The Supreme Court of the United States is making definitive judgments on crucial, social and economic problems. It has been at the center of the most controversies in American life: general issues such as the responsibilities of the branches of the federal government, the sharing of power by the federal and state governments and the rights of individuals, as well as more specific questions such as slavery, business trusts, the right of labor union, voting, school segregation, abortion and capital punishment. The Supreme Court has don well to retain the respect of the American people and to see its reputation grow for nearly two centuries.
The Role of the Supreme Court.
When the Constitutional Convention met in 1787, its initial task was to correct the principals defects of the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation essentially provided for a jointing of relatively independent states. It was against this background of increasing Balkanization that the delegates met in a secret session in May 1787: out of the convention, however, came the Constitution of the U.S., a document very different from the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution provides for national powers to regulate foreign relations and commerce, as well as a host of other activities.
Defining the Courts Role.
Article I provides for the Congress Article II for the Executive. Article III, the judiciary article of the Constitution, establishes the judicial power. The judicial power defines and limits the types of cases that may be brought before the federal courts.
Supreme Court Procedures.
The Supreme Court is the only federal court established by the Constitution itself rather than by act of Congress. In the early days of the republic the Supreme Court of the U.S. sat in what is now the old Supreme Court Chamber in the U.S. Capitol, having first met in February, 1790 in New York city, which at the time was the nation's capital.