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The Judiciary Act of 1789 was passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington on Sept. 24, 1789, establishing the Supreme Court. The six justices appointed to serve until death or retirement were John Jay for chief justice, John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson. The Senate confirmed them all two days later. On Feb. 1, 1790, the first session of the Court was held in New York City’s Royal Exchange Building. The number of justices was increased to nine in 1869.