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Judiciary Act

John Jay, First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

On September 24, 1789, the United States Congress passed the Judiciary Act, creating the office of the United States Attorney General and the federal judiciary system, and ordered the composition of the Supreme Court of the United States.

On the same day that President George Washington signed the bill into law, he officially nominated John Jay to the new position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Jay (pictured in his official portrait, above) served in that position until 1795, when he resigned to take up his elected position as second governor of the State of New York. The Supreme Court heard only four cases during Jay’s Chief Justiceship; Jay refused to consult, officially, on legislation written by Alexander Hamilton, establishing the precedent that the Supreme Court has followed to this day: the Court would only rule on cases tried before it.

By: Redactor

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