On the United States Supreme Court, the nine judges are called justices. There have been 110 justices since 1789, with 17 of them having served as Chief Justice, not counting some in temporary positions due to the death or retirement of the Chief Justice.
Someone nominated by the President, and ratified by the U.S. Senate by a majority vote, can serve for life. The idea was that the judiciary not be affected by the whims of pedestrian politics. Not that that hasn’t happened on occasion.
Here’s a list of Supreme Court members. I can tell that this picture was taken after the 2006 retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman ever to serve on the high court, replaced by Samuel Alito, and before the 2009 retirement of David Souter. There is a particular order in these pictures. The Chief Justice, in this case, John Roberts, is always front and center, literally. To his left, from your point of view, is the justice with the most seniority, in this case, 2010 retiree John Paul Stevens. To the right of the CJ is the next person in terms of seniority, Antonin Scalia, followed by (far left front) Anthony Kennedy, (far right front) Souter, (near left back) Clarence Thomas, (near right back) Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (far left back) Stephen Breyer and (far right back) Alito.
Continue reading “J is for Justices”