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19 Things You Didn't Know About the US Supreme Court

Updated September 23, 2021 25.9k views19 items

Trivia about the American government has never been so awesome. Supreme Court Justices declare what is right and wrong in America as the judiciary branch of government and this list of US Supreme Court trivia will entertain, enlighten, and surprise you. These surprising facts about the Supreme Court of the United States range from presidential trivia (surrounding presidents like FDR, Jimmy Carter, and George Washington) all the way to fun facts about the building itself. For instance: which Supreme Court Justice led the fight to get a frozen yogurt machine in the court's cafeteria? Hint: she's still serving today.

These historical tidbits include the court's "totally chill" reaction to religious people taking hallucinogens to their decisions on what "dirty words" comedians like George Carlin are allowed to say on our television sets. Supreme Court Justices are put on display with their personal and political anecdotes being featured on this list. Some of the funniest hearings are also included. For example, did you know the Supreme Court of the United States decided what pickles are and once challenged 95 barrels of "alleged" apple cider vinegar?

What should you know about SCOTUS? Read on to learn all kinds of interesting facts about America's Supreme Court and be sure to upvote the most fascinating Supreme Court facts, from history and today, below!
  • The Court Decided What Pickles Are

    Defining what a pickle is has always been hard. Fruit? Vegetable? Try "Fruit of the vine." Why? The seeds! Who said? The Supreme Court of the United States. The landmark case, Nix v. Hedden, also classified tomatoes in the same way all the way back in 1893.

    Source: The Food Channel
  • Until the Building Was Finished, Court Was Sometimes Held at Bars

    It's not the most P.C. idea to meet about justice surrounded by booze, but the makeshift American government in the olden days had to take what they could get. In 1809, the Supreme Court of the United States held their meeting at Long's Tavern in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, from 1815-1816, they met at Bell's Tavern. It wasn't until 1860 when the Supreme Court Room (the Old Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol) was finally ready for usage.

    Source: Federal Judicial Center
  • Photo: Rembrandt Peale / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Jefferson Put an End to Their Stylish Wigs

    There's a reason you don't see John Roberts rocking a wig and it's not just because of how absurdly out-of-fashion they are. In fact, it was Thomas Jefferson who led the one-man army against Supreme Court justices sporting wigs. The decision was made after one poor justice came decked out in a white powdered wig like the Brits. Jefferson was repulsed.

    Source: NPR
  • Photo: Franz Jantzen / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    There's a Statue of Muhammad the Prophet in the Chamber

    Members of the press will find a statue of the Prophet Muhammad above their seating area at the Supreme Court. Despite the fact that Islam discourages depicting Muhammad, the North Wall frieze inside the chamber features several "lawgiving" figures in the religion. One of them is Muhammad. The expected controversy was pretty much calmed long ago, "in part through a fatwa."

    Source: Wall Street Journal