Many state court chief justices are asking for more money for courts and judicial salaries. How much do Justices make anyway?
The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court earned an annual salary of $223,500 as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The court’s eight associate justices averaged $213,900. Those wages were nearly double an annual median of $119,270 for all judges. 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.
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.