The Supreme Court

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In 1787 Article three of the constitution created the Supreme Court, but not until 1789 was it configured. The way it was originally set up was with one Chief Justice and five associate judges, with all six members being appointed for life. This court serves as the “supreme law of the land”, it has the power to determine if state or federal laws are in conflict with how the Court interprets the constitution.

Presently the supreme court has nine members, which include one Chief Justice and eight associate Justices. The Chief Justice Appoints each associate Justice to oversee one or more various circuits. Every year the Supreme Court has a term in which it revues selected cases. This term starts on the first Monday of October and ends either in the end of June or the beginning of July. During this term the Justices review one-hundred out of 6,000 or so cases with no clear guidelines on which ones they must look at.

There are two major ways that the Constitution is interpreted. One of which is called the “Strict Constitution” of national law, an example of this would be the “Dred Scott decision. The other way is the federalist position, where the Constitution grants broad power to the federal government. Two great examples of this type of interpretation were Chief Justices John Marshall and Earl Warren.

During the years the Supreme Court has gone through some changes of its’ own. While Chief Justice Earl Warren was there the first African-American Justice was named to the court: Thurgood Marshall. Chief Justice Warren’s leadership marked a force in social issues. Along the lines of desegregation, election reform and the rights of defendants.

Then in 1969 Warren Burger was named Chief Justice. That is when the Court started to lean more to the conservatives. By 1989 during William Rehnquists leadership, which runs from 1986 to the present, the conservatives held a majority on most issues. One other Major thing that happened to the Supreme Court in the 1980’s was the appointment of the first lady Justice: Sandra Day O’Connor.

The present members of the Supreme Court are as follows: William Hubbs Rhenquist, Chief Justice: born 1924 in Wisconsin, graduated Stanford Law School. He was an assistant Attorney General from 1969 till 1971 when President Nixon appointed him to the Court. 1986 President Reagan appointed him Chief Jus...

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...y lasting long or having any sort of unity with that situation.

The case that I chose to analyze is Reno v. ACLU. It is the first Internet related U.S. Supreme Court case ever to be decided. Seven of the justices found the argued provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) were unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The court found that the Internet is similar to a shopping mall or library not a broadcast medium as the government refered to it. The majority opinion for this case was that the Internet is a unique marketplace for ideas. The ruling states that while there is a large amount of pornographic material out there, it normally isn’t come across on accident. They stated that the CDA already holds back a good amount of speech that is alright for adult to adult conversations, which they do have a constitutional right to receive. While they recognize the CDA efforts to protect children from harmful speech and pornographic material, it still does not justify the unnecessarily broad suspension of speech. The final outcome was that they found that what the CDA was trying to do would violate speakers messages who are rightfully protected under the First Amendment.

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