Judicial Branch

What is the Judicial Branch ?

- The third branch of government.

- It interprets laws.

- It is made up of the supreme court.

Who is in it ?

There are nine justices in the Supreme court.

1. John Roberts (Chief Justice).

2. Antonin Scalia (Associate Justice).

3. Anthony Kennedy (Associate Justice).

4. Clarence Thomas (Associate Justice).

5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Associate Justice).

6. Stephen Breyer (Associate Justice).

7. Samuel Anthony Alito (Associate Justice).

8. Sonia Sotomayor (Associate Justice).

9. Elena Kagan (Associate Justice).

How does one become a member ?

1. You need a Presidential Nomination.

- President nominates you.

- President talks to top advisers.

- He and the legal team advisers look to see if you are qualified.

2. You need a Special Review.

- The President makes his final choice.

- The nominee meets with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

- During the meeting the Committee questions the nominee.

- If the majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee votes against the nominee, the President must choose a new nominee.

3. The Senate needs to vote.

- If the Judiciary Committee approves the nominee, the entire Senate debates the nomination.

4. Taking a seat.

- If more than half the Senate votes for the nominee, the nominee is confirmed and then takes sacred oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

What does the Supreme Court do ? What types of cases does it hear ?

- Heads the Judicial Branch in the United States government.

- It is the only court established by the Constitution.

- In charge of explaining and interpreting the Constitution.


- It hears Appellate and Original cases.

- 2/3 are cases appealed from lower federal courts.

- 1/3 are cases appealed from state supreme courts.

- Rarely they hear cases that have not been heard by a lower court.


Some Appellate Cases are A school accused for racism, and a person charged with murder thinks the death penalty is unconstitutional. An example of an Original Case is N.Y and N.J dispute of the navigation on the Hudson River.