Supreme Court

The Supreme Court

The Tennessee Supreme Court is the highest court in Tennessee. The Court has 5 judges, called justices, who decide the cases together.

The Supreme Court is called the court of last resort because it decides appeals of criminal and civil cases from lower courts. They also interpret state and federal law and constitutions. In some cases when there is a pressing need for a quicker decision, they decide cases from the Appeals Court.

There are no juries, witnesses, or testimonies at the Supreme Court level. But the lawyers may present written and oral arguments. When the Court makes decisions on a case, it does so in writing. Supreme Court decisions are called opinions. If the losing side is unhappy with the decision, it may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court usually meets in Jackson, Knoxville, and Nashville. Sometimes they meet in other cities. And a few times a year, they meet in front of Tennessee high schools so the students can have a chance to learn more about the judicial process.