With all the news pertaining to the Supreme Court today, how about a look back to how it all started. Article Three of the U.S. Constitution, established the U.S. Supreme Court and took effect in March of 1789. The Constitution gave the Supreme Court ultimate jurisdiction over all laws, but specifically those in which constitutionality is at issue. It was also designated to rule on cases concerning United States treaties, foreign diplomats, admiralty practice and maritime jurisdiction.

Also in September 1789, the Judiciary Act was passed, implementing Article Three by providing for six justices who would serve on the court for life.

President George Washington, appointed John Jay of New York, to preside as chief justice.

Associate justice appointments included:

John Rutledge of South Carolina,

William Cushing of Massachusetts,

John Blair of Virginia,

Robert Harrison of Maryland,

James Wilson of Pennsylvania.

It's interesting to note that all 6 appointments by President Washington, were confirmed by the U.S. Senate in only 2 days. My, how times have changed.

The Court's first session was held on February 1, 1790, in the Royal Exchange Building in New York City, New York, which at the time was our Nation's Capitol.



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