History Looks Forward: SCOTUS Chief Justice John G. Roberts Appointment No Accident
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 15, 2015
It wasn’t by accident that George W. Bush nominated John Roberts as SCOTUS Chief Justice, because he’s the SECOND YOUNGEST of ALL the Justices (Elena Kagan b.4/28/1960 is younger than John Roberts b.1/27/1955 by 5 years, 3 months, 3 days), and his influence could be felt for perhaps 40+ years. At his appointment, John G. Roberts was aged 48 years, only 4 years older than the First Chief Justice, John Jay (served 1789-1795), who was aged 44 years when he took the oath of office.
FYI, the youngest Associate Justice was Joseph Story (served 1811-1845), who was aged 32 years when he took the oath of office.
The longest serving Associate Justice was William O. Douglas who served 36 years, 7 months, and 8 days from 1939 to 1975.
The longest serving Chief Justice was Chief Justice John Marshall who served 34 years, 5 months and 11 days from 1801 to 1835.
The average number of years that Justices have served is 16.
However… the average tenure of a Supreme Court Justice from 1789 through 1970 was 14.9 years.
For those Justices who have retired since 1970, the average tenure jumped to 26.1 years.
Of the Justices now serving, Antonin Scalia has been serving the longest, having been sworn in September 26, 1986.
Because of the long tenure of recent members of the Court, there were no vacancies on the Supreme Court from 1994 to the middle of 2005.
The trend toward longer service has “led to significantly less frequent vacancies on the Court, which reduces the efficacy of the democratic check that the appointment process provides on the Court’s membership. The increase in the longevity of Justices’ tenure means that life tenure now guarantees a much longer tenure on the Court than was the case in 1789 or over most of our constitutional history.”