The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the whole country, which means that it has the role of receiving appeals and over federal and state courts in the fifty states; particularly in cases involving issues of federal law. Similarly, the Supreme Court is the final legal instance in the country, and its interpretation of the federal constitutional law is final when it has jurisdiction over a case. Hence, the Supreme Court frequently plays the role of an arbiter, when it comes to the most important and divisive issues in the country.

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The Court is composed of nine unelected officials: The Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices. The Article II of the United States Constitution states, particularly in the second clause, states that “the president shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the  Senate, shall appoint Judges of the Supreme Court” (U.S. Const. Art. II, cl. 2).

Therefore, The president nominates these officials and, once they are confirmed into their functions by the Senate, they have life tenure unless they resign or are removed. However, to be removed, the judges have to go through an impeachment process and no justice has been removed from its chair through a political trial. One of the most interesting parts of the Chief Justice and its associates is the fact the Justices have particular philosophical and political leanings that can change the way they see a case; and, while most decisions are reached unanimously, each Justice has a vote and can exercise its free will in every matter they see fit.

Under that perspective, the main purpose of the Supreme Court is not to create law; on the contrary, the Supreme Court has the function of serving as an interpreter of the United States Constitution. The Court has to bring justice to the citizens, arbitrating disputes that can be sensible for the well-being of the American population and guaranteeing that the citizens have equal rights and justice. Nonetheless, before reaching the Supreme Court, there are two other instances in the Federal Court System; the District Courts and the Court of Appeals. There are 94 district courts in the U.S. These courts resolve legal disputes on a Federal level, determining the facts, like State Courts, and deciding through a trial with a jury, which part of the dispute is right. On top of the District Courts is the Court of Appeals; there are 13 courts of appeals in the country, organized regionally. The main prerogative of the Court of Appeals is to determine whether or not the law was applied correctly in the District Courts, hearing challenges to the court decisions. The Court does not use a jury, relying on three judges to pass judgment.

The courts have a largely ruling approach, which means they possess the powers to prosecute and process any potential abuse, oppression, and injustice in the country. These powers are essential in a Federal system to balance the power of the states. However, the courts cannot change laws, nor prosecute or judge matters on a state level. On the other hand, the Supreme Court can amend and rectify omissions or defects in a decision, if these amendments do not change the nature of the decision. Ultimately, the United States of America’s judicial, legislative, and executive powers are balanced against one another, which prevents any of them from becoming too powerful. The Legislative branch can impeach the president, the president can recommend legislator, and the Supreme Court can impeach judges and make amendments to overturn executive decisions. This carefully planned balance between powers is the backbone of the American democracy and the heart of the American way of life.