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039 How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

 39. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
Nine (9)

The Supreme Court, which is the most important court in the United States, has changed in many ways since it was first founded (or created) in 1790. When the Supreme Court first began, there were only six justices (or the judges who work on the Supreme Court). This number changed six times, but since 1869 there have always been nine justices.

Supreme Court justices are appointed (or given their positions by people who work in politics). First they are nominated, which is when the president selects or picks them and says that this is the person who should get the job. Then they are rejected or accepted by the U.S. Senate. Justices are not rejected very often. In fact, only 12 nominees have ever been rejected as Supreme Court justices. All the others have been confirmed (or approved when at least half of the Senate members voted for them). The leader of these nine justices is called the Chief Justice; the other eight are called Associate Justices.

When justices are confirmed (or approved), then they are appointed for life, meaning that once they become a justice they can never be forced to leave.
Also, their salary (or the amount of money they make each year) can never be reduced (or made less). Because of this, the justices never have to worry about
losing their jobs or losing money if they vote the wrong way or make a decision the president or other people don’t like. This is a good thing, because it means that they can rule (or make legal decisions) based on their beliefs and not to please the current president.

Because the justices serve (or work in this public job) for life, the Supreme Court has a very low turnover rate. The turnover rate is how often old people leave
and new people take their place in an organization. Most of the justices serve (or work) for many, many years, often until they die or decide that they want to retire (or stop working to enjoy their old age). Since 1790, there have been only 16 Chief Justices and 97 Associate Justices. On average (or typically), they serve 15 years. Because of this, the Supreme Court has a lot of continuity (or consistency over time).


justice – a judge; one of the judges who work on the Supreme Court
* Who was the first female Supreme Court justice?

appointed – chosen for and given a position by someone with a lot of power
* The company president wants to keep the business in his family, so he has appointed his son to have his job when he retires.

to nominate – to say that one wants someone to work in a particular position or to have a particular title, prize, or award
* His dream is to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in physics.

to confirm – to approve a nomination; to give a position, job, or award to someone who has been nominated for it
* Why didn't Congress confirm her nomination for the position?

for life – for the rest of one's life, or possibly until one decides to stop working
* We work in most jobs for only a few years, but being a parent is for life.

salary – the amount of money that a person makes each year
* Most U.S. doctors have a salary of more than $100,000.

to rule – to make a legal decision; to decide whether something is against the law; to decide how something should be done
* How do you think the court will rule in that case?

turnover rate – how often employees leave and new people take their place in an organization or business
* Very stressful jobs have a high turnover rate because people get tired of working so hard.

to retire – to stop working so that one can enjoy one's old age
* Are you saving enough money to be able to retire comfortably?

continuity – the way that something stays the same over time
* When they moved across the country, they gave their daughter a sense of continuity by making sure that she had all her favorite toys with her.