Next month marks the birth of the Supreme Court. Established on September 24th, 1789, the Supreme Court is the only court that was specifically created by the Constitution in the United States. Initially, the Supreme Court was comprised of six members and they met for the first time on February 2nd, 1790. Their first meeting place was in the Old City Hall in Philadelphia and then later in the basement of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. The Supreme Court as we know it now came about with Chief Justice John Marshall’s term. The highest operating federal court in the United States, there are quite a few interesting facts about the Supreme Court you may not know.
It took almost 150 years to receive a permanent address
It wasn’t until 1935 that the Supreme Court received a permanent address at its own building in Washington D.C. Prior to this, meetings were held at multiple locations. From 1861 to 1935, the court met in the Old Senate Chamber in a tight chamber – the justices would eat lunch in the robing room! Finally, Chief Justice William Howard Taft petitioned for a Supreme Court Building.
Speaking of William Howard Taft…
William Howard Taft is the only president that also served as chief justice of the Supreme Court. 27th President of the United States, Taft advocated for the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1925, otherwise known as the Judge’s Bill, during his reign as chief justice. He resigned from the court due to poor health and unfortunately died before the new Supreme Court building opened.
Two justices appeared on U.S. currency
While they are no longer in circulation, two justices appeared on the $500 bill and the $10,000 bill. John Marshall was on the $500 bill and Salmon P. Chase was on the $10,000 bill.
The second chief justice didn’t last very long
After only a few months on the job, John Rutledge’s left the court. In 1795, Rutledge was appointed to replace John Jay, however, in a public speech he criticized Congress. A few months later, his permanent nomination to the bench was rejected by the Senate.
‘Til death do you part
Once a Justice is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, they are able to serve for life. They enjoy lifelong benefits, but they can also resign if they choose to.