The supreme court of the United States is the top judicial organ according to article three of the country’s constitution. As a result, the court has judicial powers over other courts in the country including the federal and state courts. The court is tasked with various judicial and constitutional interpretation roles in the country. It is led by the chief justice together with other eight appellate judges who are appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate (McShane & Williams, 1997). Apart from creating the Supreme Court, article three also empowered the senate to establish other courts including the federal judicial system.
Importance of the supreme court to the United States
United States Supreme Court is tasked with judicial authority over the interpretation of the country’s constitution. Under this role, the court is mandated with the role of interpreting the legality of congressional enactments and laws. As a result, the United States Supreme Court has resolved various conflicts over legislations from congress. Apart from congressional enactments, the Supreme Court is also mandated to evaluate the legal implications of federal and state statutes with the intention of determining their conformity with the United States constitution. The constitutional interpretation role places the Supreme Court at the top of the country’s hierarchy (McShane & Williams, 1997).
Structure of the United States supreme and federal court
In the United States judicial system, the Supreme Court is the highest organ assisted with other courts within the federal judicial system. As a result, the United States congress created two divisions under the Supreme Court to decide other non-constitutional cases. These include the trial and the appellate courts which are tasked with handling other cases as shall be determined by the Supreme Court leadership. The cases determined by the Supreme Court in a year are determined by guidelines established by congress.
The federal court of the United States was also created and organized by congress under article three of the constitution. Despite the power vested upon congress to create and disband the judicial structures, few new levels have been created since 1789. The federal court of the United States is made up of four judicial courts. These include the constitutional court, legislative court, the judicial circuits and the court of appeal. The constitutional court is tasked with handling special purpose cases as shall be determined by congress. Judges serving in this court are appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate. The legislative courts are established by congress to hear specific cases affecting the country. For example, a legislative court was established in the 20th century to decide territorial disputes in the country (McShane & Williams, 1997).
Powers and limits of the court system
The supreme and federal courts have constitutional interpretation powers in the United States which affect legislations within congress and other state assemblies. Despite this massive constitutional power, the courts have certain limitations that have affected the execution of their roles. The United States court system is controlled by congress as contained in article three sections two. Congress has the constitutional power to decide cases that are heard by different levels of the court system. A strong congress presents massive challenges to the judicial system due to political interference (McShane & Williams, 1997).
Despite the weaknesses and challenges that have faced the supreme and federal courts, significant progress has been made. The courts have fulfilled their mandate and continue to work towards protecting and upholding the powers of the constitution.
McShane, M. & Williams, F. (1997). The American court system. New York: Garland Publishers.