Average Length of Service of Supreme Court Justices

How long does the average justice stay on the Supreme Court bench?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the big story the chart tells?

  3. Overall, what is one trend you see in the chart?

  4. What is a cause of this trend?

  5. What is a consequence of this trend?

  6. Do you think it's a good thing that the average Supreme Court Justice serves on the Court for 1/4 of a century?

  7. Imagine a scenario in which a current Judicial appointment is approved by the Senate, and their tenure of office follows the average, what is the last year they would serve on the Court?*

  8. The average age of the current Supreme Court is over 70. Do you think that it's a good thing that people the age of your grandparents are making decisions about hings like digital privacy rights, same-sex-marriage, and affirmative action?

  9. Given recent trends, what do you think the average term length of a supreme court justice will be like 40 years from now?

  10. Currently, Justices serve for life. In the comments section, explain whether you think there should be a Constitutional Amendment limiting Justices' terms:

Action Extension

Article III of the United States Constitution outlines Congress's power to oversee the judiciary. Contact Senator Charles Grassley, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and share your thoughts on whether Supreme Court Justices should serve for life:

Learning Extension

Read this fascinating Atlantic article about limiting the tenure of Justices to 18 years.