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Supreme Court of the United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Established March 4, 1789; 231 years ago (1789-03-04)
Country United States of America
Location Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°53′26″N 77°00′16″W / 38.89056°N 77.00444°W / 38.89056; -77.00444Coordinates: 38°53′26″N 77°00′16″W / 38.89056°N 77.00444°W / 38.89056; -77.00444
Composition method Presidential nomination with Senate confirmation
Authorized by Constitution of the United States
Judge term length Life tenure
Number of positions 9 (by statute)
Chief Justice of the United States
Currently John Roberts
Since September 29, 2005; 15 years ago (2005-09-29)

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States of America. Because of this, the Court leads the Judicial Branch of the United States Federal Government. It is the only U.S. court established by the United States Constitution. Its decisions are supposed to be followed by all other courts in the United States. The Court meets in its own building in Washington, D.C. However, until 1935, the Supreme Court met in the United States Capitol.

The Supreme Court chooses which cases it will decide on. Many people ask the Supreme Court to decide their cases, but the court refuses most of them. For the Supreme Court to decide a case, the case must be about federal law or be about the laws of more than one state. Cases must first be decided by a federal District Court and a federal Court of Appeals or by a state supreme court. Even after that, the Supreme Court can choose not to decide a case for any reason. There are some cases that can start in the Supreme Court and that the Supreme Court must decide, but those are usually rare.

The justices serve for life unless they want to retire earlier or are impeached. If a justice retires, he or she can still be asked to serve as a judge on a federal Court of Appeals. New justices are nominated (picked) by the President of the United States, and then must be approved by the United States Senate.

Current justices

There are currently nine justices on the Supreme Court: Chief Justice John Roberts and eight associate justices. Among the current members of the Court, Clarence Thomas is the longest-serving justice, with a tenure of &&&&&&&&&&010631.&&&&&010,631 days (29 years, 38 days) as of November 30, 2020; the most recent justice to join the court is Amy Coney Barrett, whose tenure began on October 27, 2020.

Justice /
birthdate and place
Appointed by SCV Age at Start date /
length of service
Previous position or office
(most recent prior to joining the Court)
Succeeded
Start Present
File-Official roberts CJ cropped.jpg Roberts, JohnJohn Roberts
January 27, 1955
Buffalo, New York
Bush, GWG. W. Bush 78–22 50 65 September 29, 2005
15 years, 62 days
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (2003–2005) Rehnquist
Clarence Thomas official SCOTUS portrait (cropped).jpg Thomas, ClarenceClarence Thomas
June 23, 1948
Pin Point, Georgia
Bush, GHWG. H. W. Bush 52–48 43 72 October 23, 1991
29 years, 38 days
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1990–1991) Marshall
Stephen Breyer official SCOTUS portrait crop.jpg Breyer, StephenStephen Breyer
August 15, 1938
San Francisco, California
Clinton, Bill Clinton 87–9 55 82 August 3, 1994
26 years, 119 days
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1990–1994) Blackmun
Samuel Alito official photo (cropped).jpg Alito, SamuelSamuel Alito
April 1, 1950
Trenton, New Jersey
Bush, GWG. W. Bush 58–42 55 70 January 31, 2006
14 years, 304 days
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1990–2006) O'Connor
Sonia Sotomayor in SCOTUS robe crop.jpg Sotomayor, SoniaSonia Sotomayor
June 25, 1954
The Bronx, New York
Obama, Barack Obama 68–31 55 66 August 8, 2009
11 years, 114 days
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1998–2009) Souter
Elena Kagan-1-1.jpg Kagan, ElenaElena Kagan
April 28, 1960
Manhattan, New York
Obama, Barack Obama 63–37 50 60 August 7, 2010
10 years, 115 days
Solicitor General of the United States (2009–2010) Stevens
Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch Official Portrait (cropped 2).jpg Gorsuch, NeilNeil Gorsuch
August 29, 1967
Denver, Colorado
Trump, Donald Trump 54–45 49 53 April 10, 2017
3 years, 234 days
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (2006–2017) Scalia
Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh Official Portrait.jpg Kavanaugh, BrettBrett Kavanaugh
February 12, 1965
Washington, D.C.
Trump, Donald Trump 50–48 53 55 October 6, 2018
2 years, 55 days
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (2006–2018) Kennedy
Amy Coney Barrett (Cropped).jpg Barrett, Amy ConeyAmy Coney Barrett
January 28, 1972
New Orleans, Louisiana
Trump, Donald Trump 52–48 48 48 October 27, 2020
34 days
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (2017–2020) Ginsburg
     Source: 

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