How Many Members Are on the Supreme Court?

By Victoria Bailey - Updated April 16, 2018
United States Supreme Court Building Facade

The Supreme Court of the United States was designed to have one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. Due to deaths or voluntary retirements, the bench has not always held a full roster, but as of April, 2018, the United States Supreme Court has the full complement of nine members. All justices are proposed by a sitting president and must be approved by the Congress before taking their seat. After confirmation, justices are appointed to their positions for life or until they decide to retire.

Tip

Currently, as of April, 2018, the United States Supreme Court has nine members.

Who is Currently on the Supreme Court?

The current group of Supreme Court justices is a diverse group, both multi-culturally and by gender. The current members of the court include:

  • Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., as of September 29, 2005
  • Justice Anthony M. Kennedy,

    as of February 18, 1988 * Justice Clarence Thomas,

    as of October 23, 1991 * Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,

    as of August 10, 1993 * Justice Stephen G. Breyer,

    as of August 3, 1994 * Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.,

    as of January 31, 2006 * Justice Sonia Sotomayor,

    as of August 8, 2009 * Justice Elena Kagan,

    as of August 7, 2010 * Justice Neal M. Gorsuch,

    as of April 10, 2017

Who is the Longest Serving Member of the Supreme Court?

Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, so one might think that they would have careers of many decades. The truth is, they generally have long and full legal careers before rising to the level of possible nominee. This cuts down the time they possibly have on the bench.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is currently the longest serving member of the Supreme Court. He took his seat on February 18, 1988, giving him a career of just over 30 years.

The longest serving justice in history was Justice William O. Douglas, who served from 1939 to 1975, for a total of 36 years, seven months and eight days.

What is the Salary of a Supreme Court Judge?

Like most federal employees, Supreme Court justices get increases in their salary on an annual basis. As of January, 2018, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court receives $267,000 per year. The other eight Associate Justices receive $255,300 annually.

In addition, all justices are eligible for health care insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. They receive an annual three-month recess during which they have no official duties, and they receive a lifetime pension equal to their highest annual salary.

About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.

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