What Does SCOTUS Mean?

Learn about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), its history, role, landmark cases, and statistics. Find out how SCOTUS influences American law and society.


SCOTUS is an acronym that stands for Supreme Court of the United States. It is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States and has the authority to interpret the Constitution and determine the constitutionality of laws.

History of SCOTUS

The Supreme Court was established by Article III of the United States Constitution in 1789. It was designed to be the final arbiter of the constitutionality of laws and to ensure that the rights and liberties of American citizens are protected.

Role of SCOTUS

SCOTUS plays a crucial role in the American legal system by interpreting the Constitution, resolving disputes between states, and ensuring that the laws of the land are consistent with the principles enshrined in the Constitution.

Landmark Cases

  • Brown v. Board of Education (1954): This case declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional, overturning the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson.
  • Roe v. Wade (1973): In this case, the Court ruled that the right to privacy included a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.
  • Citizens United v. FEC (2010): This case held that political spending by corporations and unions is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment.


As of 2021, the Supreme Court has nine justices, including one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. The Court receives around 7,000-8,000 petitions for writ of certiorari each term but only hears about 100-150 cases. The decisions of the Supreme Court have lasting impacts on American society and law.


SCOTUS is a vital institution in American democracy, ensuring that the principles of the Constitution are upheld and that the rights of citizens are protected. Its decisions shape the legal landscape of the country and have a lasting impact on society.

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