The Court System

The Supreme Court Term

How do justices get on the U.S. Supreme Court?

The president of the United States nominates or appoints U.S. Supreme Court justices. However, the U.S. Senate confirms the nominees or appointees by majority vote. In recent years, most persons nominated for service on the U.S. Supreme Court have served as lower federal court judges. However, nothing requires a person to have had prior judicial experience before serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. For example, former Associate Justice and later Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist had never served on the Court before his appointment by President Richard Nixon as associate justice in 1972.


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