By Alannah NicPhaidin
The Supreme Court hearings has caught a lot of people’s attention. There is a lot of talk about how the appointment is for life, and there is nothing you can do about the justice once they are in, as they are appointed for life. As nominee Gorsuch said during questioning “Judges aren’t legislators. We serve for life. You can’t get rid of us.”
That gave us an idea, which branch sticks around DC longest?
Just to make it more interesting we decided to compare only the longest serving members in the history of the court, to the longest serving members in the history of Congress AND the longest serving current members.
The longest serving Supreme Court Justice ever was William O. Douglas, who served from April 17th, 1939- November 12th, 1975. Total time served: 36 years and 209 days.
He would barely crack the top 80 longest serving members of Congress, and by the end of the year, he will be would have been knocked down to 84th.
The current longest-serving member on the court is Justice Kennedy, and he would rank 17th out of the Current members in Congress and wouldn’t even be in contention for top 100 longest-serving members of Congress.
The numbers don’t lie, check them out for yourself!
The results beg the question who really has lifetime appointments?
|Current Members of Congress||Length of term||All time longest serving members of Congress||Length of term||All time longest serving Members of the Court||Length of time on bench|
|John Conyers||52 years, 75 days||John Dingell||59 years, 21 days||William O. Douglas||36 years, 218 days|
|Thad Cochran||44 years, 75 days||Robert Byrd||57 years, 176 days||Stephen Johnson Field||34 years, 201 days|
|44 years, 13 days||Carl Hayden||56 years, 319 days||John Paul Stevens||34 years, 201 days|
|Patrick Leahy||42 years, 75 days||Daniel Inouye||53 years, 118 days||John Marshall||34 years, 160 days|
|Chuck Grassley||42 years, 75 days||Jamie L. Whitten||53 years, 60 days||Hugo Black||34 years, 37 days|
|Ed Markey||40 years, 137 days||John Conyers||52 years, 75 days||John Marshall Harlan||33 years, 315 days|
|Orrin Hatch||40 years, 75 days||Carl Vinson||50 years, 61 days||William J. Brennan, Jr.||33 years, 285 days|
|Thad Cochran||39 years, 168 days||Emanuel Celler||49 years, 305 days||William Rehnquist||33 years, 248 days|
|Richard Shelby||38 years, 75 days||Sam Rayburn||48 years, 257 days||Joseph Story||33 years, 228 days|
|Jim Sensenbrenner||38 years, 75 days||Sidney R. Yates||48 years, 0 days||James Moore Wayne||32 years, 180 days|
|Ron Wyden||36 years, 75 days||Strom Thurmond||47 years, 159 days||John McLean||31 years, 91 days|
|Pat Roberts||36 years, 75 days||Wright Patman||47 years, 3 days||Byron White||31 years, 84 days|
|Chuck Schumer||36 years, 75 days||Ted Kennedy||46 years, 292 days||Bushrod Washington||30 years, 302 days|
|Hal Rogers||36 years, 75 days||Charles Rangel||46 years, 0 days||William Johnson||30 years, 95 days|
|Chris Smith||36 years, 75 days||Joseph Gurney Cannon||46 years, 0 days||Antonin Scalia||29 years, 147 days|
|Chuck Grassley||36 years, 75 days||Adolph J. Sabath||45 years, 247 days||Oliver Wendell Holmes||29 years, 42 days|
|36 years, 75 days||J. Lister Hill||45 years, 142 days||Anthony Kennedy||29 years, 40 days|
|Marcy Kaptur||34 years, 75 days||Thad Cochran||44 years, 75 days||Roger B. Taney||28 years, 205 days|
|Sander Levin||34 years, 75 days||Don Young||44 years, 13 days||Samuel Freeman Miller||28 years, 91 days|
|Mitch McConnell||34 years, 75 days||George H. Mahon||44 years, 0 days||John Catron||28 years, 36 days|
|Joe Barton||34 years, 75 days|
|Pete Visclosky||34 years, 75 days|