How does the supreme court work?

February 18th, 2021

In the first blog, I will briefly be going over how the Supreme Court of the United States works. It functions as the highest body of law in the country and serves to clarify and better understand this countries texts, primarily including the Constitution. When a case is going to go to the Supreme Court, it must be sent there by a lower court. A lower court is any court that is not the Supreme Court. The courts are made up of three levels, District courts, which are all over the country, Courts of Appeal, which are split up among districts of states, and the Supreme Court. When a case arrives at the lowest level, the District court, it will be resolved. If one of the parties in the case is unhappy with the result, they can appeal the case up to the next level and it will be heard. If they want to take the case to the highest level; however, it is not guaranteed. The Supreme Court is unique in that it gets to decide if it wants to hear a case and argue it. There are 9 judges on the Court called Justices. When someone wants their case to be heard by these guys, they all read the information about it, then they take a vote. When they are deciding if they even want to hear it, only 4 of the justices need to agree, whereas when they are actually deciding the case, they need 5. After a decision is made, one of the justices is put in charge of writing the “opinion” of the court. The opinion is the legal explanation of why the justices made the decision they did. This helps the lower courts handle situations that are similar in the future.