This season of Supreme Court decisions is over, but we are still mourning the loss of Justice Antonin Scalia, taken from us too early earlier this year. With the nomination of Judge Garland still pending and not looking too good for the Obama administration, we are left with eight justices on the bench. In the past few years, the Supreme Court has come under more scrutiny, and our generation seems to be more interested in the courts than ever before. However, many people are still uninformed on just who the justices are, where they come from, what their history on the court says about their future decisions, and more. Here’s what you need to know about the eight sitting justices on the Supreme Court of the United States. If you want to learn more about any of the particular cases mentioned, check out SCOTUSblog and Oyez.

Chief Justice John Roberts

Justice Roberts, 61, is the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was nominated by President Bush (43) to take the place of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist and has been sitting on the court since September of 2005. He’s a Harvard College and Harvard Law graduate, and argued 39 cases before the Supreme Court during his time as a lawyer with the Department of Justice and private practice. Some of his most notable decisions include Gonzales v Carhart, where Roberts indicated that he supported some abortion restrictions, and Rumsfeld v Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, where he ruled that colleges that accept federal funding must allow military recruiters on their campuses. This past term, however, he joined in a dissent on the court’s ruling on Whole Women’s Health, the most recent abortion case, and he also joined a dissent in Fisher v Texas, where Alito said that the Texas university’s stated interest in diversity was not specific and was “shifting, unpersuasive, and, at times, less than candid.” He authored the court’s unanimous decision to overturn the corruption convictions against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.

Stephen Breyer

Justice Breyer, 77, was appointed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. He’s a Harvard Law graduate who clerked for Justice Goldberg before later working as a special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. In his two decades on the court, he has authored decisions such as Lawrence v Texas, which struck down a Texas sodomy law, and District of Columbia v Heller, which upheld the Second Amendment in relation to protection of a citizen, including self-defense in a home. Recently, he authored the majority opinion in Whole Women’s Health, which struck down Texas’ abortion restrictions that would require abortion clinics to have hospital admittance privileges, among other things.

 Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ginsburg, 83, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in government from Cornell, she went on to enroll at Harvard Law School but transferred to Columbia Law after her husband got a job in New York City. This makes her one of the only sitting justices to not be a graduate from Harvard or Yale Law. On the court, she has been outspoken in favor of abortion rights, and joined in the majority opinion on Stenberg v Carhart that struck down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion. She famously dissented in the case Bush v Gore that settled the dispute around the 2000 presidential election. More recently, she has come under fire for making comments against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Samuel Alito

Justice Alito, 66, joined the court in early 2006 after being appointed by President George W Bush. A graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law, Alito served as the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey and a judge in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals before joining the court. He, along with Justice Thomas, are known to be consistently conservative. Alito was involved in Planned Parenthood v Casey during his time on the Third Circuit, and disagreed with a provision by the rest of the panel that struck down married women having to inform their husbands if they had an abortion. His first opinion while on the court was in Holmes v South Carolina, where the court ruled that criminal defendants were allowed to present evidence that a third party had committed the crime. In Morse v Frederick, Alito sided with Robert’s opinion that speech advocating drug use can be banned in public schools. In the 2015-2016 term, Alito dissented in the cases of Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt and Fisher v Texas. He authored this term’s opinion in Birchfield v North Dakota, which held that a search incident to arrest doctrine allows law enforcement officers to conduct warrantless breath tests but not warrantless blood tests.

Clarence Thomas

Justice Thomas, 68, has been a strong conservative on the court since he joined in 1991 under the appointment of President George HW Bush (41). While none of the Supreme Court judges are known for being especially raucous, Justice Thomas is well-known for being quiet and stoic. He was so quiet for so long that him asking a question during oral arguments this past term (for the first time in a decade) got major media coverage. A graduate of Yale Law School, he overcome massive student loan debt and an alcohol addiction to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Following a hotly contested confirmation hearing, Thomas was confirmed as only the second African-American justice on the court in 1991. Some of his most known casework involves the majority decision in Good News Club v. Milford Central School, where he stated that the public school violated the First Amendment when it refused to allow a religious club from meeting there. On the topic of abortion, Thomas dissented in Planned Parenthood v Casey and in Stenberg v Carhart he dissented from the striking down of a ban on partial-birth abortion. This past term, he dissented in Taylor v United States, and Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt. He wrote the court’s opinion in Nebraska v Parker, which held that an 1882 act by Congress did not diminish the Omaha Indian Reservation.

Anthony Kennedy

Justice Kennedy, 79, is the Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, having been appointed to the court in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law, he is the only remaining justice from the Reagan administration, and the longest serving justice on the court. Kennedy, while appointed by a Republican, has been known in recent years as the swing vote, going different ways on different decisions. For example, he authored the majority opinions in both Citizens United v FEC and Obergefell v Hodges, cases that were seen as major victories for two very different parties. In Hodgson v Minnesota, Kennedy upheld restrictions on abortion that required minors to notify both parents of the procedure, but in Planned Parenthood v Casey, he joined O’Connor’s opinion that recognized the right to abortion under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. This past term, Kennedy authored the majority opinion in Fisher v University of Texas, which held that the university’s affirmative action program was constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause.

Elena Kagan

Justice Kagan, 56, was Obama’s second appointment to the Supreme Court during his presidency. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she served as Associate White House Counsel and a policy adviser under President Clinton before becoming the first female dean of Harvard Law School. She joined the court in August of 2010 after the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens. The first opinion she authored while on the court was in Ransom v FIA Card Services, which found that an individual declaring bankruptcy could not count expenses for a car he had paid off in his applicable monthly expenses. The only justice who dissented was Scalia. This past term, she authored decisions in Voisine v United States and Puerto Rico v Sanchez Valle. She dissented in Utah v Strieff and Luis v United States. She authored Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt, the case that struck down Texas’s abortion restrictions.

Sonia Sotomayor

Justice Sotomayor, 62, was Obama’s first appointment to the Supreme Court, which was made in 2009. The first justice of Hispanic heritage, she is a Princeton University and Yale Law graduate who served on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and taught for New York University Law School before her appointment. Sotomayor has ruled in cases such as Pappas v Guiliani, concerning free speech, and Correctional Services Corp v Malesko, which upheld the right of an individual to sue a private corporation working on behalf of the government for violations of constitutional rights. In the 2015 term, she concurred with the majority opinions in Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt and Fisher v Texas, but she dissented in Utah v Strieff, which clarified the 4th amendments exclusionary rule in relation to police surveillance and reasonable suspicion.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member