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Portal:Supreme Court of the United States

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The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the judicial branch of the United States federal government. The Justices are nominated by the President and confirmed with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. They are appointed to serve "during good behavior," which means for life, and leave office only upon death, retirement, resignation, or impeachment and subsequent conviction. The Supreme Court holds both original and appellate jurisdiction, with its appellate jurisdiction accounting for most of the Court's caseload. The Supreme Court meets in Washington, D.C., in the United States Supreme Court building. The Court's yearly terms usually start on the first Monday in October and finish sometime during the following June or July. Each term consists of alternating two week intervals. During the first interval, the court is in session and hears cases, and during the second interval, the court is recessed to consider and write opinions on cases they have heard.

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Chief Justice Melville Fuller delivered the majority opinion.
Taylor v. Beckham, 178 U.S. 610 (1900), was a case heard before the Supreme Court of the United States on April 30 and May 1, 1900, to decide the outcome of the disputed Kentucky gubernatorial election of 1899. Chief Justice Melville Fuller (pictured) delivered the majority opinion. The litigants were Republican gubernatorial candidate William S. Taylor and Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate J. C. W. Beckham. In the gubernatorial election, held on November 7, 1899, Taylor received 193,714 votes to Democrat William Goebel's 191,331. This result was certified by a 2–1 decision of the state's Board of Elections. Goebel challenged the election results on the basis of alleged voting irregularities, and the Democratically-controlled Kentucky General Assembly formed a committee to investigate Goebel's claims. Goebel was shot on January 30, 1900, before the General Assembly approved a report. The next day, the Assembly approved a report that invalidated enough votes to swing the election to Goebel. Goebel was sworn into office on January 31, 1900, even as he lay dying of his wounds. Goebel died on February 3, 1900, and Beckham ascended to the governorship. Claiming the General Assembly's decision was invalid, Taylor sued to prevent Beckham from exercising the authority of the governor's office. Beckham sued Taylor for possession of the state capitol and governor's mansion. Both suits were consolidated and heard in Jefferson County circuit court. The circuit court found in favor of Beckham, claiming it had no authority to interfere with the method of deciding contested elections prescribed by the state constitution. The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision on appeal. The court further rejected Taylor's claim that he had been deprived of property without due process by stating that an elective office was not property and thus not protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. In a majority opinion delivered by Chief Justice Melville Fuller, the Supreme Court also rejected Taylor's claim to loss of property without due process and thus refused to intervene on Taylor's behalf, claiming that no federal issues were in question and the court lacked jurisdiction.

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden with the members of the Supreme Court and retiring justice David Souter
Credit: Steve Petteway, Supreme Court photographer. Credit Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States. Catalog number is 9397-001.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden with the members of the Supreme Court and retiring justice David Souter.

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James F. Byrnes
James Francis Byrnes (1882 – 1972) was an American statesman from the state of South Carolina. During his career, Byrnes served as a member of the House of Representatives (1911–1925), as a Senator (1931–1941), as Justice of the Supreme Court (1941–1942), as Secretary of State (1945–1947), and as the 104th Governor of South Carolina (1951–1955). He therefore became one of very few politicians to be active in all three branches of the federal government while also being active in state government. He was also a confidant of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and was one of the most powerful men in American domestic and foreign policy in the mid-1940s.

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  • August 23: On the campaign trail in the USA, July 2016
  • June 23: On the campaign trail in the USA, May 2016
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