While not compensated with the same seven-figure salaries as some attorneys who appear before the Court, Supreme Court Justices are well compensated and receive a bevy of job-related benefits.
According to the latest figures, Chief Justice Roberts earns an annual salary of $255,500 while Associate Justices receive $244,400 per year. By comparison, the President of the United States makes $400,000 (President Trump chose not to collect his salary) and the Vice President receives $227,300 per year.
Members of the Court also secure lifetime employment, widespread admiration, a unique place in history, and a lifetime pension equal to his or her highest salary upon retirement (not even U.S. presidents get to keep drawing their entire salary after they’ve left office).
The Justices also receive abundant free time during the Court’s three-month summer recess. As Chief Justice Roberts once joked: “Only Supreme Court Justices and schoolchildren are expected to and do take the entire summer off.”
Salaries for the Justices are set by Congressional law and modified every few years. Adjusted for inflation, the Justices were at their highest earning power in 1969 when the Chief Justice received the equivalent of $397,005 per year and Associate Justices earned $381,125 per year. Below is a snippet of Supreme Court salaries over the past 228 years.
|Year||Chief Justice||Associate Justices|
All federal judges are required to list on annual financial disclosure forms any out-of-town travel for speeches and other appearances that was paid for by private groups. Seven members of the current Court claim teaching income from universities, including lectures, which generally earned them about $3,000-$20,000 for one or more days of extracurricular work. According to a CNN report, at least six and as many as eight justices have investments worth at least $1 million.