The Supreme Court first met on 1 February 1790, at the Merchants' Exchange Building in New York City, which then was the national capital. Philadelphia became the capital city later in 1790, and the Court followed Congress and the President there, meeting briefly in Independence Hall, and then from 1791 to 1800 at Old City Hall at 5th and Chestnut Streets. Supreme Court of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia After former President William Howard Taft became the SC Chief Justice, he urged Congress to appropriate funds for thier own structure, they did later. I have been to DC a # of times and have never failed to tour the Court. I was VERY fortunate once to sit in an oral argument is 1975, my first visit. I saw in person, Chief Justice Warren Burger and Associate Justices William Rhenquist, Thurgood Marshall, William O. Douglas, Potter Stewart, Byron White, Harry Blackmun, William Brennan and Lewis Powell. Still in College with Criminal law as my major, you can know how thrilling it was to sit in awe of the Court. They have a very nice gift shop also. The cafeteria/snack bar is great too, let's not forget that!! Ha! Only 4 Justices were promoted from Associate to Chief of the 17 that have served, the rest, including John Roberts, were brought in. The Court sits on First street directly behind the East front of the Capitol building. Presidential inaugurations used to be on the East front, RR changed that, presumably so he could face west and CA?? As the link states, the Court met in Philly at Old City Hall east and adjacent to Independence Hall, meeting briefly there though. The line of buildings, starting west is Congress Hall, Independence Hall and then Old City Hall. Originally the court had 6 members. In case of a tie vote, the lower court decision would stand. CJ Roger Taney, when he was circuit riding, when they used to, decided the MD case, Ex Parte v. Merryman, which declared Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus UNconstitutional. However, he was not acting as a SC CJ, therefore it was not the law of the land. The SC is an appeals court with only Original jurisdiction in a few areas, such as suits between states, the Constitution spells out when. They do not however, have authority to hear cases that are based SOLEY on state law, there must be a Federal Question involved. SC decisions that are negative in nature are the law of the land, if they are positive in nature, then a state is free to have thier own constitution follow stricter standards. For instance, the SC has ruled that garbage/trash put out outside the curtilage of the home is "abandoned" and police do NOT need a Search Warrant to look through it, however, some states require one under thier own Constitution. My state SC has ruled that ours is "Co-Extensive" with the Federal as our Search and Seizure article is almost verbatim with the 4th. There are just a few exceptions to that, but generally what the 4th permits, we permit. The greatest legal mind of all time, IMO, was the great Chief Justice John Marshall, who served for 35 years and penned Marbury v. Madison, 1803.