The U.S. Supreme Court was first established in 1789 in accordance with Article III of the U.S. Constitution. The Court traditionally has one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices, making nine Justices altogether.
Current Supreme Court Justices
|Name||Title||Year Appointed (Nominating President)|
|John G. Roberts, Jr.||Chief Justice||2005 (George W. Bush)||Books @ BPL|
|Clarence Thomas||Associate Justice||1991 (George H. W. Bush)||Books @ BPL|
|Stephen G. Breyer||Associate Justice||1994 (Bill Clinton)||Books @ BPL|
|Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.||Associate Justice||2006 (George W. Bush)||Books @ BPL|
|Sonia Sotomayor||Associate Justice||2009 (Barack Obama)||Books @ BPL|
|Elena Kagan||Associate Justice||2010 (Barack Obama)||Books @ BPL|
|Neil Gorsuch||Associate Justice||2017 (Donald Trump)||Books @ BPL|
|Brett Kavanaugh||Associate Justice||2018 (Donald Trump)||Books @ BPL|
|Amy Coney Barrett||Associate Justice||2020 (Donald Trump)|
Statue of Contemplation of Justice by James Earle Fraser on the main steps
There is no mandatory retirement age for Justices because it is a lifetime appointment. When a Justice wishes to retire, they submit a letter to the President stating their intentions. Justices often retire due to advanced age and/or poor health, although they frequently have other reasons. There are currently three retired Associate Justices who are still living.
|Name (Nominating President)||Years Served||Reason For Retiring|
|Sandra Day O'Connor (Ronald Reagan)||1981-2006||To care for husband suffering from Alzheimer's disease.||Books @ BPL|
|David Souter (George H. W. Bush)||1990-2009||Desire to move back to New Hampshire.||Books @ BPL|
|Anthony Kennedy (Ronald Reagan)||1988-2018||Desire to spend more time with family.||Books @ BPL|
Sandra Day O'Connor
The Supreme Court did not have a permanent meeting place in Washington D.C. until 1810, when it moved into the U.S. Capitol Building. It moved a few times within the building until the current Supreme Court building was constructed in 1935. The building is located at 1 First Street NE in Washington, D.C. and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9am to 4:30pm.
Front facade of Supreme Court building.
One of two self-supporting spiral staircases inside the building.