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Study Notes

Supreme Court and the Constitution

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

The US Constitution outlines the function and powers of the judiciary in Article III. Section 1 of Article III outlines the Supreme Court as the only judicial power in the US. However, Congress and ‘ordain and establish new courts’ where it feels necessary.

In addition to this the Constitution outlines the rights of justices who are appointed. Namely all justices that are appointed are appointed for life during good behaviour and will receive a salary, that cannot be reduced during their time in office.

There is however no mention of judicial review in the Constitution, it is important remember that this is a self-given power by the Supreme Court and has no constitutional basis. Finally the Constitution does not recommend or require a number of justices to serve on the Supreme Court. This matter is for Congress to determine.

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