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?
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.
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.