How Much Do Supreme Court Justices Get Paid?
Spoiler Alert: Probably not as much as you think
Tue Jul 17 2018 19:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
There's been some controversy lately surrounding Donald Trump's Supreme Court justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. (Trump? Controversy? Never!). Aside from Supreme Court justices being some of the most influential people in the country, they're also well paid, as I'm sure you can imagine. They don't quite make as much as I had assumed prior to doing my research, but it's definitely a considerable amount nonetheless.
Kavanaugh is currently a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals and makes just over $220,000 per year. Justices on the Supreme Court each receive an annual salary of $255,300, while the Chief Justice -- currently John Roberts -- make $267,000 annually. These amounts usually increase about 2-3 bands each year.
Granted, that's a lot of money, and way more than I make, but it's not some groundbreaking amount for the highest judges in the country. The benefits and retirement package make up for this, though.
Supreme Court justices are appointed by the President and remain in that position until they retire. To try and prevent old ass judges from sticking around until their last breath, judges receive their highest annual salary for the rest of their life after they retire. The only requirements are that your age + your years served on the court equal at least 80, with 10 years of experience minimum. So you can be 70 with 10 years of experience and retire, or be 65 with 15 years of experience.
In addition to the actual salary, there are many benefits that come along with being a Supreme Court justice -- like time off every year from July 1st through September 30th and some of the best healthcare money can buy. Judges usually use that time off to do speaking engagements and various lectures to earn some extra cash.
Most, if not all, of the Supreme Court justices are millionaires and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer leads the way with a net worth that some believe is over $16 million. Chief Justice John Roberts isn't too far behind him, with a net worth close to $11 million.
Judges financials are reported very broadly, so it's hard to pinpoint just how much they're worth, but here are the bare minimums each judge is worth:
Stephen Breyer: $6.1 million
John Roberts: $5 million
Ruth Ginsburg: $4 million
Samuel Alito: $2.3 million
Sonia Sotomayor: $1.5 million
Elena Kagan: $1.1 million
Clarence Thomas: $585k
Anthony Kennedy: $580k