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Fast Fact: Supreme Court

A supreme court is usually the highest court in a country. This court can make decisions about laws and can often change decisions made by other courts. This means that it is usually also the most powerful court in the country.

United States Supreme Court Building
United States Supreme Court Building
(Source: Joe Ravi, from Wikimedia Commons.)

The Supreme Court of the United States can make final decisions about laws that affect all of the US. The US Supreme Court has nine members, called “justices”. These justices are chosen by the president and the US Senate must agree with the choice. Once the justices are chosen, they keep their jobs for the rest of their lives, or until they decide to quit.

The US Supreme Court is at the top of the judicial branch   of the US government. It has great power to decide which laws are okay and which are not. The justices must use the rules of the country – the US constitution – as their guide.

Seal of the Supreme Court of the United States
Seal of the Supreme Court of the United States
(Source: OptimagerVector/Ipankonin, via Wikimedia Commons.)

In the past, the US Supreme Court has made decisions that many people disagreed about. These decisions changed the history of the country. For example, the court has made decisions about how people are treated, who can get married, and even how to define what a “person” is.

Washington, DC


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