Portal:Supreme Court of the United States

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Supreme Court of the United States Portal

Inscription from
Marbury v. Madison

Inscription from Marbury v. Madison

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the judicial branch of the United States federal government. The Justices are nominated by the President and confirmed with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. They are appointed to serve "during good behavior," which means for life, and leave office only upon death, retirement, resignation, or impeachment and subsequent conviction. The Supreme Court holds both original and appellate jurisdiction, with its appellate jurisdiction accounting for most of the Court's caseload. The Supreme Court meets in Washington, D.C., in the United States Supreme Court building. The Court's yearly terms usually start on the first Monday in October and finish sometime during the following June or July. Each term consists of alternating two week intervals. During the first interval, the court is in session and hears cases, and during the second interval, the court is recessed to consider and write opinions on cases they have heard.

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1901 assassination of President William McKinley by Leon Czolgosz
Gun violence in the United States is associated with the majority of homicides and over half the suicides. It is a significant public concern, especially in urban areas and in conjunction with youth activity and gang violence. Gun violence is not new in the United States, with the assassinations of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, and of Presidents James Garfield, William McKinley (McKinley assassination pictured), and John F. Kennedy. High profile gun violence incidents, such as the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and, more recently, the Virginia Tech massacre, the Columbine High School massacre and the Beltway sniper attacks, have fueled debate over gun policies. Many suffer non-fatal gunshot wounds, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating 52,447 violence-related and 23,237 accidental gunshot injuries in the United States during 2000. The majority of gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides, with firearms used in 16,907 suicides in the United States during 2004. Gun policy in the United States is highly influenced by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits infringement of "the right of the People to keep and bear arms."

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Roger B. Taney
Roger Brooke Taney (1777 – 1864) was the fifth Chief Justice of the United States, holding that office from 1836 until his death in 1864. He was the first Roman Catholic to hold that office or sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. He was also the eleventh United States Attorney General. He is most remembered for delivering the majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), that ruled, among other things, that African Americans, having been considered inferior at the time the Constitution was drafted, were not part of the original community of citizens and could not be considered citizens of the United States. Taney was a Jacksonian Democrat when he became Chief Justice. Described by his and President Andrew Jackson's critics as "[a] supple, cringing tool of Jacksonian power," Taney was a believer in states' rights but also the Union; a slaveholder who regretted the institution and manumitted his slaves. From Prince Frederick, Maryland, he had practiced law and politics simultaneously and succeeded in both. After abandoning Federalism as a losing cause, he rose to the top of the state's Jacksonian machine. As U.S. Attorney General (1831–1833) and then Secretary of the Treasury (1833–1834), Taney became one of Andrew Jackson's closest advisers. Taney died during the final months of the American Civil War on the same day that his home state of Maryland abolished slavery.

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