Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (neg. no. LC-USZ62-76625)
Why Are There Nine Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court?
The Supreme Court ofِ the United States (SCOTUS) wasِ established byِ Congress inِ 1789 andِ acts asِ the head ofِ the U.S.’s federal court system.
The Supreme Court isِ the court ofِ lastِ resort, andِ most ofِ itsِ significance arises fromِ its beingِ anِ appellate body—that is, a body thatِ hasِ the power toِ review andِ change theِ decisions ofِ lowerِ courts—since itِ doesِ not hear manyِ cases eachِ year.
decide thatِ nineِ was theِ magic number ofِ justices toِ sit onِ itsِ most-powerful judicial bench?.
Basically, theِ U.S.
Constitution grants Congress theِ power toِ determine howِ many justices sit onِ SCOTUS.
This number hasِ ranged betweenِ 5 andِ 10, butِ since 1869 theِ number hasِ beenِ set atِ 9.
And theِ number ofِ justices onِ the Supreme Court hasِ beenِ politically manipulated overِ the years.
Take Congress’s beef withِ President Andrew Johnson.
Stanton, fromِ office.
It passed legislation inِ 1866 decreasing theِ number ofِ judges fromِ 10 toِ 7 soِ that Johnson wouldn’t beِ able toِ appoint a newِ justice.
Congress wasn’t theِ onlyِ branch ofِ government toِ attempt toِ alter theِ power structure.
President Franklin D.
Roosevelt proposed a reorganization bill toِ Congress thatِ would allowِ the president toِ appoint a newِ justice forِ eachِ one whoِ wasِ atِ least 70 years old.
So isِ the number ofِ U.S.
Supreme Court justices significant? Maybe not.
But weِ canِ certainly trace someِ cool political history toِ seeِ howِ it gotِ there.