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Pension for U.S. Supreme Court Justices

 
 
gollum
 
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 06:24 pm
If a U.S. Supreme Court Justice resigns, does he or she receive his full annual salary for life?
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 2,936 • Replies: 3
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BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 03:36 am
@gollum,
I am not sure however it does not matter greatly as most of them serve until they are on death door and if and when they retired they tend to still act in a "senior" judge or some such title position.
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Ionus
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 04:56 am
@gollum,
Quote:
Once appointed, Justices effectively have life tenure, serving "during good Behaviour",[1] which terminates only upon death, resignation, retirement, or conviction on impeachment.[2]

When the Senate is in recess, the President may make a temporary appointment without the Senate's advice and consent. Such a recess appointee to the Supreme Court holds office only until the end of the next Senate session (at most, less than two years). To continue to serve thereafter and be compensated for his or her service, the Senate must confirm the nominee.

No mechanism presently exists for removing a Justice who is permanently incapacitated by illness or injury, both unable to resign and unable to resume service.[82]

Currently, there are two living retired Justices of the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor and David Souter. As retired Justices, they may be designated for temporary assignments to sit with several United States Courts of Appeals. Nominally, such assignments are made by the Chief Justice; they are analogous to the types of assignments that may be given to judges of lower courts who have selected senior status, except that a retired Supreme Court Justice never sits as a member of the Supreme Court itself.
For the year 2010, an Associate Justice is paid $213,900 and the Chief Justice $223,500.[88] Article III of the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from reducing the pay for Supreme Court justices.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States

Quote:
Another mitigating factor is the availability of retirement benefits, which Congress allocated via the Judiciary Act of 1869. One provision of the Act allows justices who attain age 70 with at least 10 years of federal judicial service to retire at full salary and benefits.
Prior to 1900, approximately 66% of justices died in office, despite declining health or mental deterioration. During the 20th century, 70% resigned or retired, most eligible for full benefits. Chief Justice Rehnquist, who died in 2005, was the first Supreme Court justice to die in office over the past 50 years.

Rozzi, Alan and Peretti, Terri L., Modern Departures from the U.S. Supreme Court: Party, Pensions, or Power? (July 17, 2009).


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gollum
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Apr, 2010 04:43 pm
Ionus-
Thank you for your detailed reply.

"Once appointed, Justices effectively have life tenure, serving "during good Behaviour", which terminates only upon death, resignation, retirement, or conviction on impeachment."

That appears to mean that they can't be fired (i.e., impeached) without cause. It does not appear to mean that each justice's annual payment in retirement shall be the same as he or she received while working.

"Currently, there are two living retired Justices of the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor and David Souter. As retired Justices, they may be designated for temporary assignments to sit with several United States Courts of Appeals."

May be? What if he or she doesn't wish such a temporary assignment?

"Article III of the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from reducing the pay for Supreme Court justices."

So it does. I guess you are saying that the "retirement benefits" of a justice can not be reduced from the amount of his prior salary. If that is so I will accept your answer with thanks. However, I would have though that to interpret the words of the Constitution, one should look at how such matters were handled both at the time that the Constitution was written and how they are handled how. I believe at both times retirement "pay" (i.e., benefits) are generally significantly less than the prior salary of the individual both in the federal government generally as well as in the private sector.

"Another mitigating factor is the availability of retirement benefits, which Congress allocated via the Judiciary Act of 1869. One provision of the Act allows JUSTICES who attain age 70 with at least 10 years of federal judicial service to retire at full salary and benefits."

O.K. That appears to be a legal basis to pay retired justices full salary if they are at least 70 years of age with at least 10 years of federal judicial service.
I guess most of the retired justices have been at least 70 with at least 10 years of federal judicial service but it is silent on the treatment at those that do not satisfy those conditions.

Also the term justices is confusing. I believe it is only used for Supreme Court justices not other federal judges.
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