Three Things You Probably Dont Know About Scotus

April 1, 2021
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Three Truths On The High Court

Surprising facts on the
Supreme Court Of The United States
(aka SCOTUS)

The Constitution is silent about who may be a Justice

  • Unlike members of Congress or President, the Constitution does not impose any age, citizenship, or residency requirements for Justices.
  • In fact, there’s no requirement that a Justice be a lawyer or even that they graduate from law school, although every Justice in Court history has received some form of legal training.

The number of Justices is not set by the Constitution

  • The Constitution says nothing about how many Justices the Court should have; it left the decision up to Congress, which set it at 9 in 1869. Previously, the number fluctuated between 5 and 10.
  • In fact, only 6 justices are required to hear a case. When there’s an even number (ex: 8) of Justices, however, there’s a greater possibility of tied (ex: 4-4) decisions.

The Court accepts about 1% of cases it’s asked to review

  • The Court receives requests for it to hear between 7,000 to 8,000 cases each year, but it only agrees to hear about 80 of them. 4 of the 9 Justices must consent to hear a case.
  • The vast majority of cases heard by the Court are appeals from lower federal & state courts. The court has “original jurisdiction” in specific situations only (ex: disputes between two states).

Our next Supreme Court Justice will be the 115th in our nation's history. Like all federal judges, Supreme Court Justices serve lifetime appointments. Congress may remove a Justice via impeachment, but that's never happened.

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