Associate justices of the can be fried Court that the united States are the members the the supreme Court the the unified States various other than the chief Justice the the unified States. The authority of the can be fried Court is granted by section I of article III the the United states Constitution, i beg your pardon reads:

The judicial strength of the united States, shall it is in vested in one can be fried Court, and also in together inferior courts as the Congress might from time come time ordain and establish. The judges, both the the supreme and inferior courts, shall organize their offices during an excellent behaviour, and also shall, at stated times, obtain for your services, a compensation, which shall no be decreased during your continuance in office.

You are watching: How many associate justices are there

<1> <2>

Nomination and also confirmation

Justices to the supreme Court room nominated by the chairman of the united States and also confirmed by the United states Senate. As soon as justices room confirmed, they room appointed because that life and are just removed from office through death, retirement or impeachment.

Oath the office

Each can be fried Court Justice need to take 2 oaths of office before joining the court; the constitutional oath of office forced of all commonwealth employees and also the righteousness oath, as discovered in the Judiciary action of 1789.<3>

Number of justices

Sound byte
Click this link for Franklin D. Roosevelt"s Fireside chat from march 9, 1937, where he defined the need for the Reorganization Bill.

There room eight Associate justices on the supreme Court (plus the chief Justice). This number of justices was set by the Judiciary action of 1869.

One noteworthy attempt to boost the variety of Associate Justices come from president Franklin D. Roosevelt, that proposed the Judiciary Reorganization bill of 1937. In what was viewed as an effort to allow brand-new Deal legislation to stand, Roosevelt suggest appointing a brand-new justice for every sit justice over the age of 70. This would have amounted come six brand-new justices in ~ the time. Later, the Reorganization bill was passed without the extr justice provision.<4>


Unless a justice has actually recused from a case, he or she indications on to the opinion of the court. Because of the consideration that occurs about opinions, no court opinion is official until that is exit to the general public (or more often, delivered in court).


Assigning opinions is one of the most vital tools the chef Justice has for structure consensus. The chief Justice has the authority to write any kind of opinion, in the majority or dissent. Indigenous there, the cook Justice might assign an opinion come an associate Justice, and often wields this tool to attract a justice come an opinion.

When any justice bilder an opinion, he or she should take right into account the point out of watch of your colleagues. If the authoring justice deviates native the consensus, the various other justices might draft concurring or dissenting opinions.

The action of drafting opinions is confidential; the public is never aware of how a final opinion has changed from its original form. Experts of the court, however, look come the final opinions, votes and how lengthy it required to draft as indications to determine just how an opinion changed from hearing come announcement.<5>


The cook Justice of the United says earns $223,500 annually, while combine Justices get $213,900.

When the court was created in 1789, the cook Justice do $4,000 a year and the combine Justices obtained $3,500.<6>


Associate Justices have seniority through appointment; if two justices room appointed in the exact same day, seniority is based upon age.

See more: How Many Muslim Judges In America, America'S Foremost Muslim Judge


Seniority identify the order in which justices sit during oral argument, but likewise has exciting ramifications. Because that instance, the associate Justice with the the very least seniority should answer the door to the conference room while justices room meeting and additionally takes notes. Throughout conference, once justices verbally announce their votes prior to opinions are drafted, they also speak in order of seniority.

One funny example of can be fried Court traditions and also seniority was recounted by righteousness Stephen Breyer, who was the justice with the very least seniority (junior justice) on the court for ten years. After answering the door with coffee indigenous an aide because that Justice Antonin Scalia, Breyer said, "I"ve been doing this for 10 years. I"ve gained pretty an excellent at it, haven"t I?" come which, Scalia replied, "No, you haven"t."<8>

Retired associate Justices

If a justice retires indigenous the can be fried Court, that or she is still a member. Lock take an elderly status and may offer on a particular case on a different federal court in ~ the behest that the cook Justice.<9><10>