Compensation received by the justices for performing their Supreme Court duties.
The Judiciary Act of 1789
Congress, which is in charge of adjusting the salaries of the justices, did not increase salaries for long periods of time during the 1800’s and 1900’s. Raises occurred more often after 1955. The Ethics Reform Act of 1989 set the chief justice’s 1990 salary at $124,000 and the associates’ salaries at $118,600, a raise of 7.9 percent. In 1991 salaries were raised another 25 percent. Beginning in 1992 and continuing with subsequent years, salaries reflected a cost-of-living adjustment.
Over the years, several judges have publicly voiced complaints regarding their salaries. In 1816 Justice Joseph Story argued that the “cost of living had doubled and that the expenses of the justices had quadrupled” since 1789. Salary was a minor consideration in Justice Benjamin R. Curtis’s decision to leave the Court, and Justice Salmon P. Chase recommended that the court reduce the number of justices so the salaries for the remaining justices could be raised. Congress did reduce the size of the Court but did not adjust salaries. In 1989 Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist made history by testifying before Congress regarding salaries of federal judges and justices.
Judiciary Act of 1789
Resignation and retirement