the supreme court determines policy in all but this way
The Supreme Court does not create or pass laws. They interpret current laws and policy to determine if the laws and policies are constitutional.
They are able to hear cases that involve: constitutional law or federal law issues, cases that involve treaties or ambassadors, cases that involve the U.S. or any state suing or being sued, and cases where diversity jurisdiction exists.
When the Supreme Court hears an appellate case, their decision overrides the decisions of any other state court. In that way, the cases that they hear determine policy even though the Court itself does not pass laws.
All eyes and ears have been turned to the U.S. Supreme Court, as they will hear arguments in March 2013 on the hot issue of g@y marriage and same-sex couples’ rights. Same-sex marriage is currently illegal according to federal law, yet the recent elections brought the number of states that allow it legally up to nine. It is also legal in the capital, Washington, DC.