This Day in History: The U.S. Supreme Court Meets for the First Time in NY

This Day in History: The U.S. Supreme Court Meets for the First Time in NY

On February 1, 1790, the United States Supreme Court held its first session in New York City, the nation's capital at the time.

The Supreme Court met in the Royal Exchange Building on Broad Street before moving to Philadelphia the next year. Justice John Jay presided after President George Washington appointed six justices to the court and after the U.S. Senate approved the appointments. Washington would go on to appoint eleven justices to the court, the most of any president in history.

It took 145 years for the Supreme Court to have its own building. In 1929, Congress authorized $9.74 million for a Supreme Court building. The marble structure was finished in 1935.

More than 100 justices have served since the Supreme Court opened. Of those, only 50 have chosen to retire.

From the start, the Supreme Court was granted the ultimate jurisdiction over all laws, especially those in which constitutionality is at issue. Today, the court takes on cases when the lower courts disagree about how to interpret Federal laws. 

According to History.com, the Supreme Court is presented with around 10,000 cases to review annually, but ultimately, it only hears an estimated 80 cases.

photos credit: Google Maps


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