Editor's note: Former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell’s corruption case will go before the U.S. Supreme Court today in the last oral arguments of the top court's 2015 term. He and his wife, Maureen, were found guilty two years ago of accepting more than $175,000 worth of gifts and favors from businessman Jonnie Williams. McDonnell will not have to report to prison for his two-year sentence unless he loses the appeal. We'll be watching for updates in the case. - Rebecca
US Supreme Court sides with demoted worker in First Amendment challenge; former police detective was demoted after he was seen picking up campaign sign of mayor's competitor in Paterson, NJ - Buzzfeed, SCOTUSblog
Editor's note: President Obama's plan to allow some 4 million undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. via executive action goes before the eight-member Supreme Court today, starting at 10 a.m. ET. A split decision will be a victory for Texas, where a federal judge put a stop to the plan, and the 25 other states that joined in opposing the executive action. However, states and cities may continue to push for the changes, setting off what immigration lawyer David Leopold called “a judicial mess.” A ruling is expected by June, which would give the president just seven months to execute the initiatives before leaving office. We'll bring you updates here. - Rebecca
The Supreme Court of the United States (colloquially known as "SCOTUS") is the highest federal court of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution in 1789, it has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law, plus original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. In the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law, although it may only act within the context of a case in which it has jurisdiction.
The Court normally consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have life tenure unless they resign, retire, take senior status, or are removed after impeachment (though no justice has ever been removed). In modern discourse, the justices are often categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. Each justice has one vote, and while many cases are decided unanimously, the highest profile cases often expose ideological beliefs that track with those philosophical or political categories. The Court meets in the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.