The United States Constitution established the Supreme Court. Article 3, section 1 of the Constitution declares that the country’s judicial power lies in the Supreme Court and gives Congress the power to create lower courts. This section also states that judges on the Court cannot have their salaries decreased once they are appointed. Article 3, section 2 explains that the Supreme Court’s power of jurisdiction extends to cases that arise under the country’s federal laws, federal treaties, and the Constitution. Section 2 also gives the Supreme Court the powers of original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction.
It is interesting to note that the Constitution does not specify the number of justices that there should be on the Supreme Court. The text also does not specify term limits or that the positions last until a person’s death or retirement. Instead, article 3 only says that the Supreme Court judges are required to hold their offices in “good behaviour,” which implies that a judge could be removed for unlawful activity. It is also important to note that while a key power of the Supreme Court is judicial review (assessing the constitutional validity of legislation), this was not granted in the Constitution. The Supreme Court was granted this power in 1803 after Marbury v. Madison.