In the US judicial system, the U.S. Supreme Court is the final appellate court, and the final interpreter of constitutional matters. The constitution grants the Supreme Court powers to act in constitution related cases, laws, and treaties that the US is a party to; controversies where the United States is involved; in maritime and admiralty cases; in cases where US ambassadors, government ministers, or state consuls are involved; and in controversies involving the US and its citizens. The Supreme Court has its powers stipulated in Article III, section 1 of the US constitution. Under this article, the constitution states that “the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court and such inferior courts as the congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”
The Supreme Court has nationwide authority and can hear appeals forwarded from federal circuit appellate courts as well as state appellate courts. However, the Supreme Court only accepts appeal cases involving constitutional matters or federal law. More so, the cases accepted by the Supreme Court must be of foremost importance. For example, the court may take up cases where trial courts at the federal level have attained different decisions. In such cases, the Supreme Court takes up the appeals to correct errors that may have occurred in the trial court’s interpretation of the constitution.
The United States Supreme Court also has judicial review powers. The powers were asserted in the 1803 Marbury v. Madison case. In the ruling, the Supreme Court boldly declared that it had the responsibility to uphold the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution through its judicial work. As such, the court declared that it had the legal authority to invalidate acts of congress that conflicted with the US constitution.