average age of supreme court justices

average age of supreme court justices
October 28, 2020

John Roberts was nominated by former President George W. Bush and sworn in on September 29, 2005. The reasons for that are subject to debate, and are a matter of intense public scrutiny. If there were a mandatory retirement age for the court, as there is for Catholic bishops, we'd have a good sense of how many justices the next president might get to appoint. Sonia Sotomayor was the first female justice to be appointed as an unmarried woman, having divorced in 1983, long before her nomination in 2009. Among all former justices, new members were an average of 53 years old when sworn in, served for an average 16.9 years and ended their tenure at an average age of 69. But there's something worth keeping in mind: People live longer than they used to. The constitutionally of those portions of the Act requiring federal judges to disclose their income and assets were themselves challenged in a United States federal court, and were held to be constitutional. However, the letter's veracity cannot be confirmed, and a review of all the evidence led Fine to conclude that he "could not stick his neck out and say [Murphy] was gay".[73]. The second was Clarence Thomas, appointed by George H. W. Bush to succeed Marshall in 1991. In the first such set of disclosures, only two justices were revealed to be millionaires: Potter Stewart[143] and Lewis F. Powell,[144] with Chief Justice Warren Burger coming in third with about $600,000 in holdings. Many nominees are appointed while serving in states or districts other than their hometown or home state. [125] The last justice to have held elected office was Sandra Day O'Connor, who was elected twice to the Arizona State Senate after being appointed there by the governor. Law school professor Jeffrey Rosen wrote that "it's a fascinating truth that we've allowed religion to drop out of consideration on the Supreme Court, and right now, we have a Supreme Court that religiously at least, by no means looks like America". [84][85] Neil Gorsuch is the first member of a mainline Protestant denomination to sit on the court since Stevens' retirement. According to The Journal of Legal Studies, Holmes is the third most cited American legal scholar of the 20th century. Samuel Alito was nominated by former President George H.W. The Senate confirmed Smith's nomination by a vote of 23–18, but Smith declined to serve.[111]. These have included 33 Episcopalians, 18 Presbyterians, nine Unitarians, five Methodists, three Baptists, and lone representatives of various other denominations. He was the second African American to serve on the court, replacing Thurgood Marshall. [6], All but a handful of Supreme Court justices have been married. [19][page needed] Justice Antonin Scalia, who served from 1986-2016, and Justice Samuel Alito, who has served since 2006, are the first justices of Italian descent to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Five justices were never or have never been married: Frank Murphy, Benjamin Cardozo, James McReynolds, Souter and Kagan. Learn more about Friends of the NewsHour. Prior to being appointed to the Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Black was a Senator representing Alabama from 1927 – 1937. Of the 114 justices, 110 (96.5%) have been men. It rose, then plummeted right before World War II, then rose again. William O. Douglas served the most days as a Supreme Court justice (13,358), while Thomas Johnson served the least number of days (164). Supreme Court justices serve for an average of 6,203 days. "[11] The westward expansion of the U.S. led to concerns that the western states should be represented on the Court as well, which purportedly prompted William Howard Taft to make his 1910 appointment of Willis Van Devanter of Wyoming. Senator, there is no minimum age for Supreme Court justices set forth in the United States Constitution. There has never been a Justice with any Asian, Native American, or Pacific Islander heritage, and no person having such a heritage was publicly considered for an appointment until the 21st century. Although he was a supporter of civil liberties, he wrote the majority opinion in Korematsu v. United States, which allowed Japanese American internment during World War II. These included James Wilson, born in Fife, Scotland; James Iredell, born in Lewes, England; and William Paterson, born in County Antrim, Ireland. [citation needed]. The fact that he was unmarried and was personally tutored by the writer Horatio Alger (alleged to have had sexual relations with boys) led some of Cardozo's biographers to insinuate that Cardozo was homosexual, but no real evidence exists to corroborate this possibility. South Carolina has produced 3 justices (1 chief, 1 chief who was earlier an associate, and 1 associate). As an adult, Benjamin Cardozo no longer practiced his faith and identified himself as an agnostic, though he remained proud of his Jewish heritage.[110]. At this point, the four remaining Protestant justices—Rehnquist, Stevens, O'Connor, and Souter—remained a plurality on the Court, but for the first time in the history of the Court, Protestants were no longer an absolute majority. Ginsburg is the second female justice after Sandra Day O’Connor to be appointed to the Supreme Court. [...] When Murphy appeared to have the better future in politics, Kemp stepped into a supportive, secondary role. There has also never been an openly gay justice. Five years ago at this point, shortly after Elena Kagan was nominated by President Barack Obama, the average age of Supreme Court justices was just over 64. The first Catholic plurality on the Court occurred in 2005, when Chief Justice Rehnquist was succeeded in office by Chief Justice John Roberts, who became the fourth sitting Catholic justice. All of the Catholic justices and nominees have been members of the Roman (or Latin) rite within the Catholic Church. For the duration of Duvall’s tenure, John Marshall presided as Chief Justice. Polenberg suggests that friends may have stressed Cardozo's devotion to his sister to discourage rumors "that he was sexually dysfunctional, or had an unusually low sexual drive or was homosexual." The remaining four justices come from Georgia, California, Colorado, and Indiana; the most recent justice from the Midwest was John Paul Stevens of Illinois who retired in 2010, until the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana in 2020. Below are the political leanings and ages of the U.S. Supreme Court justices. ", "Indiana Man Is Nominated for U.S. Court Post", Religious affiliation of Supreme Court justices, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas visits Conception Seminary College, "Catholics and the Supreme Court: From the 'Catholic Seat' to the New Majority," in, "Abe Fortas and Nixon's 'Franking' Privilege", "Sotomayor Would Be Sixth Catholic Justice, but the Pigeonholing Ends There", Trump picks Colo. appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court, "Five things to know about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh". Negative reaction to the appointment of the early Jewish justices did not exclusively come from outside the Court. [80] Prior to his appointment he was an active member of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church and, then, St. John's Episcopal Church in Boulder, Colorado. The last foreign-born Justice, and the only one of these for whom English was a second language, was Felix Frankfurter, born in Vienna, Austria. In contrast to historical patterns, the Court has gone from having a "Catholic seat" to being what some have characterized as a "Catholic court." Subscribe to Here’s the Deal, our politics newsletter for analysis you won’t find anywhere else. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated by former President Bill Clinton and sworn in on August 10, 1993. Brennan was known for his liberal and progressive views, including his support for abortion rights and opposing the death penalty. Frankfurter was followed by Arthur Goldberg and Abe Fortas, each of whom filled what became known as the "Jewish seat". Thank you. [39][40][45][46] Cardozo biographer Andrew Kaufman questioned the usage of the term "hispanic" during Cardozo's lifetime, commenting: "Well, I think he regarded himself as Sephardic Jew whose ancestors came from the Iberian Peninsula. Gorsuch is the lone Protestant justice on the court. [121][124] Only one, William Howard Taft, had been President of the United States. Nearly all Supreme Court justices are seasoned lawyers and have even argued cases before the Court. Rachel Wellford. "Supreme Recusal; When high court justices step aside from cases, there is no easy remedy for the consequences", United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Second District Court of Appeal of California, List of law schools attended by United States Supreme Court justices, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, Ideological leanings of United States Supreme Court justices, List of U.S. Supreme Court justices who also served in the U.S. Congress, John P. McIver, Department of Political Science, University of Colorado, Boulder. Harry Blackmun is the fifth oldest person to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Oldest Age While Sitting: 87 years, 6 months, 26 days State:  Maryland Position:  5th Chief Justice Appointed By:  Andrew Jackson Tenure:  JMarch 28, 1836 – October 12, 1864 (28 years, 198 days). John Paul Stevens was just a few months shy of being the oldest serving United States Supreme Court justice. [12], Geographic balance was sought in the 1970s, when Nixon attempted to employ a "Southern strategy", hoping to secure support from Southern states by nominating judges from the region. The last person to join the court was Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2017. "John Paul Stevens Second-Oldest Justice Ever". All of the justices on this list served on the Supreme Court throughout their 80s and the two oldest did not retire until they were over 90 years old. Here’s a list of the current Supreme Court justices in 2018, their ages at the time of their appointment, and who nominated them. He replaced Antonin Scalia. Due to his outspoken opinions, Brennan often swayed the more conservative justices to vote with the liberal majority under Chief Justice Earl Warren’s tenure. Louis Brendeis was the first Jewish person appointed to the Supreme Court. Sonia Sotomayor was nominated by former President Barack Obama and sworn in on August 8, 2009. Supreme Court justices start their careers as lawyers. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest ranking judicial body in the United … Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images. ", in Daniel L. Dreisbach, Mark David Hall, Jeffrey Morrison, Jeffry H. Morrison, eds.. Roger C. Cramton and Paul D. Carrington, eds.. Biographical encyclopedia of the Supreme Court : the lives and legal philosophies of the justices / edited by Melvin I. Urofsky. Taney is best known for delivering he majority opinion in the Dred Scott v. Standford case, which stated that African-Americans, whether free or slave, were not American citizens and thus had no standing to sue in federal court. There are only three former justices alive today: Sandra Day O’Connor, John Paul Stevens and David Souter.

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