State supreme court

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The state supreme court is, in most states, the highest court in the state court system. In New York, however, the state supreme court is a trial court, analogous to a state circuit court or superior court in other states, as was the former Supreme Bench of Baltimore City in Maryland. In New York and Maryland, the highest state court is called the Court of Appeals, and the intermediate appellate court goes by a different name. In Texas[1] and Oklahoma,[2] the state Supreme Court hears appeals only from civil matters; criminal appeals go to a separate court of last resort, called the Court of Criminal Appeals. The generic term "state supreme court" is commonly used to refer to any state court of last resort, regardless of what the state itself calls that court.

A state supreme court's interpretation of the state constitution and other state laws, whether statutory or common, is final[3] and is binding on all federal courts, even the Supreme Court of the United States. However, a state supreme court's interpretation of the United States Constitution or other federal law may be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. In that regard, state supreme courts are on the same level of precedent as the federal appellate courts.


  1. Texas Courts Online
  2. Oklahoma State Courts Network
  3. Comparing Federal and State Court Systems