Today in American history…The Judiciary Act of 1789 was passed by the U.S. Congress on September 24th and signed by President George Washington – which established the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court would serve as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until their death or retirement – which ever came first.
On September 24, 1789, President Washington nominated John Jay to preside as the Chief Justice. John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison and James Wilson were nominated to be Associate Justices.
On September 26, 1789, all six nominees were confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Pictured below is a portrait of John Jay, our very first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (picture credit: John Jay New York Historical Society)