John Jay Supreme Court

On this day in 1789, the Judiciary Act of 1789 establishes the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. Congress passed the act and then President George Washington signed it.

Additionally, the Act contains the phrase “so help me God” four times.

Originally, Article 3 of the Constitution established the Supreme Court.

First Supreme Court Chief Justice

Later that day, President Washington nominates John Jay as the first chief justice, as well as five associate justices. Then, all of his appointments were confirmed by the Senate on September 26.

John Jay was one of our founding fathers. As such, he was President of Congress, Secretary of State, Diplomat, Author of the Federalist Papers, and Governor of New York.

Here are just a couple quotes from John Jay that give us an idea how he lived, and perhaps, how he judged:

The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”

“I recommend a general and public return of praise and thanksgiving to Him from whose goodness these blessings descend. The most effectual means of securing the continuance of our civil and religious liberties is always to remember with reverence and gratitude the source from which they flow.”

First Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay


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