Who are the Supreme Court justices?


The U.S. Supreme Court — the highest ranking judicial body — just added a new member: Brett Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh was officially confirmed by the Senate on Oct. 6 in a 50-48 vote. He was sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts hours later in a private ceremony.

The newest judge on the Supreme Court is filling the vacant seat of retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, 82. Kennedy, who announced his retirement in July after 30 years of service, held the key vote on high-profile issues, such as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights.

Here’s a look at the sitting Supreme Court justices.

Chief Justice John Roberts

Chief Justice John Roberts has been a member of the Supreme Court since 2005.

Chief Justice John Roberts has been a member of the Supreme Court since 2005.
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Nominated to the bench in 2005 by former President George W. Bush, John Roberts, 63, graduated from Harvard Law School in 1979, according to his court biography. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Roberts served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, as an associate counsel to former President Ronald Reagan and in the White House Counsel’s Office in the 1980s.

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Roberts is considered to be a conservative judge on the bench. However, he has angered some Republicans with certain decisions, particularly concerning ObamaCare.

Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh became the 114th Supreme Court justice on Oct. 6.

Brett Kavanaugh became the 114th Supreme Court justice on Oct. 6.
(Getty Images)

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as the 114th Supreme Court justice on Oct. 6, 2018.

Kavanaugh, 53, is a graduate of Yale Law School and a former clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose retirement from the nation’s highest court left the open seat on the bench Kavanaugh will fill. With approximately 300 opinions issued in 12 years as a judge and a raft of legal articles and speaking engagements, Kavanaugh was the most prolific of the nominees Trump was said to be considering for the role.

Senators voted to approve his nomination after a weeks-long discussion over sexual assault allegations brought forth by Christine Blasey Ford. An FBI investigation released the week of the confirmation vote helped settle concerns among most undecided senators.

Ultimately, Kavanaugh was confirmed with a 50-48 vote. It was the closest roll call to confirm a justice since 1881 — when Stanley Matthews was approved by 24-23, according to Senate records.

Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.

Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President George W. Bush.

Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President George W. Bush.
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Samuel Alito, Jr., has served on the Supreme Court since 2006 after he was nominated by former President George W. Bush. Alito, 68, is a Republican.

Born in New Jersey, Alito attended Princeton University and Yale Law School. Before joining the Supreme Court, he was a former assistant to the Solicitor General and worked with the Department of Justice.

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer

Justice Stephen Breyer was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1994.

Justice Stephen Breyer was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1994.
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Stephen Breyer was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1994 after being nominated by former President Bill Clinton. Breyer, 80, graduated from Stanford University, Magdalen College in Oxford and Harvard Law School.

Previously, Breyer served as an assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force and special counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Breyer is a Democrat.

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is only the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is only the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court.
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Nominated by former President Bill Clinton in 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is only the second female to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg, 85, attended Cornell University for her undergraduate degree before attending Harvard Law School and Columbia Law School.

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A Democrat, Ginsburg launched the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union prior to becoming a Supreme Court justice, according to her court biography. She also served on the ACLU’s general counsel.

Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch

Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the Supreme Court in 2017. He is its newest member.

Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the Supreme Court in 2017. He is its newest member.
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Neil Gorsuch was President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee. He graduated from Columbia University, Harvard Law School and Oxford University.

Prior to joining the Supreme Court in 2017, Gorsuch clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. Gorsuch, 51, served on the Standing Committee on Rules for Practice and Procedure of the U.S. Judicial Conference. He is a Republican.

Associate Justice Elena Kagan

Justice Elena Kagan joined the Supreme Court in 2010 after being nominated by former President Barack Obama.

Justice Elena Kagan joined the Supreme Court in 2010 after being nominated by former President Barack Obama.
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Elena Kagan, 58, has served on the Supreme Court since 2010. She was nominated by former President Barack Obama.

Kagan has degrees from Princeton University, Oxford University and Harvard Law School. She previously was a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School and Harvard Law School. A Democrat, she also served in the Clinton administration, clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and served as the Dean of Harvard Law School.

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Barack Obama in 2009.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Barack Obama in 2009.
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Sonia Sotomayor received Princeton University’s highest academic honor when she graduated and now she sits on the nation’s highest court. Sotomayor, 64, was nominated by former President Barack Obama in 2009.

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Like Alito, Sotomayor also attended Yale University where she got her J.D. Sotomayor, a Democrat, was also appointed to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York by former President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas

Justice Clarence Thomas has been on the Supreme Court since 1991.

Justice Clarence Thomas has been on the Supreme Court since 1991.
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

From Pin Point, Ga., Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court in 1991. The 70-year-old was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush.

Thomas, 69, attended seminary school from 1967 to 1968 before graduating from Holy Cross College and Yale Law School, according to his court biography. A Republican, Thomas has also served as an Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and the chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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