→The Early Court
==The Early Court==
The Supreme Court opened its first session in February 1790 in New York City, the then capital of the United States. Later in 1790, it moved to Philadelphia, which also became the capital, where the court met in Independence Hall. Initially, the court was made up of six justices, where it was envisioned that a two-thirds majority would be needed for any decision. The court did not have a permanent nine members until 1869, when that number was established as precedent. The first case to be litigated before the court, <i>West v. Barnes</i>, involved procedural issues, in particular, the procedures of appeal. There were few major cases in the 1790s and the court lacked a permanent home. The first major case was <i>Chisholm v. Georgia</i>, which saw Chisholm sue the state of Georgia. The case influenced the 11th Amendment to the Constitution, which allowed individuals to sue states based on state consent (Figure 1).
The most influential figure in the early Supreme Court was justice John Marshal (1801-1835. This was the period when the concept of judicial review became an established precedent that has influenced subsequent acts by the court to review legislation as they come up. The concept of a review of Constitutional issues became fully established by this time and many practices, including issuing a single majority opinion by the Court, became established during this time. One influential case was the impeachment of Justice Samuel Chase. He was accused of partisan bias and the case that involved his impeachment influenced and shaped the idea that the Supreme Court is an independent part of the government. In effect, the Court attempted to make a break from partisan politics and established a precedent to be an independent reviewer of legislation and judgment of following the laws of the United States.
Arguably the most impactful Supreme Court decision helped create the fault lines that became the Civil War. The <i>Dred Scott v. Sandford</i> in 1857 case, under Chief Justice Robert Taney, established that American citizenship was not to be given to black people, regardless if they were free or slave. Effectively this made all blacks not have citizenship rights. Ultimately the 14th Amendment overturned this decision. The <i>Dred Scott v. Sandford</i> case also influenced what ultimately would become the concept of substantive due process, which protected the rights of individuals even if their rights were not explicit in the Constitution. This would
thus prevent a repeat of The <i>Dred Scott v Sandfor</i> case and became established as precedent under the Chief Justice Waite and Fuller courts in the late 19th century.
[[File:Jay.jpg|thumb|Figure 1.John Jay was the first Chief Justice and heard the first case presented before the Court.]]