The Supreme Court


A unique institution, the U.S. Supreme Court today is an interesting mix of the traditional and the modern. On one hand, it still holds to many of the formal traditions, processes, and procedures it has followed for many decades. Its public proceedings remain largely ceremonial and are never filmed or photographed. At the same time, the Court has taken on new cases involving contemporary matters before a nine-justice panel that is more diverse today than ever before. When considering whether to take on a case and then later when ruling on it, the justices rely on a number of internal and external players who assist them with and influence their work, including, but not limited to, their law clerks, the U.S. solicitor general, interest groups, and the mass media.