The U.S. Supreme Court represents one of the three branches of power that ensures the effective work of the system of checks and balances. This institution was established in 1798 within the scope of the U.S. Constitution (Urofsky 319). The Supreme Court, as well as its layout and jurisdiction, was not properly documented or accepted by the major stakeholders in its early days. However, it evolved into the body that regulates a set of aspects and is regarded as the highest judicial institution of the country. Although the U.S. Supreme court has the original and appellate jurisdiction, due to the briefness of this analysis, the paper focuses on the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
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According to the U.S. Constitution (Article III, Section 2), the Supreme Court has the original jurisdiction in suits involving ambassadors, as well as public consuls or ministers (Federal Judicial Center). In accordance with the Judiciary Act of 1789, the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction was extended. The Court was also to decide cases that involved people residing in different states, the cases where a state was one of the parties, the cases between a state and a foreign government.
However, in the 18th century, the lack of clarity and people’s understanding of the role of the Court led to quite controversial rulings and decisions. For example, the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Pennsylvania decided that circuit courts had jurisdiction over criminal cases involving foreign consuls in the case of the United States v. Ravara (Federal Judicial Center). This decision contradicted the provisions of the Judiciary Act of 1789.
Such controversial cases and the commitment of such remarkable justices as John Marshall were instrumental in the provision of clarity in the role and jurisdictions of the U.S. Supreme Court. The case of Chisholm v. Georgia, in which the Court decided that a citizen of one state could sue another state, led to the enactment of the Eleventh Amendment (McCloskey and Levinson 22). In the 19th century, the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction was further crystallized, and the role of the Court as the national arbiter was established (Regan 66). The case of the United States v. Texas is an illustration of this process.
In this case, it was ruled that the Supreme Court could be involved in the resolution of disputes against a state and the United States (Federal Judicial Center). In the 20th century, the Supreme Court was involved in resolving issues related to such spheres as civil rights, environmental protection, and labor-management (Baum 25). Although some tensions in the U.S. society regarding the role and power of the Supreme Court still exist, they are properly managed, and the balance of the powers is ensured.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the Supreme Court established in the 18th century evolved into the institution that has the power to regulate various issues involving national interests and individuals’ liberties. In its early days, people were reluctant to abide by the rulings of this body, and the justices themselves were not sure about their responsibilities. However, in the course of time, the Court’s role and its original jurisdiction became a matter of consent among the major stakeholders.
The Supreme Court of the USA ensures has the power to resolve issues involving foreign governments, ambassadors, U.S. states, and individuals. The Court ensures that the rights and liberties of U.S. citizens are met and the country’s institutions operate within the U.S. Constitution.
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Baum, Lawrence A. The Supreme Court. 13th ed., C.Q. Press, 2018.
Federal Judicial Center. “Jurisdiction: Original, Supreme Court.” Federal Judicial Center, n.d. Web.
McCloskey, Robert G., and Sanford Levinson. The American Supreme Court. 6th ed., University of Chicago Press, 2016.
Regan, Richard J. A Constitutional History of the U.S. Supreme Court. CUA Press, 2015.
Urofsky, Melvin I. Dissent, and the Supreme Court: Its Role in the Court’s History and the Nation’s Constitutional Dialogue. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2015.