Why Do 9 Justices Serve on the Supreme Court?

Why Do 9 Justices Serve on the Supreme Court?

It is only since 1869 that nine judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court. Previously, Congress regularly changed the number of judges to meet its own partisan political goals, so that five Supreme Court justices required by law under John Adams were down to ten under Abraham Lincoln.

The US Constitution does not say how many judges should sit on the Supreme Court. In fact, the office of Chief Justice only exists because it is mentioned in the Constitution under the Senate Rules for Impeachment Proceedings (“When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice presides over … ”).

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