Original Intention Edit
The Founding Fathers intended for the Judiciary to be the weakest branch of the federal government. Some, like Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists, feared that it was too weak and strived to grant it more power. The Anti-Federalists, lead by Thomas Jefferson, thought that it already had to much power and wanted to see it weakened or at least checked by another party. Ultimately, Chief Justice John Marshall gave the Judiciary Branch the power to check the Legislative and Executive branches with a term called "judicial review." This allows the Supreme Court to declare laws or executive orders Unconstitutional. The branch is now considered equal to the other two though many times it exercises Judicial Review to "legislate from the bench."
The Roberts Court Edit
Each court is remembered by the last name of their chief justice, and therefore the current court is known as the "Roberts Court."
Current Justices Edit
- Antonin Scalia - Appointed by President Reagan in 1986
- Anthony Kennedy - Appointed by President Reagan in 1988
- Clarence Thomas - Appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1991
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Appointed by President Clinton in 1993
- Stephen Breyer - Appointed by President Clinton in 1994
- John Roberts (Chief Justice) - Appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005
- Samuel Alito - Appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006
- Sonia Sotomayor - Appointed by President Obama in 2009
- Elena Kagan - Appointed by President Obama in 2010
- A red name identifies Conservative justices, a blue name identifies Liberal justices, and a grey name identifies a "swing vote" Justice.