Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court justices are among the most highly paid jurists in the nation, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Only two states paid their top judges more than the $186,450 that Pennsylvania annually pays its justices, according to the National Center for State Courts. The state’s seven justices also have more law clerks – five to seven each – than the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Each justice also gets a taxpayer-funded rental car. Multiple offices for each justice push total costs per judge to $1 million, the paper said.
Court officials say the logistics of operating the court, the nation’s oldest state supreme court, are complicated. It is a circuit court that sits in three locations – Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia – and there is a scarcity of public space to house justices. Elsewhere, even some of the largest states have centralized their highest courts. Top courts in Florida, Texas and Ohio meet in one location and house their justices in the state capital. In Michigan, where the Supreme Court meets in Lansing, justices are provided with offices near their homes, but all moved into state-owned facilities years ago.