Since newly formed government.From 1787 until the mid-nineteenth

Since the American Constitution was thefirst written constitution in the world, it created an entire wealth of laws and interpretations for the newly formed government.From 1787 until the mid-nineteenth century, the Supreme Court had to create policies and procedures while it heard cases.It literally had to “define itself” (Davis).While the founding fathers created a court system in 1787, it took until 1789 to truly define it and set up the basic system of the courts, which includes district courts and circuit courts.Historian Davis continues, “Three circuits, consisting of one district court judge and two Supreme Court justices, heard criminal cases and civil suits as well as appeals from the district courts” (Davis).Thus, the system was very different than it is today, where Supreme Court judges only rule on cases that have made it through the layers of district and state courts underneath them.In addition, Supreme Court justices were appointed to hold office as long as they had “good behavior” (Semonche 24), and that has always meant for “life” in the interpretation of the Court.Historian Semonche continues, “From the very beginning, then, the Court was charged with maintaining the national authority and, with it, the Union itself” (Semonche 40).That tradition continues today, with the word of the Supreme Court the final ruling in the courts of the nation.
The original Court consisted of six judges, which was raised to seven in 1807, because of a growing population, and rose to nine in 1837, and ten during the Civil War.The Court dropped back to eight justices in 1866, and up to nine in 1869, the number that still rule today.Historian Davis notes, “Today, the Court oversees 13 Courts of Appeal (Circuit Courts) and 94 District Courts in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.These courts, along with specialized legi…