Arago: Constitution Bicentennial Series Issue: Supreme Court

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Constitution Bicentennial Series Issue: Supreme Court

On February 2, 1990, Postmaster General Anthony M. Frank joined Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Warren E. Burger, Chairman of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, to honor the judicial branch of government, established by the U.S. Constitution two hundred years ago, with a commemorative stamp featuring John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Marshall served on the Court for thirty-five years, 1801-1835.

Article III, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States provides that the "judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." The Supreme Court of the United States was created in accordance with this provision, by authority of the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789. It was organized on February 2, 1790.

The judicial branch currently comprises the Supreme Court, consisting of the chief justice and eight associate justices, plus the lower federal district courts and twelve circuit courts of appeals. Power to nominate the Supreme Court Justices and all federal judges is vested in the President, who makes appointments with the advice and consent of the Senate.


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