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TaneshaBrenno- The Supreme Court

TaneshaBrenno- The Supreme Court

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Published by Tanesha Brenno

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Published by: Tanesha Brenno on Mar 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 The Role and Importance of the Supreme Court
Introduction and Purpose
 The main functions of Supreme Courts are to: Settle disputes between States, hear appeals fromstate and Federal courts, and to determine the constitutionality of federal laws. The SupremeCourt of the United States is considered the High Court of judicial powers in acting in a "judicialreview manner in overturning laws and executive acts unconstitutional" (Mendelson, 1992, p.775). With the words, "Equal Justice Under Law" written prominently above the main doors of the Supreme Court located in Washington, D.C., the Supreme Court Building is an architecturaldesign symbolic of its Constitutional enforcement of legal equality for all.From its marble figures that flank the main steps to its bronze flagpole with symbolic designsand the four elements of earth, wind, fire and water and the bronze doors that open into itsmajestic entry, the Supreme Court remains the core landmark symbolizing the ultimate Americanjustice system. The marble figures consisting of a female figure symbolizing the "Contemplationof Justice," and a male figure representing "The Guardian or Authority of Law,"(http://www.supremecourtus.gov/about/courtbuilding.pdf ) pp. 1, show equality, but inside thebuilding lays an interesting equality in structure and personnel representing the Justices and theAmerican people who are being served in the most public legal forum: the Supreme Court. 
Structure and Personnel
The Supreme Court is comprised of the following Chief Justice and Associate Justices:
Chief Justice: John G. Roberts Jr.
Associate Justice: John P. Stevens
Associate Justice: Anthony M. Kennedy
Associate Justice: Clarence Thomas
Associate Justice: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Associate Justice: Stephen G. Breyer 
Associate Justice: Samuel A. Alito Jr.
Associate Justice: Sonia Sotomayor 
Retired Justice: Sandra Day O'Connor 
Retired Justice: David H. Souter (http://www.supremecourtus.gov/about/briefoverview.pdf%20pp%201-2.  The Supreme Court nominations are vested by the President of the United States and finalappointment is made by the Senate. There are a number of Officers that work to maintain thedaily functioning of the Supreme Court and those positions range from Counselor to the Chief Justice to Public Information Officer. The Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life barringretirement, death, resignation or criminal impeachment from office.
Lawyers who have been granted a Supreme Court venue to appeal court cases are given thirtyminutes to present their arguments and during each session the Justices can review the decisionsin up to 24 cases (http://www/supremecourtus.gov/about/procedures.pdf%20p.1). The Justicesuse the Constitution in directing and supporting final decision-making in the cases beingappealed. Like any other job, the Justices have recesses and take time off. During the regular weekday, the schedule consists of public sessions with none being held the last two days of theweek. The Justices have conference times to review cases arguments and vote on which casepetitions will be heard during session. Cases that have been rejected for review are publicallyreported as an "order list" along with additional public information on reviews in cases andappeals.
Discretional Powers
 As an appellate court of final decisions and appeals, the Supreme Court publishes aSupreme Court calendar announcing its current term with color codes of red, blue and green tosignify argument, non-argument and conference days(http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/09TermCourtCalendar.pdf%20p.%201
). Thescope of the Supreme Court lies in its use of the Constitution as the backbone in applying therules of law in its final reviews, decisions and case arguments.For the American people, the Supreme Court represents an ultimate democracy in beinglegally protected from laws and judgments that are unconstitutional. Within the power of judicialreview, the Supreme Court has been given "a crucial responsibility in assuring protection of individual rights, as well in maintaining a "living Constitution" whose broad provisions arecontinually applied to complicated new situations"(http://www/supremecourtus.gov/about/courtconstitutionalinterpretation.pdf%20p.1).There are both positives and negatives in the Supreme Court structure and decision-making in conferring legal affirmations. The gender diversity still leans towards a male power base and strength in final decision-making. However, the positive existence of having a SupremeCourt is that there is a promise of equal protection and justice under the law which has continuedits consistency in that regard for hundreds of years.
The Supreme Court is an American icon symbolizing the balance of legal powers andjurisdictions. Its inherent constitutional governance has navigated an equitable judicial review inupholding the dictates of the American Constitution. The balance in legal constraint that theSupreme Court adheres to has created strong governance for the American people being served.The United States and its Supreme Court are unique like no other government structure in theglobal world in actualizing the Constitution to preserve the democracy of the legal rights of America just as its fore-fathers did two centuries ago.

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