Judicial Salaries

Judicial Salaries in the United States

Salary of the Supreme Court Justices

The salary of the justices (Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the court’s eight associate justices) is set by congressional statute and is subject to adjustment from time to time. As of the following dates, the salary of members of the Court is as follows:

As of May 2010
Chief Justice, Supreme Court $223,500
Associate Justices, Supreme Court $213,900

As of January 2009
Chief Justice, Supreme Court $217,400
Associate Justices, Supreme Court $208,100

As of January 2008
Chief Justice, Supreme Court $217,400
Associate Justices, Supreme Court $208,100

As of January 2006
Chief Justice, Supreme Court $212,100
Associate Justices, Supreme Court $203,000

As of January 2005
Chief Justice, Supreme Court $208,100
Associate Justices, Supreme Court $199,200

As of January 2004

Chief Justice, Supreme Court $203,000
Associate Justices, Supreme Court $194,300

As of January 2002

Chief Justice, Supreme Court $192,600
Associate Justices, Supreme Court $184,400

Note: Supreme Court justices receive compensation-boosting perks.

Analysis

Those wages were nearly double an annual median of $119,270 for all judges in may 2010. Federal salaries also bested pay among state Supreme Courts. State chief justices made a median of $152,500 a year, while associate justices earned $146,917. As of 2012, pay for federal judges had not increased since 2009.

States Salaries

Pay for justices who serve on state high courts varies. Justices in some states earn more than U.S. Supreme Court associate justices. That’s the case in California, where judges earned $218,237 a year as of 2011, for the highest state-court pay in the nation. Justices in Illinois took home $209,344, while judges in Alaska made $192,372. Rounding out the top five states for pay were Pennsylvania, at $189,620, and New Jersey, at $185,482. Justices serving on the Mississippi Supreme Court earned the least, at $112,530 a year. South Dakota ranked 49th for pay, at $118,173. Supreme Court justices in Maine earned $119,476. Other states in the bottom five included Idaho, with pay of $119,506, and Montana, at $121,434.

Supreme Court Justices: Chief Justice

  • Date Effective: September 23, 1789 ; Salary: $4,000
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1819 ; Salary: $5,000
  • Date Effective: March 3, 1855 ; Salary: $6,500
  • Date Effective: March 3, 1863 ; Salary: (Justice assigned to the Tenth Circuit granted $1,000 additional compensation for travel (repealed in 1866))
  • Date Effective: July 1, 1871 ; Salary: $8,500
  • Date Effective: March 4, 1873 ; Salary: $10,500
  • Date Effective: March 1, 1903 ; Salary: $13,000
  • Date Effective: June 1, 1911 ; Salary: $15,000
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1927 ; Salary: $20,500
  • Date Effective: August 1, 1946 ; Salary: $25,500
  • Date Effective: March 1,1955 ; Salary: $35,500
  • Date Effective: July 1, 1964 ; Salary: $40,000
  • Date Effective: March 1, 1969 ; Salary: $62,500
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1975 ; Salary: $65,600
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1976 ; Salary: $68,800
  • Date Effective: March 1, 1977 ; Salary: $75,000
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1979 ; Salary: $84,700
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1980 ; Salary: $92,400
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1981 ; Salary: $96,800
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1982 ; Salary: $100,700
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1984 ; Salary: $104,700
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1985 ; Salary: $108,400
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1987 ; Salary: $111,700
  • Date Effective: March 1, 1987 ; Salary: $115,000
  • Date Effective: February 1, 1990 ; Salary: $124,000
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1991 ; Salary: $160,600
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1992 ; Salary: $166,200
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1993 ; Salary: $171,500
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1998 ; Salary: $175,400
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2000 ; Salary: $181,400
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2001 ; Salary: $186,300
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2002 ; Salary: $192,600
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2003 ; Salary: $198,600
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2004 ; Salary: $203,000
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2005 ; Salary: $208,100
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2006 ; Salary: $212,100
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2008 ; Salary: $217,400
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2009 ; Salary: $223,500
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2014 ; Salary: $255,500
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2015 ; Salary: $258,100
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2016 ; Salary: $260,700

Supreme Court Justices: Associate Justices

  • Date Effective: September 23, 1789 ; Salary: $3,500
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1819 ; Salary: $4,500
  • Date Effective: March 3, 1855 ; Salary: $6,000
  • Date Effective: March 3, 1863 ; Salary: Justice assigned to the Tenth Circuit granted $1,000 additional compensation for travel (repealed in 1866)
  • Date Effective: July 1, 1871 ; Salary: $8,000
  • Date Effective: March 4, 1873 ; Salary: $10,000
  • Date Effective: March 1, 1903 ; Salary: $12,500
  • Date Effective: June 1, 1911 ; Salary: $14,500
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1927 ; Salary: $20,000
  • Date Effective: August 1, 1946 ; Salary: $25,000
  • Date Effective: March 1,1955 ; Salary: $35,000
  • Date Effective: July 1, 1964 ; Salary: $39,500
  • Date Effective: March 1, 1969 ; Salary: $60,000
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1975 ; Salary: $63,000
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1976 ; Salary: $66,000
  • Date Effective: March 1, 1977 ; Salary: $72,000
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1979 ; Salary: $81,300
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1980 ; Salary: $88,700
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1981 ; Salary: $93,000
  • Date Effective: October 1, 1982 ; Salary: $96,700
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1984 ; Salary: $100,600
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1985 ; Salary: $104,100
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1987 ; Salary: $107,200
  • Date Effective: March 1, 1987 ; Salary: $110,000
  • Date Effective: February 1, 1990 ; Salary: $118,600
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1991 ; Salary: $153,600
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1992 ; Salary: $159,000
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1993 ; Salary: $164,100
  • Date Effective: January 1, 1998 ; Salary: $167,900
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2000 ; Salary: $173,600
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2001 ; Salary: $178,300
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2002 ; Salary: $184,400
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2003 ; Salary: $190,100
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2004 ; Salary: $194,300
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2005 ; Salary: $199,200
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2006 ; Salary: $203,000
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2008 ; Salary: $208,100
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2009 ; Salary: $213,900
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2014 ; Salary: $244,400
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2015 ; Salary: $246,800
  • Date Effective: January 1, 2016 ; Salary: $249,300

U.S. District Court Judges Salaries

For information regarding District Court Judges Salaries click here.

U.S. Court of Appeals Judges Salaries

By Date Effective :

  • March 3, 1891 ; Annual Salary: $6,000
  • March 1, 1903 ; Annual Salary: $7,000
  • March 1, 1919 ; Annual Salary: $8,500
  • January 1, 1927 ; Annual Salary: $12,500
  • August 1, 1946 ; Annual Salary: $17,500
  • March 1, 1955 ; Annual Salary: $25,500
  • July 1, 1964 ; Annual Salary: $33,000
  • March 1, 1969 ; Annual Salary: $42,500
  • October 1, 1975 ; Annual Salary: $44,600
  • October 1, 1976 ; Annual Salary: $46,800
  • March 1, 1977 ; Annual Salary: $57,500
  • October 1, 1979 ; Annual Salary: $65,000
  • October 1, 1980 ; Annual Salary: $70,900
  • October 1, 1981 ; Annual Salary: $74,300
  • October 1, 1982 ; Annual Salary: $77,300
  • January 1, 1984 ; Annual Salary: $80,400
  • January 1, 1985 ; Annual Salary: $83,200
  • January 1, 1987 ; Annual Salary: $85,700
  • March 1, 1987 ; Annual Salary: $95,000
  • February 1, 1990 ; Annual Salary: $102,500
  • January 1, 1991 ; Annual Salary: $132,700
  • January 1, 1992 ; Annual Salary: $137,300
  • January 1, 1993 ; Annual Salary: $141,700
  • January 1, 1998 ; Annual Salary: $145,000
  • January 1, 2000 ; Annual Salary: $149,900
  • January 1, 2001 ; Annual Salary: $153,900
  • January 1, 2002 ; Annual Salary: $159,100
  • January 1, 2003 ; Annual Salary: $164,000
  • January 1, 2004 ; Annual Salary: $167,600
  • January 1, 2005 ; Annual Salary: $171,800
  • January 1, 2006 ; Annual Salary: $175,100
  • January 1, 2008 ; Annual Salary: $179,500
  • January 1, 2009 ; Annual Salary: $184,500
  • January 1, 2014 ; Annual Salary: $211,200
  • January 1, 2015 ; Annual Salary: $213,300
  • January 1, 2016 ; Annual Salary: $215,400

Salaries of U.S. Circuit Court Judges, 1801-1891

  • Effective February 13, 1801 the Annual Salary was: $2,000 ; Note: First through Fifth Circuits (judgeships abolished in 1802)
  • Effective February 13, 1801 the Annual Salary was: $1,500 ; Note: Sixth Circuit (judgeship abolished in 1802)
  • Effective March 2, 1855 the Annual Salary was: $4,500 ; Note: California Circuit
  • Effective July 1, 1857 the Annual Salary was: $6,000 ; Note: California Circuit (judgeship abolished in 1863)
  • Effective December 6, 1869 the Annual Salary was: $5,000 ; Note: Newly created circuit judgeships
  • Effective July 1, 1871 the Annual Salary was: $6,000
  • Effective March 3, 1891 the Annual Salary was: $6,000 ; Note: Circuit Judges assigned to the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals.

Salaries of U.S. Bankruptcy Judges

  • Efective November 6, 1978 the Annual Salary was: $50,000
  • Efective October 1, 1979 the Annual Salary was: $53,500
  • Efective January 1, 1982 the Annual Salary was: $58,500
  • Efective December 18, 1982 the Annual Salary was: $63,600
  • Efective January 1, 1984 the Annual Salary was: $66,100
  • Efective January 1, 1985 the Annual Salary was: $68,400
  • Efective January 1, 1987 the Annual Salary was: $70,500
  • Efective March 1, 1987 the Annual Salary was: $72,500
  • Efective October 1, 1988 Henceforth bankruptcy judges receive an annual salary of 92 percent of the salary of district judges.

Salaries of U.S. Magistrate Judges (full-time)

  • Efective October 17, 1968 , Salaries Not to exceed $22,500 (Salary to be determined by the Judicial Conference based on the number and nature of cases brought before the magistrate)
  • Efective September 21, 1972 , Salaries Not to exceed 75 percent of the salary of a district judge
  • Efective October 17, 1976 , Salaries Not to exceed salary of full-time bankruptcy referee
  • Efective November 6, 1978 , Salaries Not to exceed $48,500
  • Efective March 1, 1987 , Salaries $72,500
  • Efective October 1, 1988 Henceforth magistrate judges receive a salary, determined by the Judicial Conference, of up to 92 percent of the salary of district judges.

Judges of the Courts of Special Jurisdiction

Chief Judges: District of Columbia Circuit Court (1801–1863), Supreme Court (1863–1936), and District Court (1936– )

  • Effective February 27, 1801 the Annual Salary was: $2,000
  • Effective March 3, 1811 the Annual Salary was: $2,200
  • Effective April 1, 1818 the Annual Salary was: $2,700
  • Effective March 3, 1839 the Annual Salary was: $2,700 Note: $100 in additional annual compensation to chief judge for patent work (repealed in 1852)
  • Effective August 30, 1852 the Annual Salary was: $2,700 Note: $25 in additional compensation to any judge of the court for each patent case heard, to be paid by the appellant (repealed in 1870)
  • Effective March 3, 1857 the Annual Salary was: $3,750
  • Effective March 3, 1863 the Annual Salary was: $3,000
  • Effective June 2, 1866 the Annual Salary was: $4,500
  • Effective July 1, 1891 the Annual Salary was: $5,000
  • Effective March 1, 1903 the Annual Salary was: $6,000
  • Effective March 1, 1919 the Annual Salary was: $7,500
  • Effective July 1, 1920 the Annual Salary was: $8,000
  • Effective January 1, 1927 the Annual Salary was: $10,500
  • Effective August 1, 1946 the Annual Salary was: $15,500
  • Effective March 1, 1955 the Annual Salary was: $23,000
  • Effective July 1, 1964 the Annual Salary was: $30,500
  • Effective March 1, 1969 the Annual Salary was: $40,000 Note: Made equal to the salary of all other U.S. district court judges

Assistant Judges: District of Columbia Circuit Court (1801–1863), Supreme Court (1863–1936), and District Court (1936– )

  • Effective February 27, 1801 the Annual Salary was: $1,600
  • Effective March 3, 1811 the Annual Salary was: $2,000
  • Effective April 1, 1818 the Annual Salary was: $2,500
  • Effective March 3, 1839 the Annual Salary was: $2,500 Note: $100 in additional annual compensation to chief judge for patent work (repealed in 1852)
  • Effective August 30, 1852 the Annual Salary was: $2,500 Note: $25 in additional compensation to any judge of the court for each patent case heard, to be paid by the appellant (repealed in 1870)
  • Effective March 3, 1857 the Annual Salary was: $3,500
  • Effective March 3, 1863 the Annual Salary was: $3,000
  • Effective June 2, 1866 the Annual Salary was: $4,000
  • Effective July 1, 1891 the Annual Salary was: $5,000
  • Effective March 1, 1903 the Annual Salary was: $6,000
  • Effective March 1, 1919 the Annual Salary was: $7,500
  • Effective July 1, 1920 the Annual Salary was: $7,500
  • Effective January 1, 1927 the Annual Salary was: $10,000
  • Effective August 1, 1946 the Annual Salary was: $15,000
  • Effective March 1, 1955 the Annual Salary was: $22,500
  • Effective July 1, 1964 the Annual Salary was: $30,000
  • Effective March 1, 1969 the Annual Salary was: $40,000 Note: Made equal to the salary of all other U.S. district court judges

Chief Justices: District of Columbia Court of Appeals

  • Effective April 3, 1893 the Annual Salary was: $6,500
  • Effective March 1, 1903 the Annual Salary was: $7,500
  • Effective March 1, 1919 the Annual Salary was: $8,500
  • Effective July 1, 1920 the Annual Salary was: $9,000
  • Effective January 1, 1927 the Annual Salary was: $12,500 Note: Made equal to the salary of judges on the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Associate Justices: District of Columbia Court of Appeals

  • Effective April 3, 1893 the Annual Salary was: $6,000
  • Effective March 1, 1903 the Annual Salary was: $7,000
  • Effective March 1, 1919 the Annual Salary was: $8,500
  • Effective July 1, 1920 the Annual Salary was: $8,500
  • Effective January 1, 1927 the Annual Salary was: $12,500 Note: Made equal to the salary of judges on the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Court of International Trade (1980– )

Same salaries as judges of the U.S. district courts

Chief Justices: Court of Claims (1855–1982)

  • Effective February 24, 1855 the Annual Salary was: $4,000
  • Effective July 1, 1873 the Annual Salary was: $4,500
  • Effective March 1, 1903 the Annual Salary was: $6,500
  • Effective March 1, 1919 the Annual Salary was: $8,000
  • Effective January 1, 1927 the Annual Salary was: $12,500
  • Effective August 1, 1946 the Annual Salary was: $17,500
  • Effective March 1, 1955 the Annual Salary was: $25,500
  • Effective July 1, 1964 the Annual Salary was: $33,000
  • Effective March 1, 1969 the Annual Salary was: $42,500
  • Effective October 1, 1975 the Annual Salary was: $44,600
  • Effective October 1, 1976 the Annual Salary was: $46,800
  • Effective March 1, 1977 the Annual Salary was: $57,500
  • Effective October 1, 1979 the Annual Salary was: $65,000
  • Effective October 1, 1980 the Annual Salary was: $70,900
  • Effective October 1, 1981 the Annual Salary was: $74,300

Assistant Judges: Court of Claims (1855–1982)

  • Effective February 24, 1855 the Annual Salary was: $4,000
  • Effective July 1, 1873 the Annual Salary was: $4,500
  • Effective March 1, 1903 the Annual Salary was: $6,000
  • Effective March 1, 1919 the Annual Salary was: $7,500
  • Effective January 1, 1927 the Annual Salary was: $12,500
  • Effective August 1, 1946 the Annual Salary was: $17,500
  • Effective March 1, 1955 the Annual Salary was: $25,500
  • Effective July 1, 1964 the Annual Salary was: $33,000
  • Effective March 1, 1969 the Annual Salary was: $42,500
  • Effective October 1, 1975 the Annual Salary was: $44,600
  • Effective October 1, 1976 the Annual Salary was: $46,800
  • Effective March 1, 1977 the Annual Salary was: $57,500
  • Effective October 1, 1979 the Annual Salary was: $65,000
  • Effective October 1, 1980 the Annual Salary was: $70,900
  • Effective October 1, 1981 the Annual Salary was: $74,300

U.S. Court of Federal Claims (1982– )

  • Effective October 1, 1982 the Annual Salary was: $57,500
  • Effective December 18, 1982 the Annual Salary was: $65,200
  • Effective January 1, 1984 the Annual Salary was: $67,800
  • Effective January 1, 1985 the Annual Salary was: $70,200
  • Effective January 1, 1987 the Annual Salary was: $72,300
  • Effective March 1, 1987 the Annual Salary was: $82,500
  • Effective November 19, 1988 the Annual Salary was: Henceforth equal to the salary of U.S. district court judges

U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals (1910–1982)

Same salaries as judges of the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Commerce Court (1910–1913)

This court was presided over by U.S. Court of Appeals judges who received $1,500 in additional yearly compensation for the performance of their duties on this court

Judicial Salaries: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Judicial Salaries. This part provides references, in relation to Judicial Salaries, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Judicial Salaries by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Judicial Salaries and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Judicial Salaries or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Judicial Salaries and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Judicial Salaries. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Judicial Salaries should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Judicial Salaries when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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