Learning About What The SupremeCourt Does

The Supreme Court of the UnitedStates plays a massive role in our government. Their decisions impact the dailylives of millions of citizens, from our right to freedom of speech to equaltreatment for all persons under the law. Like with other branches of thegovernment, the power of the Supreme Court is limited by the system of checksand balances. But how much power does the Supreme Court indeed have? Or betteryet, what exactly does it do?

In this blog from Carpenter &Czelusta, we guide you through the basics of the United States Supreme Court.Read on to discover its primary roles and what impact it has on our daily livesas American people.


During the 1787 ConstitutionalConvention, the United States government was separated into three branches tobalance power. The legislative branch was given the role of making laws,including the House of Representatives and Senate. The executive branch Involvesthe President, Vice President, and Cabinet members, who are all responsible forenforcing the law. And the judicial branch interprets the law. The U.S. courtsystem makes up the judicial branch. And the Supreme Court, founded in 1789, isthe ultimate decider.

Initially, the Supreme Court hadsix justices, or members, to make decisions on all disputes, However, theConstitution does not specify a set number of members, and the count hasfluctuated throughout our history.


In the first 150 years of theSupreme Court, It played a much lesser role. By the 1930s, significant changeswere made, and the modern Supreme Court holds much more power. Theresponsibilities of the Supreme Court are as follows:

 It is the highest level ofthe court and has the final say in disputes.

 The Supreme Court plays apart in reinforcing the limitations of each branch of the government.

 The rights and liberties ofthe citizens are protected, and the Constitution is upheld by the SupremeCourt.

It ensures that the majorityopinion does not lead to harm for the minority.



For an individual to win a seaton the Supreme Court, there are few official requirements. The President of theUnited States appoints a delegate, and the Senate must approve. This is one ofthe President's most important jobs because they can select someone who sharestheir views. Most Presidents have had the opportunity to appoint at least oneJustice in their term.

Once the Justice is appointed,they have a seat on the court for life. There are only three ways the Justicecan lose their place of power:

·      Resignation

·      Retirement

·      Impeachment

To this day, none of the SupremeCourt Justices have been removed from their important role. In fact, only oneofficial was tried for impeachment but remained on the court. Theserestrictions are in place to keep other branches of the government from interferingwith the independence of the judiciary branch.

Each Justice leaves behind alegacy of opinions and decisions made in their time of office. Their role inhistory will impact future decisions made by the court and the American people.



All cases that make their way tothe Supreme Court have already been through the lower court system. When thelosing party feels they were treated unfairly or the dispute cannot be settledat the state level, the case is sent to the Supreme Court.

Over 10,000 cases are brought tothe court each year. This is clearly overwhelming, and it is impossible to hearand solve thousands of disputes. So, cases first pass through a lower level todetermine if the matter is pressing enough to be sent to the court. Then, thejustices vote on which cases they will officially hear and decide on.

For a case to be heard by theSupreme Court, Chey applies The Rule of Four. All this means is that four outof nine justices need to vote for the case to be heard. This results in about80 to 100 cases passing through the Supreme Court each year.


The following cases werelandmarks in our government's history that influenced future decisions andstill impact what goes on in our government today.

Marbury vs. Madison (1803)

William Marbury was a Judgeappointed by President John Adams immediately after he had lost the election tothe incoming President, Thomas Jefferson. James Madison, Jefferson's secretaryof state, refused to pass on the letter to Marbury.


In the early 1800s, the role ofthe Supreme Court was loosely defined. This case is famous for clearing up theconfusion about the Supreme Court's power. The current Chief Justice, JohnMarshall, declared the constitution is the "supreme law of the land"in the ruling of this case. And that the primary role of the court is tointerpret the law according to the U.S. Constitution.

Ultimately, it was decided thatthe job appointed to Marbury was unconstitutional. Judicial Review took itsfirst action when it was agreed that the law allowing the appointment was, infact, against the Constitution and should be struck down.

This case provided more balancein the three branches of government and set the tone for future disputes andlaws.

Brown vs. The Board of Education(1954)

During this time, the people ofAmerica were challenging segregation laws more actively than ever before. Thiscase was inspired by a young student, Linda Brown, who was required to attendan all-black school, even though she lived much closer to the all-white school

The dispute regarded theunconstitutional law of segregating schools based on race. It violated the 14thAmendment, which protects people from unequal treatment under the law.

Tinker vs. Des Moines (1969)

This case disputes the questionof freedom of speech, a unique constitutional right of the American people.Three students wore black armbands with the peace symbol to school to protestthe Vietnam War. The students were suspended from school and sued for violatingtheir right to freedom of speech.

The final opinion of the SupremeCourt ruled that students do not lose their rights when they walk through thedoors of their school.

Furthermore, it brought to lightthat freedom of speech can be more than just words. It can be clothing, art, orany other form of expression.



Realistically, the decisions bythe Supreme Court can be challenged. However, it typically requires the courtto reconsider its ruling or an amendment to the constitution.


With a trusted team ofexperienced attorneys, you won't have to worry about bringing your case to theSupreme Court. After all, only about 1% of cases sent to the court will beaddressed.

Count on the professional andcare services from Carpenter & Czelusta

We pride ourselves on putting ourall into obtaining the results you deserve. While no lawyer can guarantee aparticular outcome for you, we can pledge to you our best efforts as we do sofor every single client of our firm.

Christa Carpenter and EricCzelusta have successfully represented people and families in the followingareas of practice:

·      AutoAccidents

·      InsuranceDisputes

·      MedicalMalpractice

·      PersonalInjury

Contact us today to determine ifyou have the proof available to gain the compensation you deserve. We will worktirelessly to champion your cause and achieve Justice for you.

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