The Supreme Court is the final judge in all cases involving laws of Congress, and the highest law of all — the Constitution. The Supreme Court, however, is far from all-powerful. Its power is limited by the other two branches of government. The President nominates justices to the court.
The Supreme Court of the United States is the only court specifically established by the Constitution of the United States, implemented in 1789; under the Judiciary Act of 1789, the Court was to be composed of six members—though the number of justices has been nine for most of its history, this number is set by ...
The United States Supreme Court is a federal court, meaning in part that it can hear cases prosecuted by the U.S. government. (The Court also decides civil cases.) The Court can also hear just about any kind of state-court case, as long as it involves federal law, including the Constitution.
The Supreme Court receives about 10,000 petitions a year. The Justices use the "Rule of Four” to decide if they will take the case. If four of the nine Justices feel the case has value, they will issue a writ of certiorari. ... The majority of the Supreme Court's cases today are heard on appeal from the lower courts.
As an appeals court, the Supreme Court does not convene new jury trials but rather reviews the decisions of lower court judges and juries. As the Justices on the Court begin to weigh the merits of the cases that come before them, attorneys on both sides of the case present oral arguments in the Supreme Court chamber.
Procedures for bringing cases before the Supreme Court have changed significantly over time. ... By petition for a writ of certiorari, filed by a party to a case that has been decided by one of the United States courts of appeals or by the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
The Supreme Court decides to hear a case based on at least four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court agreeing to grant the Petition for Certiorari. If four Justices agree to grant the petition, the Supreme Court will consider the case. ... A petition for Writ Certiorari is a request that the court hear your case.
Supreme Court cases come in three varieties. Least numerous are the "original jurisdiction" actions, brought by one state against another, or between states and the federal government. The Constitution also empowers the Court to hear "all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls."
The Court is, typically, in recess from late June/early July until the first Monday in October. The Court hears oral arguments in cases from October through April. From October through December, arguments are heard during the first two weeks of each month.