Their pay, age, political leanings and more: 6 Supreme Court questions answered

All eyes are on the highest court in the land amid Brett Kavanaugh's nomination.

October 1, 2018, 4:43 PM

The complicated and controversial nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has prompted a number of questions about the highest court in the land and the lifetime appointments that justices serve once they get confirmed.

Here are some of those burning questions answered.

1. How old are the Supreme Court justices?

The age of Supreme Court justices becomes a factor as soon as they are nominated because they are granted lifetime appointments.

Justices can resign or retire from the bench and some have died while serving.

Here are the ages of the current justices, in ascending order:

Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, 51 years old Associate Justice Elena Kagan, 58 years old Chief Justice John Roberts, 63 years old Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, 64 years old Associate Justice Samuel Alito, 68 years old Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, 70 years old Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, 80 years oldAssociate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85 years old

2. Who has been on the Supreme Court the longest?

Of the current batch of sitting justices, Associate Justice Thomas has been on the court the longest, having assumed the seat in October 1991 and serving just shy of 27 years.

The next justice, Ginsburg, took her place on the bench in August 1993.

Justice Breyer took his spot almost exactly a year later in August 1994.

There was a nine-year gap before Chief Justice Roberts took over for Chief Justice William Rehnquist in September 2005.

Justice Alito was appointed less than a year later, in January 2006.

Up next was Justice Sotomayor in August 2009. Justice Kagan took her spot in August 2010.

Justice Gorsuch was the first appointment of the Trump administration. A seat opened after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch took his spot on the bench in April 2017.

PHOTO: President Ronald Reagan sits with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in the White House Rose Garden in 1981.
President Ronald Reagan sits with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in the White House Rose Garden in 1981. O'Connor was Reagan's first appointment to the Supreme Court and the first woman to serve on the Court.
Corbis via Getty Images
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