Supreme Court of USA
The Supreme Court of the USA is the highest judicial tribunal in the federation. The constitution of America vests all the judicial powers of the federation in this court and other inferior courts to be established by the Congress. The number of judges of the Supreme Court has not been fixed by the constitution. Formerly there were 6 judges, but now there are 9, including the Chief Justice although the number can be increased or decreased as and when necessary by the law of the Congress. The number of judges has stayed at 9 for the last fifty years. President Roosevelt wanted the Congress to increase the number of judges to 15 but the Congress refused to oblige.
Appointment of Supreme Court Judges
Like all other high-ranking appointments, the judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate. The Senate confirms the nomination of the President after a good deal or scrutiny. The Judiciary Committee of the Senate makes a careful examination of nomination made by the President. The report submitted by the Committee is: then considered by the Senate as a whole. When 2/3rd majority of the members of Senate give their approval the President issues the commission. As a result of this procedure, the judges of the Supreme Court have been with a few exceptions lawyers of distinction and men of a great caliber although no regular qualifications are prescribed by the constitution of America.
The judges once appointed enjoy perfect security of service. They hold office during good behavior and cannot be removed except by impeachment. Their salaries and emoluments cannot be altered during the course of their service to their disadvantage. No age of retirement is fixed by the constitution. A convention has been established that if a judge has reached the age of 70 rand has serves on the Court for a period of 10 years, he must retire. After retirement, the judges get full pay and are still considered to be federal judge.
Power of US Supreme Court
The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is both original and appellate. Its original jurisdiction is extended to the following cases:
- Cases effecting ambassadors, public ministers and consuls.
- Inter-governmental cases in which Federal Government or States arc parties.
Its appellate jurisdiction extends to all other cases falling under the federal judicial, authority. It can hear appeals from the lower federal courts and from the State High Court in cases, which involves the interpretation of the constitution of America in letter and spirit.
Sessions of Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the United States of America has its own officials and makes its own rules of procedure. The Court meets at Washington every year from October to May. The quorum is 6 and majority of 5 judges must decide for or against the case. The cases are heard on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. On Saturday, the judges confer among themselves. The decisions are arrived at by a majority vote. On Monday the judgments, are delivered.