First meeting of the US Supreme Court
Article 3 of the US Constitution calls for a Supreme Court, or a body of judges that would have ultimate authority over American laws. Supreme Court judges rule on high-profile cases, and have the power to change laws based on their interpretation of the Constitution and what they believe is ethical (for example, see Brown vs. Board of Education). The Judiciary Act of 1798 called for six judges who would serve on the Court for life – a precedent that is still observed today (though now, nine judges serve the Supreme Court). Setting further standards, President George Washington personally appointed the judges, with John Jay serving as Chief Justice, and had them all approved by the Senate. Their first session was held at the Royal Exchange Building on Broad Street in New York, but in a few years the Court moved down to the new capital with the rest of the US government. In time, the Supreme Court became the mot powerful judiciary body in the world, particularly because of its central role in lawmaking, unquestionable authority, and power to resolve the most important issues of the time.
Why do we need a Supreme Court?