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The Supreme Court of the United States

United States Supreme Court Building, One First Street NE., Washington, DC 20543




Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer
Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Associate Justice Elena Kagan
Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch



Clerk Scott S. Harris
Court Counsel Ethan V. Torrey
Curator Catherine E. Fitts
Director of Information Technology Robert J. Hawkins
Librarian Linda Maslow
Marshal Pamela Talkin
Public Information Officer Kathleen L. Arberg
Reporter of Decisions Christine L. Fallon

Article III, section 1, of the Constitution of the United States provides that "[t]he judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

The Supreme Court of the United States was created in accordance with this provision and by authority of the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789 (1 Stat. 73). It was organized on February 2, 1790. Article III, section 2, of the Constitution defines the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court comprises the Chief Justice of the United States and such number of Associate Justices as may be fixed by Congress, which is currently fixed at eight (28 U.S.C. 1). The President nominates the Justices with the advice and consent of the Senate. Article III, section 1, of the Constitution further provides that "[t]he Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office."

Court officers assist the Court in the performance of its functions. They include: the Counselor to the Chief Justice, the Clerk, the Court Counsel, the Curator, the Director of Information Technology, the Librarian, the Marshal, the Public Information Officer, and the Reporter of Decisions.

Appellate Jurisdiction

Various statutes, derived from the authority that the Constitution has given to Congress, confer appellate jurisdiction upon the Supreme Court. The basic statute effective at this time in conferring and controlling jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be found in 28 U.S.C. 1251, 1253, 1254, 1257-1259, and various special statutes. Congress has no authority to change the original jurisdiction of this Court.

Court Term

The term of the Court begins on the first Monday in October and lasts until the first Monday in October of the next year. Over the course of a term, approximately 10,000 petitions are filed for cases to be briefed before the Court. Moreover, each year, about 1,200 applications that can be acted upon by a single Justice while serving in the capacity of a Circuit Justice are filed.


From time to time, Congress has conferred upon the Supreme Court power to prescribe rules of procedure to be followed by the lower courts of the United States.

Sources of Information


The Office of the Curator develops exhibitions to highlight the work of the Nation's highest Court, the lives of individual Justices, and the architecture of the Supreme Court building.

News Media

Media advisories, press releases, speeches, and Year-End Reports on the Federal judiciary are accessible online. Information on the requirements and procedures for issuing Supreme Court press credentials is also available.

Public Access

The Supreme Court is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekdays, except on Federal holidays. Unless the Court or Chief Justice orders otherwise, the Clerk's office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays, except on Federal holidays. The library is open to members of the bar of the Court, attorneys for the various Federal departments and agencies, and Members of Congress.

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