Former US Supreme Court Justice

March 12, 2012 by staff 

Former US Supreme Court Justice, The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States. Its membership consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight Associate Justices. The Justices are nominated by the President of the United States and appointed after confirmation by the United States Senate.

Justices of the Supreme Court have life tenure and receive a salary which is currently set at $223,500 per year for the Chief Justice and at $213,900 per year for each Associate Justice. On August 7, 2010, Justice Elena Kagan became the 112th justice to have served on the Court.

The Supreme Court was created in 1789 by Article III of the United States Constitution, which stipulates that the “judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court” together with any lower courts Congress may establish. Congress organized the Court that year with the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1789.

It specified the Court’s original and appellate jurisdiction, created thirteen judicial districts, and fixed the number of justices at six (one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices).

Since the passage of the Judiciary Act, Congress has occasionally altered the size of the Supreme Court, historically in response to the country’s own expansion in size. Membership was decreased in 1801 to five, then increased to seven members in 1807, to nine in 1837, and to ten in 1863. It was then reduced to seven in 1866. In 1869, Congress set the Court’s size to nine members, where it has remained since.

While the justices of the Supreme Court are appointed for life, some choose to leave the Court before their death: a total of 54 have retired or resigned. The average age of newly-appointed justices is about 53 years old. Historically, the average length of service on the Court has been less than 15 years; however, since 1970 the average length of service has increased to about 26 years.

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