Welcome to the weekly QuizCap, a fun way to test your knowledge on what’s going on in Washington. This week is everything Supreme Court! Learn about the qualifications of Justices, landmark cases, and even their salaries!
Supreme Court fever has hit Capitol Hill and Pursuit this week! The Senate will soon decide whether or not Brett Kavanaugh will be one of nine Supreme Court justices. How many Justices have sat on the Supreme Court?
A total of 113 people have served on the Supreme Court since it was established in 1789. If confirmed, Brett Kavanaugh will be the 114th.
The Supreme Court is led by a Chief Justice. The Chief Justice serves as the chief judge of the Supreme Court and is thus the head of the United States federal court system. Who is the current Chief Justice?
John Roberts is only the 17th person to serve as the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice. The first? John Jay.
How is the Chief Justice chosen?
According to the Supreme Court’s website, “Like the Associate Justices, the Chief Justice is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. There is no requirement that the Chief Justice serve as an Associate Justice, but 5 of the 17 Chief Justices have served on the Court as Associate Justices prior to becoming Chief Justice.”
How many justices are on the Supreme Court according to the United States Constitution?
The power to determine the number of Justices is up to Congress. The first Judiciary Act of 1789 set the number at six. Over the years it has fluctuated all the way up to ten, down to five. Though there have been attempts to change, most notably FDR’s court packing push in the 1930’s, there has been no change since 1869.
How long do Supreme Court Justices serve?
The Constitution says that Justices "shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour." Which basically means Justices hold office as long as they choose and can only be removed from office by impeachment. Associate Justice Samuel Chase was impeached in 1805, but was acquitted by the Senate.
Who was the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court?
In 1967, President B. Lyndon Johnson nominated Marshall to succeed retiring Associate Justice Tom C. Clark. Thomas was succeeded by the second African American Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, who still serves on the Supreme Court today.
Who was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court?
Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman to become a Justice in 1981 when she was appointed by Ronald Reagan. She served until 2006 and is succeeded by Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
According to the United States Constitution, what qualifications must Supreme Court Justices have?
The Constitution says nothing about qualifications for judges. Instead, it gives the president the power to appoint judges to the Supreme Court "by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate," but says nothing about qualifications.
What is the salary of a Supreme Court justice?
Associate Justices make $251,800, while the Chief Justice makes $263,300. In Comparison, the President of the United States makes $400,000 and members of Congress make $174,000.
About how many cases do the Justices decide each year?
According to the Supreme Court’s website, “The Court receives approximately 7,000-8,000 petitions for a writ of certiorari each Term. The Court grants and hears oral argument in about 80 cases.”
Now that we know the basics of the Supreme Court, it’s time for some landmark cases. Which 1954 Supreme Court case declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional?
The decision overturned a previous Supreme Court ruling, Plessy v. Ferguson, which allowed state-sponsored segregation (separate but equal). The court made a unanimous decision and famously stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
What did the case United States v. Nixon decide in 1974 by unanimous decision?
The case arose out of the Watergate scandal where burglars broke into Democratic headquarters in the Watergate hotel. The court’s decision ordered him to deliver tape recordings and other subpoenaed materials to a federal district court. President Nixon resigned office shortly after and was given a pardon by his successor, Gerald Ford.
What happens if there is a tie vote in a Supreme Court decision?
Split decisions uphold the lower court’s ruling. When there is a tie, the court typically issues a “per curiam decision,” instead of a majority and minority opinion.
What did Congress do to address the national debt and unfunded liabilities crisis this week?
The Senate and House are back in session, and much of the political world was focused on the Supreme Court hearing. They've got until the end of the month to pass the last of the spending bills for FY2019. Tick tock.
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