Can a "Retired" justice still be among the "Current Members"?

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
The Supreme Court -About The Court homepage introduces its Current Members, including retired ones. So I wonder the meaning of the word "retired." What does it mean? Can a "Retired" justice still be among the "Current Members"?



Thanks in advance

*******************Current Members********************
John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States,
Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice,
<..............>
Sandra Day O’Connor (Retired), Associate Justice,
David H. Souter (Retired), Associate Justice,
<.............>

Source: Current Members
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I'm taking a guess here, but since Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, they can be current -- but inactive. (If that makes sense).
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you.

    My guess is that the retired justices offer counselling on the Court's legal affairs. So they are honored to be among Current Members.
    Just a guess.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Do you have access to Wikipedia? Its article on the US Supreme Court answers your question, also explaining the roles that retired members may undertake.
     

    andrewg927

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Did you not see a line between the current and retired members of the Court? "Retired" means "retired". These judges are no longer active or have an opinion on current court cases.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I concur with andrewg927. The modern Supreme Court has exactly nine members, no more, and no less. Retired members are by definition not "current members", and this is clearly shown on that website by their placement under the line drawn after the nine current members, and the word "Retired" shown next to each retired member's name.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Did you not see a line between the current and retired members of the Court? "Retired" means "retired". These judges are no longer active or have an opinion on current court cases.
    Of course I've seen it before posting the thread.

    The line could have meant "less active" rather than "no longer active" as you suggested.

    So simply putting a line there may be more or less misleading. Use different categories would be clearer:

    Category one: Current Members
    Category two: Retired Members

    Just a suggestion.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    On the language point, "current members" means what it says. That page linked in the OP lists all current members - appointed for life and still alive. The retired members have retired from their duties on the Court itself. They no longer serve, but they will remain current members until death.

    If there was a category of "no-longer current members", the line would have been a heading ("retired members", perhaps). The absence of a heading makes the meaning of "current members" clear - all those justices listed below the heading.
     

    andrewg927

    Senior Member
    English - American
    On the language point, "current members" means what it says. That page linked in the OP lists all current members - appointed for life and still alive. The retired members have retired from their duties on the Court itself. They no longer serve, but they will remain current members until death.

    If there was a category of "no-longer current members", the line would have been a heading ("retired members", perhaps). The absence of a heading makes the meaning of "current members" clear - all those justices listed below the heading.
    You don't understand the U.S. Supreme Court. Retired members are NOT considered current members.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    You don't understand the U.S. Supreme Court. Retired members are NOT considered current members.
    Good point.

    That is why English is so complicated. Andygc's native language is British English, whose opinion is important to me in learning English.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I do understand the Supreme Court, and it's pretty easy to find detailed descriptions of its structure and function from various online sources. Retired members are certainly current members, which is why the Court's own website lists them as current members. What they are not is active members - they no longer sit on the Court when a judgement is made. See post 2 which answered the question correctly. They may be called on by the Chief Justice to undertake other duties. See the Wikipedia article on the topic and various items of US legislation. If you don't believe Wikipedia there's a page on the Cornell University Law School website (among many others).
     
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