The United States Constitution does not specify any qualifications for Supreme Court justices, and no special requirements exist concerning age, education, profession, experience or citizenship. Justices do not need to have particular legal experience, nor do they need to be lawyers. However, as of 2014, all justices have had some sort of preparation in law.Continue Reading
For example, during the 18th and 19th centuries, the United States did not have many law schools. Consequently, some of the justices were trained by legal mentors.
Certain justices followed unusual paths to the Supreme Court. For instance, James F. Byrnes, who served on the bench in 1941 and 1942, never finished high school. A self-taught lawyer, Byrnes passed the bar when he was 23 years old. Another example concerns Robert H. Jackson, who sat on the Supreme Court from 1941 to 1954. Though he never earned a bachelor's degree, Jackson completed Albany Law School in New York when he was 20 but was not awarded the advance degree at the time because rules stated that graduates from the program had to be at least 21. Instead, Jackson was issued a "diploma of graduation." Albany Law School did award him the degree almost 30 years later. The graduation year was identified as 1912.Learn more about Branches of Government
The president of the United States has the power to nominate justices of the Supreme Court with the advice and consent of the Senate, in accordance with Article II, section 2 of the Constitution of the United States. Although the president has the power to nominate Supreme Court justices, he has no power to remove them; that power is reserved to Congress alone.Full Answer >
The terms of Supreme Court justices are not specified, which means they can serve until they retire. The Constitution states that justices serve during good behavior, but they may be removed through impeachment.Full Answer >
In the U.S., the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. It serves as the final judge in all Congressional laws and the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is often referred to as "the court of last resort."Full Answer >
In the text of the Constitution, there are no written age or citizenship restrictions for being a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, unlike for members of Congress or the Executive Branch. However, the Justices are nominated by the President and approved by Congress rather than elected.Full Answer >