The First Supreme Court 1789
The Judiciary Act of 1789 is passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. That day, President Washington nominated John Jay to preside as chief justice, and John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson to be associate justices. On September 26, all six appointments were confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The U.S. Supreme Court was established by Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution granted the Supreme Court ultimate jurisdiction over all laws, especially those in which their constitutionality was at issue. The high court was also designated to oversee cases concerning treaties of the United States, foreign diplomats, admiralty practice, and maritime jurisdiction. On February 1, 1790, the first session of the U.S. Supreme Court was held in New York City’s Royal Exchange Building.
The U.S. Supreme Court grew into the most important judicial body in the world in terms of its central place in the American political order. According to the Constitution, the size of the court is set by Congress, and the number of justices varied during the 19th century before stabilizing in 1869 at nine. In times of constitutional crisis, the nation’s highest court has always played a definitive role in resolving, for better or worse, the great issues of the time.
(More Events on This Day in History)
“Last Train To Clarksville” gives the made-for-TV Monkees a real-life pop hit
When producers Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson conceived a situation comedy called The Monkees in 1965, they hoped to create a ratings success by blurring the line between pop music and television. Instead, they succeeded in obliterating that line entirely when the pop group that ...
Muhammad completes Hegira
On this day in 622, the prophet Muhammad completes his Hegira, or “flight,” from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution. In Medina, Muhammad set about building the followers of his religion–Islam–into an organized community and Arabian power. The Hegira would later mark the ...
WORLD WAR II
Japanese gather preliminary data on Pearl Harbor
On this day in 1941, the Japanese consul in Hawaii is instructed to divide Pearl Harbor into five zones and calculate the number of battleships in each zone—and report the findings back to Japan.Relations between the United States and Japan had been deteriorating quickly since ...
WORLD WAR I
Bulgaria seeks ceasefire with Allied powers
On September 24, 1918, the government of Bulgaria issues an official statement announcing it had sent a delegation to seek a ceasefire with the Allied powers that would end Bulgaria’s participation in World War I.After being secretly courted as an ally by both sides in the ...
Political instability continues in South Vietnam
In Saigon, Hue, and Da Nang, demonstrations are staged against the recent election of President Nguyen Van Thieu and Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky, led by the militant Buddhist faction, who charge that the elections were rigged and demand that the Constituent Assembly cancel the ...
McNamara and Taylor assess situation in Vietnam
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Gen. Maxwell Taylor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrive in Vietnam. At President John F. Kennedy’s request, they were to determine whether South Vietnam’s military situation had deteriorated as a result of the continuing clash ...