Question by  triberocks (62)

Does a supreme court justice have to be a lawyer?


Answer by  Johnson2231 (237)

Supreme court justices do not necessarily have to be lawyers. By law, the President can nominate anyone he or she chooses to. However, nominees must still be confirmed by the Senate. If the Senate decides that a nominee is unqualified, the nominee wil not be confirmed. As such, all recent justices have been lawyers.


Answer by  PumpkinPie (25)

The US Constitution does not require a supreme court justice to be a lawyer. However, all justices that have been appointed have held a law degree. However, there have been a handful of justices that were lawyers, but never served as a judge until being named to the Supreme Court.

Reply by Tolbukhin (78):
Over 1/3 of Supreme Court Justices had no prior judicial experience.  add a comment

Answer by  Sockless (528)

No, a Supreme Court Justice does not need to be a lawyer. In fact, the Constitution does not have any qualifications or restrictions for the position. The only constitutional requirement to be a Supreme Court Justice is you need to be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.


Answer by  trbellis (27)

There is no constitutional or legal requirement that a justice must be a lawyer. However, given the nomination and approval process, as well as the duties of the job itself, a nonlawyer is unlikely to be nominated and approved. A law professor, who is technically not a lawyer, may be an exception.


Answer by  nuttree (1596)

There is no Constitutional or statutory requirement that a Supreme Court justice must be a lawyer. But no non-lawyer has ever been on the Court, and it is unlikely that any will be in the foreseeable future. All current justices have served as judges on lower courts, but it is possible that a non-judge lawyer could be made a Justice.

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