Well, the payscale is all over the place.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. of the United States Supreme Court made judicial pay the sole topic of his second annual report, issued on Sunday, declaring that the failure by Congress to raise federal judges salaries in recent years has become a constitutional crisis that puts the future of the federal courts in jeopardy.
That sounds pretty serious. Just how bad is it for the Supremes and the Federal Judges who are appointed for life, with retirement, medical, and dental benefits?
By statute, federal district judges receive the same salaries as members of Congress, now $165,200 a year. Judges on the federal appeals courts receive $175,100; associate justices of the Supreme Court, $203,000; and the chief justice $212,100. The linkage of district judges and Congressional salaries means that judges pay the price when members of Congress discern that it would be politically unpopular to raise their own pay.
I guess that must seem like a pretty poor salary package to John Roberts. I suspect that anyone working for the federal minimum wage can sympathize with His Honor because the Federal minimum wage is currently set at $5.15 per hour. With 2080 weeks of work the minimum wage can produce an annual income of $10,712.00. And though the average minimum wage worker does not get medical, dental or retirement benefits, they also don’t have to shell out for those expensive robes and they can choose to live in areas with a lower cost of living where a Federal Judge is stuck wherever he is appointed for life, slaving away for $165,200.00 per year.
This doesn’t seem right. One thing that a minimum wage worker has been able to count on is wage security. The Federal Government has not allowed the minimum wage to drop a penny, in fact, the minimum wage has soared (maybe that should be sored?) by 90 centavos over the past 15 plus years when the wage was pegged at $4.25 per hour (1991).
And of course, this is just talk about the wages issues for Federal Judges and minimum wage workers here in the prosperous United States. Wage issues around the small blue planet may vary.
If you are interested in knowing more about just wage issues, we recommend the following websites for your reading pleasure:
And of course, not to forget the plight of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and all the impoverished federal judges, I suggest that any of you who may want to support raises for the Federal Judges get in touch with your Senator or Representatives and plead for a raise for the Judges and thank the Senators and Representatives for not allowing any decrease in the federal minimum wage.
I think it might make sense to add foodstamps as a benefit for Federal Judges to help them with their budgets. Let me think about that a bit and get back to you on that. one.