Wayne (1835-1867); John Catron (1837-1865); Samuel Nelson (1845-1872); Robert Cooper Grier (1846-1870); Nathan Clifford (1858-1881); Samuel Freeman Miller (1863-1890); David Davis (1862-1877); Noah Haynes Swayne (1862-1881); Stephen Johnson Field (1863-1897); William Strong (1870-1880); Joseph Bradley (1870-1892); Ward Hunt (1872-1882)
This era of the Chase Court clarified the Reconstruction of the United States after the Civil War and continued to establish the rights of the federal government and the president over the states. The Court's major cases involved whether or not Reconstruction was constitutional. Their decisions led to the piecing together of the broken United States.
During Chase's tenure, he was involved in the turbulent politics of Andrew Johnson's presidency. Johnson's policies towards the Reconstruction Era South were lenient, and the Republican majority of Congress was not happy. In response, they passed the Tenure of Office Act in March of 1867. This Act prohibited the president from removing officials from office that had been confirmed by the Senate, without permission of the Senate. Despite this, Johnson attempted to replace the Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, with Ulysses S. Grant. The Supreme Court refused to rule on the case, but because of the protest, Grant returned the office to Stanton. Johnson was not satisfied, so he appointed General Lorenzo Thomas in place of Stanton. Three days later, Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives.
President Johnson's impeachment trial began on March 13, 1867, in the Senate with the direction of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase. On May 26, Johnson was acquitted of the charges.
For more on this era, see The Chase Court.
The Waite Court (1874-1888)
Nathan Clifford (1858-1881); Samuel Freeman Miller (1862-1890); David Davis (1862-1877); Noah Haynes Swayne (1862-1881); Stephen Johnson Field (1863-1897); William Strong (1870-1880); Joseph Bradley (1870-1892); Ward Hunt (1872-1882); John Harlan I (1877-1889); William Burnham Woods (1880-1887); Stanley Matthews (1881-1889); Samuel Blatchford (1882-1893); Horace Gray (1881-1902); Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar (1888-1893)
In the post-Civil War United States, the Waite Court emphasized protections for corporations with the Fourteenth Amendment. Waite's restrictive tenure further decreased the rights of women and minorities in the United States, ultimately leaving a wake of prejudiced decisions that would take years to overcome.
For more on this era, see The Waite Court.
The Fuller Court (1888-1910)
Samuel Freeman Miller (1862-1890); Stephen Johnson Field (1863-1897); Joseph Bradley (1870-1892); John Harlan I (1877-1889); Stanley Matthews (1881-1889); Samuel Blatchford (1882-1893); Horace Gray (1882-1902); Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar (1888-1893); David Josiah Brewer (1890-1910); Henry Billings Brown (U.S. Supreme Court) (1891-1906); George Shiras (1892-1903); Howell Edmunds Jackson (1893-1895); Rufus Wheeler Peckham (1896-1909); Joseph McKenna (1898-1925); Oliver Wendell Holmes (1902-1932); William Rufus Day (1903-1922); William Henry Moody (1906-1910); Horace Harmon Lurton (1910-1914)
Melville Fuller's Court often saw and decided cases based on the Fourteenth Amendment, defining its scope. Primarily, the Court was concerned with the Due Process and Equal Protection section of the Amendment. The two most notable cases of this era were Plessy v. Ferguson and Lochner v. New York. Both cases would go on to be overturned.
For more on this era, see The Fuller Court.
The White Court (1910-1921)
John Harlan I (1877-1911); Joseph McKenna (1898-1925); Oliver Wendell Holmes (1902-1932); William Rufus Day (1903-1922); Horace Harmon Lurton (1910-1914); Joseph Rucker Lamar (1911-1916); Willis Van Devanter (1911-1937); Mahlon Pitney (1912-1922); James Clark McReynolds (1914-1941; John Hessin Clarke (1916-1922); Louis Brandeis (1916-1939)
The White Court examined the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in a number of cases in order to more fairly distribute wealth among companies. This Court also made decisions that would make it easier for black Americans to vote, though the right had already been established after the Civil War. Furthermore, this era saw the establishment of an eight-hour workday for railroad workers.
For more on this era, see The White Court.
The Taft Court (1921-1930)
Joseph McKenna (1898-1925); Oliver Wendell Holmes (1902-1932); William Rufus Day (1903-1922); Willis Van Devanter (1911-1937; Mahlon Pitney (1912-1922); James Clark McReynolds (1914-1941); John Hessin Clarke (1916-1922); Louis Brandeis (1916-1939); George Sutherland (1922-1938); Edward Terry Sanford (1923-1930); Pierce Butler (1923-1939); Harlan Fiske Stone (1925-1941); Owen Josephus Roberts (1930-1945)
Taft's Court saw the continuation of a denial of protections for minorities. After women's suffrage, the Supreme Court subtly readjusted its approach to the class by shortening its protective reach, as seen in Adkins v. Children's Hospital. The decision Plessy v. Ferguson was upheld once again, relegating black Americans to second-class status, while the people of Puerto Rico were denied rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
For more on this era, see The Taft Court.
The Hughes Court (1930-1941)
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1902-1932); Willis Van Devanter (1911-1937); James Clark McReynolds (1914-1941); Louis Brandeis (1916-1939); George Sutherland (1923-1930); Edward Terry Sanford (1923-1930); Pierce Butler (1923-1939); Owen Josephus Roberts (1930-1945); Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1932-1938); Hugo Black (1937-1971); Stanley Reed (1938-1957); Felix Frankfurter (1939-1962); William Douglas (1939-1975); Frank Murphy (1940-1949); James Byrnes (1941-1942); Harlan Fiske Stone (1941-1946)
Charles Hughes left a unique legacy, serving as the swing vote on the Court during the New Deal Era. The Chief Justice sometimes sided with the "Four Horsemen" of the Supreme Court, conservative justices strictly opposed to the New Deal policies of Roosevelt, but Hughes was progressive on issues of race. He was respected as a prolific justice who authored more than double the opinions of anyone else serving on the court.
For more on this era, see The Hughes Court.
The Stone Court (1941-1946)
Owen Josephus Roberts (1930-1945); Hugo Black (1937-1971); Stanley Reed (1938-1957); Felix Frankfurter (1939-1962); William Douglas (1939-1975); Frank Murphy (1940-1949); James Byrnes (1941-1942); Robert H. Jackson (1941-1954); Wiley Rutledge (1943-1949); Harold Burton (1945-1958)
During Stone's tenure on the Court, he presided over the issues of World War II, creating new precedents for how to protect the United States and deal with enemies on United States soil. Though the Stone Court is remembered for constitutional questions decided, it was also marked by discord among the justices of the court.
For more on this era, see The Stone Court.
The Vinson Court (1946-1953)
Hugo Black (1937-1971); Stanley Reed (1938-1957); Felix Frankfurter (1939-1962); William Douglas (1939-1975); Frank Murphy (1940-1949); Robert H. Jackson (1941-1954); Wiley Rutledge (1943-1949); Harold Burton (1945-1958); Tom Clark (1949-1967); Sherman Minton (1949-1956)
The era of the Frederick Vinson Court saw a change in the tides of racial segregation. With Vinson's sudden death, the most famous case of his tenure, Brown v. Board of Education, was not resolved until the Warren Court. Vinson's Court also went on to more carefully define acts of enemy aggression and the powers of the president.
For more on this era, see The Vinson Court.
The Warren Court (1953-1969)
Hugo Black (1937-1971); Stanley Reed (1938-1957); Felix Frankfurter (1939-1962); William Douglas (1939-1975); Robert H. Jackson (1941-1954); Harold Burton (1945-1958); Sherman Minton (1949-1956); Tom Clark (1949-1967); John Harlan II (1955-1971); William Brennan (1956-1990); Charles Whittaker (1957-1962); Potter Stewart (1958-1981); Arthur Goldberg (1962-1965); Byron White (1962-1993); Abe Fortas (1965-1969); Thurgood Marshall (1967-1991)
The Warren Court saw a variety of notable cases. With this court, segregation was outlawed and public prayer began to decrease as a result of Engel v. Vitale. The court also established the rights of defendants and citizens.
For more on this era, see The Warren Court.
The Burger Court (1969-1986)
Hugo Black (1937-1971); William Douglas (1939-1975); John Harlan II (1955-1971); William Brennan (1956-1990); Potter Stewart (1958-1981); Byron White (1962-1993); Thurgood Marshall (1967-1991); Harry Blackmun (1970-1994); Lewis Powell (1972-1987); John Paul Stevens (1975-2010); Sandra Day O'Connor (1981-2006)
Burger's conservative philosophy did not significantly shift the composition of the Supreme Court. According to PBS, Burger's opinions "were often unpredictable and uninspiring," leading to an inability to construct a cohesive legacy.
Several significant decisions were made during the Burger Court, however, including those leading to the resignation of President Nixon from the office of the presidency. Other notable cases include Roe v. Wade and Furman v. Georgia, both of which have been challenged and used as precedent in a myriad of cases.
For more on this era, see The Burger Court.
The Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)
William Brennan (1956-1990); Byron White (1962-1993); Thurgood Marshall (1967-1991); Harry Blackmun (1970-1994); Lewis Powell (1972-1987); John Paul Stevens (1975-2010); Sandra Day O'Connor (1981-2006); Antonin Scalia (1986-Present); Anthony Kennedy (1986-Present), David Souter (1990-2009); Clarence Thomas (1991-Present); Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1994-Present)
Chief Justice Rehnquist was a conservative, and helped usher in the Court's "new right" majority. During the Rehnquist Era, the Court narrowed the reach of decisions of the Warren Court and the Burger Court. During his tenure as Chief Justice, Rehnquist also presided over President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial and Bush v. Gore.
For more on this era, see The Rehnquist Court.
List of all Supreme Court justices
|Supreme Court justice||Term dates|
|Former Justice Abe Fortas||8/11/1965-5/14/1969|
|Former Justice Alfred Moore (U.S. Supreme Court)||12/10/1799-1/26/1804|
|Associate justice Anthony Kennedy||2/17/1988-Present|
|Associate justice Antonin Scalia||9/26/1986-Present|
|Former Justice Arthur Goldberg||9/28/1962-/26/1965|
|Former Justice Benjamin Nathan Cardozo||3/2/1932-7/9/1938|
|Former Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis||12/20/1851-9/30/1857|
|Former Justice Bushrod Washington||12/20/1798 - 11/26/1829|
|Former Justice Byron White||1962-1993|
|Former Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes||2/13/1930-6/30/1941|
|Former Justice Charles Whittaker||3/22/1957-3/31/1962|
|Associate justice Clarence Thomas (U.S. Supreme Court)||7/1/1991-Present|
|Former Justice David Davis (U.S. Supreme Court)||10/17/1862-3/4/1877|
|Former Justice David Josiah Brewer||3/31/1884-1/6/1890|
|Former Justice David Souter||10/3/1990-6/30/2009|
|Former Chief Justice Earl Warren||3/20/1954-6/23/1969|
|Former Chief Justice Edward Douglass White||12/12/1910-5/19/1921|
|Former Justice Edward Terry Sanford||1/29/1923-3/8/1930|
|Associate justice Elena Kagan||8/7/2010-Present|
|Former Justice Felix Frankfurter||1/20/1939-8/28/1962|
|Former Justice Frank Murphy||1/16/1940-7/19/1949|
|Former Chief Justice Frederick Vinson||6/21/1946-9/8/1953|
|Former Justice Gabriel Duvall||11/18/1811-1/12/1835|
|Former Justice George Shiras||7/26/1892-2/23/1903|
|Former Justice George Sutherland||1922-1938|
|Former Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone||7/3/1941-4/22/1946|
|Former Justice Harold Burton||1945-1964|
|Former Justice Harry Blackmun||5/14/1970-8/3/1994|
|Former Justice Henry Baldwin||1/6/1830-4/21/1844|
|Former Justice Henry Billings Brown (U.S. Supreme Court)||12/29/1890-5/28/1906|
|Former Justice Henry Brockholst Livingston||1/16/1807-3/18/1823|
|Former Justice Horace Gray||12/20/1881-9/15/1902|
|Former Justice Horace Harmon Lurton||12/20/1909-7/12/1914|
|Former Justice Howell Edmunds Jackson||2/18/1893-8/8/1895|
|Former Justice Hugo Black||8/18/1937-9/17/1971|
|Former Justice James Byrnes||6/25/1941-10/3/1942|
|Former Justice James Clark McReynolds||8/29/1914-1/31/1941|
|Former Justice James Iredell||2/10/1790-10/20/1799|
|Former justice James Moore Wayne||1/9/1835-7/5/1867|
|Former Justice James Wilson (U.S. Supreme Court)||9/29/1789-8/21/1798|
|Former Justice John Archibald Campbell||3/22/1853-4/30/1861|
|Former Justice John Blair (Supreme Court)||9/30/1789-10/25/1795|
|Former Justice John Catron||3/8/1837-5/30/1865|
|Former Justice John Harlan I||11/29/1877-10/14/1911|
|Former Judge John Harlan II||3/27/1955-9/23/1971|
|Former Judge John Hessin Clarke||7/24/1916-9/18/1922|
|Former Chief Justice John Jay||9/26/1789-6/29/1795|
|Former Chief Justice John Marshall (Supreme Court)||1/31/1801-7/6/1835|
|Former Justice John McKinley||4/22/1837-7/19/1852|
|Former Justice John McLean||3/7/1829-4/4/1861|
|Former Justice John Paul Stevens||12/17/1975-6/30/2010|
|Chief justice John Roberts (Supreme Court)||9/29/2005-Present|
|Former Judge John Rutledge (Supreme Court)||9/26/1789-3/5/1791, 7/1/1795-12/28/1795|
|Former Justice Joseph Bradley||3/21/1870-1/22/1892|
|Former Justice Joseph McKenna (Supreme Court)||1/21/1897-1/5/1925|
|Former Justice Joseph Rucker Lamar||12/17/1910-1/2/1916|
|Former Justice Joseph Story||11/18/1811-9/10/1845|
|Former Justice Levi Woodbury||1/3/1846-9/4/1851|
|Former Justice Lewis Powell||12/9/1971-6/26/1987|
|Former Justice Louis Brandeis||6/1/1916-2/13/1939|
|Seat #4 Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar||1/16/1888 - 1/23/1893|
|Former Justice Mahlon Pitney||2/19/1912-12/31/1922|
|Former Chief Justice Melville Weston Fuller||7/20/1888-7/4/1910|
|Former Chief Justice Morrison Waite||1/21/1874-3/23/1888|
|Former Justice Nathan Clifford||1/12/1858-7/25/1881|
|Former Justice Noah Haynes Swayne||1/24/1862-1/24/1881|
|Former Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth||3/4/1796-9/30/1800|
|Former Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes||12/4/1902-1/12/1932|
|Former Justice Owen Josephus Roberts||5/20/1930-7/31/1945|
|Former Justice Peter Vivian Daniel||3/3/1841-5/31/1860|
|Former Justice Philip Pendelton Barbour||3/15/1836-2/15/1841|
|Former Justice Pierce Butler||12/21/1922-11/16/1939|
|Former Justice Potter Stewart||1958-1985|
|Former Justice Robert Cooper Grier||8/4/1846-1/31/1870|
|Former Justice Robert H. Jackson||1941-1954|
|Former Justice Robert Trimble||5/9/1826-8/25/1828|
|Former Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney||3/15/1836-10/12/1864|
|Former Justice Rufus Wheeler Peckham||12/9/1895-10/24/1909|
|Associate justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg||8/5/1993-Present|
|Former Chief Justice Salmon Portland Chase||12/6/1864 - 5/7/1873|
|Associate justice Samuel Alito||1/31/2006-Present|
|Former Justice Samuel Blatchford||3/22/1882-7/7/1893|
|Former Justice Samuel Chase||1/27/1796-6/19/1811|
|Former Justice Samuel Freeman Miller||7/16/1862-10/13/1890|
|Former Justice Samuel Nelson||2/13/1845-11/28/1872|
|Former justice Sandra Day O'Connor||9/25/1981-1/31/2006|
|Former Justice Sherman Minton||10/5/1949-10/15/1956|
|Former Justice Smith Thompson||12/9/1823-12/18/1843|
|Associate justice Sonia Sotomayor||8/6/2009-Present|
|Former Justice Stanley Matthews||5/12/1881-3/22/1889|
|Former Justice Stanley Reed||1/27/1938-2/25/1957|
|Associate justice Stephen Breyer||8/3/1994-Present|
|Former Justice Stephen Johnson Field||3/10/1863-12/1/1897|
|Former Justice Thomas Johnson (U.S. Supreme Court)||11/7/1791-1/16/1793|
|Former Justice Thomas Todd (U.S. Supreme Court)||3/3/1807-2/7/1826|
|Former Judge Thurgood Marshall||8/30/1967-10/1/1991|
|Former justice Tom Clark||1949-1967|
|Former Justice Ward Hunt||12/11/1872-1/27/1882|
|Former Chief Justice Warren Burger||6/23/1969-9/26/1986|
|Former Justice Wiley Rutledge||2/11/1943-9/10/1949|
|Former Justice William Brennan (U.S. Supreme Court)||3/21/1957-7/20/1990|
|Former Justice William Burnham Woods||12/21/1880-5/14/1887|
|Associate Justice William Cushing||9/27/1789 - 9/13/1810|
|Former Justice William Douglas||4/15/1939 - 11/12/1975|
|Former Justice William Henry Moody||12/12/1906 - 11/19/1910|
|Former Chief Justice William Howard Taft||6/30/1921-2/3/1930|
|Former Justice William Johnson, Jr.||3/26/1804-8/4/1834|
|Former Justice William Paterson||3/4/1793-9/9/1806|
|Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist||9/25/1986-9/3/2005|
|Former Justice William Rufus Day||2/19/1903-11/13/1922|
|Former Justice William Strong||2/18/1870-12/14/1880|
|Former Associate Justice Willis Van Devanter||12/16/1910-6/2/1937|
|Time||City||Building||About the location|
|February 1-10, 1790 and August 2-3, 1790||New York City||Royal Exchange Building||The Court held its first two sessions when New York City was the nation's capital. The building was an open air market on the first floor; justices met on the second floor.|
|February 1791||Philadelphia||Independence Hall (then the Pennsylvania State House)||The Court convened here for just two days, since there were no cases on the docket.|
|August 1791-1800||Philadelphia||Old City Hall (then City Hall)||The U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court shared a location, meeting in the West Wing and East Wing, respectively.|
|February 1801-1810||Washington, D.C.||Various rooms in the U.S. Capitol||During this decade, the Court met in various rooms of the United States Capitol.|
|1810-1860||Washington, D.C.||Basement of the North Wing in the U.S. Capitol||In 1810, the Supreme Court met in various rooms in the Old North Wing of the Capitol. Throughout this period, when the building was under construction or when the building was burned by the British during the War of 1812, the Court convened in homes or taverns.|
|1861-1935||Washington, D.C.||Old Senate Chamber||The Supreme Court took over the Old Senate Chamber in 1861. Its previous meeting area became a shared law library for the Congress and Court. Though the Court now had a designated courtroom, justices and their staff did not have office spaces.|
|1935-present||Washington, D.C.||The Supreme Court building||The cornerstone of the Supreme Court building was laid in 1932 and the court moved into its permanent location in 1935. President, and later, Chief Justice William Howard Taft was integral to the creation of the building, lobbying for its existence since 1912. Though Charles Evans Hughes presided over the court upon the building's completion, he credited Taft, saying, "This building is the result of his intelligent persistence."|
- The Supreme Court Historical Society, History of the Supreme Court
- The Supreme Court of the United States, Members of the Supreme Court of the United States
- The Supreme Court of the United States, The Court and Its Traditions
- The Supreme Court of the United States, The Court and Its Procedures
- Article III
- Federal Judicial Center, Landmark Judicial Legislation: The Judiciary Act of 1789
- John Jay
- History.com, This Day in History, September 24, 1789: The First Supreme Court
- ABAJournal, "February 2, 1790: Supreme Court Holds Inaugural Session," February 1, 2011
- The Free Legal Dictionary, Harrison, Robert Hanson Harrison
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- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Federal Judicial Center, Appellate Jurisdiction in the Federal Courts, U.S. Circuit Courts
- Digital History, War on the Judiciary
- Federal Judicial Center, Landmark Judicial Legislation, Reorganization of the Judicial Circuits
- United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Recess Reading: An Occasional Feature From The Judiciary Committee, "Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Court Packing" Plan"
- Federal Judicial Center, Landmark Judicial Legislation, "The Judiciary Act of 1802"
- Google Books, The Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court by David Shultz, page 164
- The Supreme Court of the United States, The Courts and Its Procedures
- Columbia University, Jay Biography
- Oyez.org, John Jay
- Constitutional Law Reporter, John Rutledge
- PBS.org, Biographies of the Robes: Roger Taney
- History.com, President Andrew Johnson is Impeached
- PBS.org, Biographies of the Robes: Charles Evans Hughes
- Encyclopedia Britannica, Charles Evans Hughes
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- Encyclopedia Britannica, Harlan Fiske Stone
- PBS.org, Biographies of the Robes: Warren Earl Burger
- PBS.org, Biographies of the Robes: William Hubbs Rehnquist
- The Supreme Court Historical Society, Home of the Court
- The Supreme Court of the United States, Frequently Asked Questions
|Former chief justices||White|
|Former associate justices||
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