5 Interesting Facts About The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court justices served without their own building until 1935.
The Supreme Court didn't get its own building until 1935 Image courtesy of kalhh vie Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/judge-flag-justice-law-adler-317290/

When it comes to the Supreme Court, there is a unique place in the government just for it. Those who serve on it are on it for their lifetime and can even influence what the public does with their lives even after the president is done with his term. Those who serve on the Supreme Court get to tell us what to do more than the leader of our country does. Have you ever wondered about some things about the Supreme Court? Keep reading to learn 5 interesting facts about it.

History of The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court didn't convene in New York City until 1790.
The Supreme Court’s History goes all the way back to 1789. Image courtesy of 12019 via Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/frankfort-kentucky-105591/

Although there have been judges and justices serving on the Supreme Court since its establishment in 1789 and when they first convened in 1790, they didn’t have their very own building until their 146th year, which was in 1935. The court first convened in 1790 in New York City but a while later, they moved to Pennsylvania and then, finally, to Washington, where they hear the cases these days.

During the history of the Supreme Court, there have been 112 justices who have served so far. Out of those 112 justices, four of them were women and one of those women, Sonia Sotomayor, is the country’s first Latino justice. Also, out of those 112 who have served on the Supreme Court, only two have been African American. However, there have been eight Jewish justices who have served on the Supreme Court.

Seniority of the Supreme Court

Although they are usually seated by seniority, if two judges are sworn in on the same day, they then go by age of the judge.
Each Supreme Court justice is seated by seniority. Image courtesy of 12019 via Pixabay

When taking their seats in the court, the justices take their seats in order of seniority, Because of this, the chief judge takes the center seat, while the senior associate justice sits next to him on his right, the next in seniority to the chief’s left, and then they sit from right to left in order of seniority. Although this may be the case, if two judges join on the same day, the seating arrangements change and go by their age.

A President And a Chief Justice at the Same Time?

William H. Taft served as both a chief justice and a president of the USA.
Only one person served as both a chief justice of the Supreme Court and as our President, William H. Taft Image courtesy of The Digital Artist via Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/mount-rushmore-sculpture-monument-3608620/

As mentioned before, once the chief justice is appointed by the President and the Senate confirms them, they can serve as justices for the rest of their life. However, did you know that one of our former presidents was also a chief justice, serving on the Supreme Court as well? President William Howard Taft wasn’t just one of our Presidents of the United States, he also served as a chief justice from 1921 to 1930.

The First Chief Justice Sworn in on Television

Sonia Sotomayer wasn't just the first ever Latin American chief justice but she was also the only one to be sworn in publicly on television.
None of our chief justices were ever sworn in publicly except for our Latin Chief Justice, Sonia Sotomayer image courtesy of AlexAntropov86 via Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/tv-70s-60s-1960s-1970s-vintage-2213140/

More often than not, the swearing in of our Supreme Court justices is not televised. However, not only is Sonia Sotomayor the one and only chief justice that is of Latin descent but her swearing in was the only one to be televised for the public to watch. She was sworn in, in 2009 in front of the whole world to see.

Born in Another Country?

Not only was Brewer born in the country of Turkey but he and his uncle served as chief justices at the same time.
Chief Justice David Brewer was the only justice to be born in another country, Turkey image courtesy of Konevi via Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/flag-fluctuation-symbol-country-al-3733258/

Although almost all of our chief justices were born and raised in the United States of America, only one was not born in the USA. The one chief justice who was not born in America, Justice David J. Brewer was actually born in the country of Turkey. In fact, his family were missionaries and he was technically born in the Ottoman Republic in the year of 1837. Not only this, but his uncle, his mother’s brother, lived with them and he, Steven Johnson Field, also served as a Supreme Court justice. The two served together in the courts.

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