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When does the Supreme Court meet?


How many Supreme Court justices are there?

oral arguments

the presentations that lawyers make before the Supreme Court justices


when the justices meet among themselves to discuss the cases before deciding the outcome

law clerk

a person who does most of the legal research for a Supreme Court justice


a piece of paper that says 'send out the information'

1. it must raise an important constitutional question
2. it must raise an important legal question

2 reasons justices take cases

affirmative action

a government policy meant to make up for past discrimination of women and minorities

4 (rule of four)

how many justices must agree to take a case?


a writ of certiorari, which directs a lower court to send up the records of a case


a document that describes the legal arguments in favor of a lawyer's side

amicus curiae brief

a brief filed by a person not directly involved in a case; friend of the court

swing vote

the fifth and deciding vote


a document stating the legal reasoning behind a decision


a philosophy

court packing

to appoint justices who will vote in favor of the president


a person who has been nominated to fill a vacant position

struck down

declared unconstitutional



civil liberties

a person's protection against abuse by government

30 minutes

how long do lawyers get in oral arguments?

1. John Roberts
2. Antonin Scalia
3. Anthony Kennedy
4. Clarence Thomas
5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
6. Stephen Breyer
7. Samuel Altio
8. Sonia Sotomayor
9. Elena Kagen

who are the 9 Supreme Court justices?

John Roberts

who is the chief justice?

Clarence Thomas

who is the only African American Supreme Court member?

Sandra Day O'Connor

first woman to be on the Supreme Court

Thurgood Marshall

first African American on the Supreme Court


love of knowledge

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