Justice Sotomayor heard her first case on the high court this week
1. The Supreme Court was established in 1789 and first convened in New York City in 1790. The court later moved to Philadelphia and then to Washington, where it hears cases today.
2. In its history, 111 justices have served. Three have been women, and one of them, Sonia Sotomayor, is the nation's first Latino justice. Two justices have been African-American, and seven have been Jewish.
3. The Supreme Court didn't have its own building until 1935, its 146th year of existence.
4. Justices usually have four law clerks on staff. If they have only one, it's often a sign they will soon retire. John Paul Stevens is the most recent justice to hire only one clerk, spurring speculation that he's pondering retirement.
5. Justices are seated in order of seniority. The chief justice takes the center chair. The senior associate justice sits to his right, the second in seniority to his left, and the rest alternate right and left by seniority.
6. If two justices join the court on the same day, their seniority and thus seating order is determined by age.
7. Many of the court's traditions date to the 19th century. Black robes are worn by justices, and quill pens are placed on counsels' desks when the court is in session.
8. Once appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, justices can serve for life.
9. Sotomayor's swearing-in ceremony was the first ever to be broadcast on television. Supreme Court hearings are never televised.
10. Only one Supreme Court justice, William Howard Taft, has also been president of the United States. He served as chief justice from 1921 to 1930.