Six justices constitute a quorum, but the votes of five justices are needed to win a case. The Court meets to hear arguments and decide cases beginning on the first Monday in October and continues sessions usually through the end of June of the following year. Court cases are argued and decisions The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and such number of Associate Justices as may be fixed by Congress.


The number of Associate Justices is currently fixed at eight (28 U.S.C. §1). Power to nominate the Justices is vested in the President of the United States, and appointments are made with the advice and consent of the Senate. Article III, §1, of the Constitution further provides that “the Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”


Court Officers assist the Court in the performance of its functions. They include the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Justice, the Clerk, the Reporter of Decisions, the Librarian, the Marshal, the Court Counsel, the Curator, the Director of Data Systems, and the Public Information Officer. The Administrative Assistant is appointed by the Chief Justice.