Amy Coney Barrett,
since October 27, 2020
Retired associate justices
An associate justice who leaves the Supreme Court after attaining the age and meeting the service requirements prescribed by federal statute (28 U.S.C. 28 U.S.C. § 371) may retire rather than resign. After retirement, they keep their title, and by custom may also keep a set of chambers in the Supreme Court building, and employ law clerks. The names of retired associate justices continue to appear alongside those of the active justices in the bound volumes of Supreme Court decisions. Federal statute (28 U.S.C. § 294) provides that retired Supreme Court justices may serve—if designated and assigned by the chief justice—on panels of the U.S. courts of appeals, or on the U.S. district courts. Retired justices are not, however, authorized to take part in the consideration or decision of any cases before the Supreme Court (unlike other retired federal judges who may be permitted to do so in their former courts); neither are they known or designated as a "senior judge". When, after his retirement, William O. Douglas attempted to take a more active role than was customary, maintaining that it was his prerogative to do so because of his senior status, he was rebuffed by Chief Justice Warren Burger and admonished by the whole Court.
There are three living retired associate justices: Sandra Day O'Connor, retired January 31, 2006; David Souter, retired June 29, 2009; and Anthony Kennedy, retired July 31, 2018. Souter occasionally serves on panels of the Courts of Appeals of
There are three living retired associate justices: Sandra Day O'Connor, retired January 31, 2006; David Souter, retired June 29, 2009; and Anthony Kennedy, retired July 31, 2018. Souter occasionally serves on panels of the Courts of Appeals of various circuits. O'Connor did as well for several years following her retirement, but no longer does. Kennedy has not performed any judicial duties since retiring.
Since the Supreme Court was established in 1789, the following 103 persons have served as an associate justice: