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The Supreme Court: the Laws of the Land
Part 1: Nuts and Bolts

More of this Feature

• Part 2: Procedures of the Court

On This Site

The U.S. Federal Court System
The Current Members of the Supreme Court
Justice Sotomayor: the Newest Member of the Supreme Court
The First Meeting of the Supreme Court
Marbury v. Madison
The U.S. Government

Elsewhere on the Web

Supreme Court official site
Supreme Court opinions
Rules of the Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. All rulings issued by the Supreme Court are final, unless they are overturned by subsequent Supreme Court rulings.

The Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government consists of a large number of courts that can be grouped into three main areas: District Courts, Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. As the highest court, the Supreme Court hears appeals from either level of the two lower courts.

The Supreme Court has nine members: one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. As of 2017, the members of the Court are as follows:

  • John Roberts, Chief Justice
  • Stephen Breyer
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Neil Gorsuch
  • Anthony Kennedy
  • Antonin Scalia
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • John Paul Stevens
  • Clarence Thomas.

(Note: John Roberts is officially the Chief Justice of the United States, not Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.)

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