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Six or zero, depending on your perspective. Six justices (one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices) were appointed in September 1789, but the Supreme Court didn't convene for the first time until 1790. The Supreme Court had been created on paper in 1789, but did not exist as an institution until the following year.

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The first bill enacted in the U.S. Congress was the Judiciary Act of 1789, legislation that established the federal court system, including the US Supreme Court. The Act called for a total of six members, a Chief Justice and five Associate Justices, who were officially headquartered in the nation's capitol.

President Washington nominated the first six justices, and the Senate confirmed his nominations within a few days, in September 1789. The US Supreme Court did not convene for the first time until February 2, 1790, however.

The first Court was supposed to assemble at the Royal Exchange Building in New York City (the temporary U.S. Capital from 1783-1790) on February 1, 1790, but transportation problems delayed the initial meeting by one day, so the first session actually began on February 2, 1790.

Chief Justice:

John Jay, New York

Associate Justices:

John Rutledge, South Carolina

William Cushing, Massachusetts

James Wilson, Pennsylvania

John Blair, Virginia

James Iredell, North Carolina

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14y ago
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14y ago

Zero. The United States Constitution was created in 1787, but not ratified until 1788. Although Article III of the Constitution mandated a Supreme Court, the document, itself, did not create one; this was left to Congress.

The first legislation of the new US Congress was the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the first Supreme Court, as well as a rudimentary federal judicial system. President Washington began nominating justices in late 1789; Congress confirmed his selections; and the first session of the Supreme Court was held on February 2, 1790.

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13y ago

In the Judiciary Act of 1789, Congress set the size of the Supreme Court at six justices: one Chief Justice, and five Associate Justices.

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