Yahoo!’s Supreme Court category is full of information about the most powerful court in the U.S. The “About the Supreme Court” section of the site has nearly a dozen PDF files you can download for details about the court and its history. In the Court as an Institution file, it is mentioned: Members of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President subject to the approval of the Senate. To ensure an independent Judiciary and to protect judges from partisan pressures, the Constitution provides that judges serve during “good Behaviour,” which has generally meant life terms. Another PDF, The Court and Its Traditions, discussed the longevity of recent justices. The record goes to Justice William O. Douglas, who retired in November of 1975 after serving for 36 years and 6 months. Per, A Vacancy on the Court, there are four ways a justice can leave the Court: they can retire, resign, be impeached, or die. The retirement option is fairly new — prior to 1869, there were no retirement benefits. The current provision allows justices over 70 who have served at least 10 years to leave the Court at their current pay. However, only 36 justices have taken advantage of this offer and retired, while 16 resigned and the remaining 48 died in office. The average term is approximately 15 years.