Help Wanted

The Judicial Branch

What the Job Includes:

  • interpret the complex wording of the Constitution
  • answer questions about laws from other courts
  • decide if the government is doing its job
  • decide if the president's actions are unconstitutional
  • rule on important cases

Kinds of Cases the Supreme Court Rules On:

The Supreme Court usually makes decisions of national importance.

Their decisions are final. While lower courts can be questioned, the Supreme Court can't. Their decisions are applied to every court in the country.

Original Jurisdiction-these cases go directly to the Supreme Court

Such as:

  • cases where a state is a party
  • cases involving foreign leaders
  • cases affecting ambassadors

Appellate Jurisdiction-these cases started in lower courts, but were appealed to the Supreme Court(only about 150 cases are ruled on in a year, out of thousands)

Cases involving whether or not an action is constitutional

Such as:

  • cases involving basic freedoms and civil rights
  • cases involving discrimination
  • cases involving the death penalty
  • cases involving state funds

How to Become a Member of the Supreme Court:

Justices are appointed by the President, and approved by the Senate.

This is not required, but to get the Senate's approval, you should have experience and a law degree.

Current Members:

  • Chief Justice - John G Roberts Jr
  • Antonin Scalia
  • Clarence Thomas
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Stephen G Breyer
  • Samuel A Alito
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Elena Kagan