Supreme Court Essay, Research Paper
The Supreme Court has had many different places where it was located over the years. There has been a struggle to find a permanent home for the most powerful court of law. At first, the meetings were in the Merchant Exchange Building in New York City. The court then followed the nation’s capitol to Philadelphia in 1790. In 1800 the court again relocated to Washington DC. At first they spent their time meeting in various places. The place to find the Supreme Court now is in Washington DC, on First Street located in Northeast.
The Supreme court was created during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 during which the delegates discussed the necessity of a Supreme Court. The two major reasons for the need of this type of court was going to be to settle the conflicts that may arise between states, and the fact that there would be a court that would have to maintain the uniformity of the federal law. Article III vested the judicial power in “one Supreme Court” , and such inferior courts as the Congress may form from time to time…”
The Supreme Court of the United States has several different types of cases which they generally hear. The first of these are controversies in which the United States is a party. Another categories of cases are ones in which there is a conflict between different states, as well as cases in which the parties involved are from different states. The federal question jurisdiction includes cases that are under the Constitution or federal statutes and or treaties. Cases that involve admiralty and maritime law are also heard by the Supreme Court. This court is considered to be the final arbitrator between the assertion of power and the restrictions on power derived from a written constitution. The Supreme Court also has appellate jurisdiction, which means the cases that are appealed from a lower court with an issue that concerns with the federal law or the Constitution.
Not all cases get heard by the Supreme Court. A case can either go through the federal or the state court system, the case comes to the Supreme Court. There are four different ways to reach the Supreme Court. It can be through a petition for an extraordinary writ. There is also a request for certification. A case can also be heard through an appeal, or a petition for a writ of certiorari.
The Supreme Court has nine judges, which serve. These judges assess cases. These Justices hold their terms for life, “during good behavior” under Article III. The current Supreme Court Justices are Justice John Paul Stevens, appointed by Gerald Ford in 1975. Ronald Regan appointed Justice Sandra Day O’Conner to her term in 1981. Justice Antonia Scalia was appointed by Ronald Regan in 1986. Another Justice appointed by Ronald Regan is Anthony Kennedy in 1988. George Bush appointed Justice David Souter in 1990. Justice Clarence Thomas was appointed by George Bush in 1991. Bill Clinton appointed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993. Bill Clinton also appointed Justice Stephen Breyer in 1994. The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court is Chief Justice William Rehnquist who was appointed Justice by President Richard Nixon in 1972 and earned his appointment to being Chief Justice by Ronald Regan in 1986.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case concerning whether electrocution amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. They are using a case that was started in Florida.
This decision comes four months after the third botched electrocution in Florida this decade. It shut down the use of Florida’s electric chair, granting open-ended reprieves to a man scheduled to die recently and another a few days ago. The issue may not be resolved by the high court for months.
Attorneys for death row inmates have tried unsuccessfully in state courts to prove that death in the electric chair violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Florida is one of just four states across the country that requires condemned killers to be executed by electrocution. Most of the 38 states with capital punishment have switched to lethal injection in the last 50 years, when a peak of 26 states used electric chairs. But the U.S. Supreme Court has not reviewed electrocution as a method of execution since 1890, when New York became the first state to approve its use. Now the issue is one that is in conflict among states.
The last man to die in Florida’s electric chair was Allen Lee Davis also known as “Tiny.” His execution in July for the 1982 murders of a pregnant woman and her two young daughters led to the legal challenge before the high court. He suffered a nosebleed just before the current of electrocution was applied. This caused blood to drip from his face mask and onto his chest as he died. Davis may also have been partially suffocated before he was electrocuted because of the placement of a leather mouthpiece across his face. This does not seem to be a normal way to punish a criminal, and thus becomes an argument for debate and discussion.
The bloody execution followed problems in 1990 and 1997, when flames erupted from the headpiece worn by condemned Florida killers. This is not only wrong but should not be continued to go on.
Pictures of Davis’ bloody body and contorted face are before the nation’s high after Florida Supreme Court Justice Leander Shaw attached three photographs to his blistering dissent of the state court’s 4-3 ruling upholding use of the chair last month.
The decision came less than an hour after the state Supreme Court granted Anthony Bryan a two-day stay to pursue federal appeals. Bryan was scheduled to go to the electric chair at 7 a.m. recently for the 1983 murder of a watchman abducted in Mississippi.
Bryan’s lawyer, Andrew Thomas, called the decision “monumental.” Gov. Jeb Bush was surprised and disappointed with the decision Florida House Speaker John Thrasher said he found the court’s decision “terribly frustrating.” This case is being heard by the Supreme Court and will be one, which will set a trend and a standard among the states with regards to the punishment of convicts. It will decide and define cruel and unusual punishment with regard to individuals convicted of crimes and sentenced to certain punishments.