Judicial Branch Facts

Judicial Branch Facts
The Judicial Branch of the U.S. government is made up of federal courts and judges. The judges are appointed by the President of the United States and they are confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Federal Supreme Court judges, also called Justices, are appointed for life, and because they are not elected they are free to make decisions based on conscience not on election promises. Individuals convicted of a crime can appeal the decision all the way to the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the United States. The Judicial Branch of the United States government was established by Article III of the U.S. Constitution.
Interesting Judicial Branch Facts:
The Judicial Branch is determined by the U.S. Congress and the U.S. President.
Congress is able to determine the number of Supreme Court judges. There have been as few as six and as many as nine at one time.
A federal Supreme Court judge can only be removed from their position by retirement, death, or by impeachment. Because they do not need to be worried about their 'popularity' they can base court decisions on law and justice and not winning electoral votes.
The Constitution is the highest law in the United States, and decisions in the Judicial Branch of the government involve determining the meaning of laws, and how they should be applied in real life situations. It also determines whether a law breaks the Constitution's laws.
Some states have Supreme Courts but these are not the highest court. Federal law still has jurisdiction over state laws. So the federal Supreme Court in the United States has jurisdiction over any state Supreme Court.
There are an estimated 7,500 requests for review of cases sent to the Supreme Court in the United States each year. Only approximately 150 of those cases are actually reviewed by the Supreme Court. A lot of the work at the Supreme Court level involves reviewing cases and there are very few actual trials.
When the Supreme Court agrees to review a case it issues a 'writ of certiorari'. If four of the nine Supreme Court judges agree that the case should be heard then the case is reviewed.
A common cause for issuing a 'writ of certiorari' is if at least two federal courts of appeals have made different rulings on a question of federal law.
If they are found guilty in a Supreme Court ruling they can't appeal the decision to a higher court because there isn't one. The only way to change a Supreme Court ruling is to have another Supreme Court decision made, or to have an amendment to the Constitution made.
Most cases that make it to the Supreme Court are challenging the U.S. Constitution.
There are currently nine Justices (Supreme Court judges). Out of these nine is the Chief Justice.
In order to become a Supreme Court judge (Justice), there are no specific qualifications, but most have been trained in law. The U.S. President can nominate anyone they choose, but the Senate must approve the nominee. If the Senate decides against the nominee the President must then supply them with another nominee.


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