Definition of Supreme Court

Discover the definition of the Supreme Court, its role in interpreting laws, examples of landmark cases, and key statistics. Explore the highest judicial body in the legal system.

What is the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in a country or state, responsible for interpreting and applying the laws of the land. It serves as the final arbiter of legal disputes and ensures the constitutionality of legislation.

Role of the Supreme Court

One of the main functions of the Supreme Court is to review and overturn decisions made by lower courts. It also has the power to declare laws unconstitutional, making it a powerful check on government authority. The Supreme Court plays a crucial role in shaping legal precedents that guide future rulings.

Examples of Supreme Court Cases

  • Brown v. Board of Education (1954): In this landmark case, the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, paving the way for desegregation.
  • Roe v. Wade (1973): This case established a woman’s right to have an abortion as a fundamental constitutional right.
  • Citizens United v. FEC (2010): The Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as individuals, allowing for unlimited political spending.

Statistics on the Supreme Court

As of 2021, the United States Supreme Court has nine justices, including one Chief Justice. The average age of justices at appointment is about 53, and they serve for life, ensuring stability and independence in their decisions. The court receives around 7,000-8,000 petitions for review each term but hears only about 100-150 cases.

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