Skip Content
U.S. Flag


Article III of the Constitution provides that there shall be one Supreme Court and such inferior courts as Congress may "ordain and establish." The Judiciary Act of 1789 formally established the Supreme Court and federal court system ( The Senate Judiciary Committee, established in 1816, considers topics ranging from criminal justice to antitrust and intellectual property law, as well provides advice and consent for judicial nominations. The committee typically conducts confirmation hearings for nominees to the Supreme Court, courts of appeals (circuit courts), and district courts. These judicial officers, known as Article III judges, are appointed for a life term.

Supreme Court Nominations

The Supreme Court consists of the chief justice of the United States and eight associate justices. The president has the power to nominate the justices and appointments are made with the advice and consent of the Senate. You can search for Supreme Court cases on Findlaw .

Supreme Court Nominations (1789-Present)

A Chief Justice Rejected, December 15, 1795

Impeachment Trial of Justice Samuel Chase, 1804-05

First Supreme Court Nominee Appears before the Judiciary Committee, January 28, 1925

Judicial Tempest, May 7, 1930

Supreme Court Nominee Refuses to Testify, October 1, 1949

Filibuster Derails Supreme Court Appointment, October 1, 1968

U.S. District and Appellate Court Nominations

Senate Judiciary Committee on Nominations

Judicial Nomination Statistics, 1977-2020 (CRS) (PDF)

Biographies of Judges, 1789-Present

Related Items

Interested in related materials? Take a look at these Virtual Reference Desk subjects for more information.