Seated left to right: Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Standing left to right: Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr., Justice Elena Kagan.There are nine United States Supreme Court Justices, the Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices, each of whom are appointed to serve for life. Today's Supreme Court consists of the following Justices:
- Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
- Associate Justice Antonin Scalia
- Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
- Associate Justice Clarence Thomas
- Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer
- Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.
- Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor
- Associate Justice Elena Kagan
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.JOHN G. ROBERTS, JR., Chief Justice of the United States, was born in Buffalo, New York, January 27, 1955. Nominated as Chief Justice of the United States by President George W. Bush, Justice Roberts took his seat on September 29, 2005. Education:
- A.B. from Harvard College in 1976
- J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1979.
- Law clerk for Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1979 to 1980
- Law clerk for then-Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1980 Term.
- Special Assistant to the Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice from 1981 to 1982
- Associate Counsel to President Ronald Reagan, White House Counsel's Office from 1982 to 1986
- Principal Deputy Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice from 1989 to 1993.
- Appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003.
- From 1986 to 1989 and 1993 to 2003, he practiced law in Washington, D.C.
Associate members of the Roberts Court
Associate Justice Antonin ScaliaNominated as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, President Ronald Reagan Justice Scalia took his seat September 26, 1986. Justice Scalia has labeled himself a textualist. Under this approach to the interpretation of law, Justice Scalia believes judges should be guided by the original meaning of the text of statutes and the Constitution, and not by the meanings as evolved over time. Justice Scalia has recently been promoting his new book, "Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts" available from Amazon. Education:
- A.B. from Georgetown University and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland
- LL.B. from Harvard Law School
- Sheldon Fellow of Harvard University from 1960–1961
- Private practice attorney in Cleveland, Ohio from 1961–1967
- Professor of Law at the University of Virginia from 1967–1971
- Professor of Law at the University of Chicago from 1977–1982
- Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University and Stanford University
- Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law, 1981–1982
- American Bar Association Conference of Section Chairmen, 1982–1983.
- General Counsel of the Office of Telecommunications Policy from 1971–1972
- Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1972–1974
- Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1974–1977
- He was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1982
In this brief excerpt of less than 2 minutes from a C-SPAN interview, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia advises that unless you know the materials they are working with, "Be slow to judge judges." Justice Scalia explains that a good judge very often does not like his own decision, because a good judge does not make law, but rather follows the law that the people have adopted. "If it is a foolish law, you are bound by oath to produce a foolish result." Justice Scalia asks those who would question a decision to, "Read the opinion and see what provisions of law were at issue, and what they were trying to reconcile, and whether they did an honest job or reconciling them." Justice Scalia notes that what counts is for judges do the job of "interpreting the words of the law in a fair fashion."
Justice Scalia speaks about his book, "Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts", and discuses in detail his philosophy on originalism and textualism in the following Fox News Sunday interview with Chris Wallace:
"Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts" is available at Amazon.com.
Associate Justice Anthony M. KennedyNominated as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, Justice Kennedy took his seat February 18, 1988. Born: Sacramento, California, July 23, 1936. Education:
- B.A. from Stanford University and the London School of Economics
- LL.B. from Harvard Law School.
- Private law practice in San Francisco, California from 1961–1963, and Sacramento, California from 1963–1975.
- Professor of Constitutional Law at the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific 1965 to 1988
- California Army National Guard in 1961
- Board of the Federal Judicial Center from 1987–1988
- Advisory Panel on Financial Disclosure Reports and Judicial Activities (subsequently renamed the Advisory Committee on Codes of Conduct) from 1979–1987
- Committee on Pacific Territories from 1979–1990, Chairman from 1982–1990.
- Appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1975.
Associate Justice Clarence ThomasNominated as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President George Bush, Justice Thomas took his seat October 23, 1991. Born: near Savannah, Georgia, June 23, 1948. Education:
- A.B. from Holy Cross College, cum laude
- J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974
- Assistant Attorney General of Missouri from 1974–1977
- Attorney with the Monsanto Company from 1977–1979
- Legislative Assistant to Senator John Danforth from 1979–1981
- Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education from 1981–1982
- Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1982–1990
- Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1990
Associate Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgNominated as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Clinton, she took her seat August 10, 1993. Born: Brooklyn, New York, March 15, 1933. Education:
- B.A. from Cornell University
- attended Harvard Law School
- LL.B. from Columbia Law School
- Law clerk to the Honorable Edmund L. Palmieri, Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, from 1959–1961.
- Research Associate and then Associate Director of the Columbia Law School Project on International Procedure from 1961–1963
- Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law from 1963–1972
- Professor of Law at Columbia Law School from 1972–1980
- Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California from 1977–1978
- In 1971, she was instrumental in launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union
- ACLU General Counsel from 1973–1980
- ACLU National Board of Directors from 1974–1980
- Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980
Associate Justice Stephen G. BreyerNominated as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Clinton, Justice Breyer took his seat August 3, 1994. Born: San Francisco, California, August 15, 1938. Education:
- A.B. from Stanford University
- B.A. from Magdalen College, Oxford
- LL.B. from Harvard Law School
- Law clerk to Justice Arthur Goldberg of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1964 Term
- Special Assistant to the Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Antitrust, 1965–1967
- Assistant Special Prosecutor of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, 1973
- Special Counsel of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, 1974–1975
- Chief Counsel of the committee, 1979–1980
- Assistant Professor, Professor of Law, and Lecturer at Harvard Law School, 1967–1994
- Professor at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, 1977–1980
- Visiting Professor at the College of Law, Sydney, Australia
- Visiting Professor at the University of Rome
- Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit from 1980–1990
- Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 1990–1994
- Member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1990–1994
- United States Sentencing Commission, 1985–1989
Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.Nominated as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush, Justice Alito took his seat January 31, 2006. Born: Trenton, New Jersey, April 1, 1950. Education:
- Princeton University
- Yale Law School
- Law clerk for Leonard I. Garth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1976–1977
- Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey, 1977–1981
- Assistant to the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice, 1981–1985
- Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, 1985–1987
- U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey, 1987–1990
- Appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 1990
Associate Justice Sonia SotomayorNominated as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, Justice Sotomayor, took her seat August 8, 2009. Born: Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. Education:
- B.A. from Princeton University, 1976, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor
- J.D. from Yale Law School, 1979; Editor of the Yale Law Journal
- Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979–1984
- Associate and then Partner at Pavia & Harcourt where she litigated international commercial matters in New York City from 1984–1992
- Judge on U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, from 1992–1998
- judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009
Associate Justice Elena KaganNominated as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens. Justice Kagan took her seat August 7, 2010. Born: New York, New York, on April 28, 1960. Education:
- A.B., summa cum laude, in 1981 from Princeton University
- Worcester College, Oxford University, as Princeton’s Daniel M. Sachs Graduating Fellow
- M. Phil. in 1983
- J.D. from Harvard Law School, 1986 graduating magna cum laude
- Supervising Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
- Law clerk to Judge Abner Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1986-1987
- Law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1987 Term
- Associate in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Williams & Connolly, LLP, from 1989-1991
- Assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School in 1991
- Tenured Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law Schoolin 1995.
- Associate counsel to President Clinton From 1995-1999
- Deputy assistant to the President for Domestic Policy
- Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council
- Harvard Law School as a visiting professor in 1999
- Professor of Law, Harvard Law School in 2001
- Charles Hamilton Houston Professor of Law
- 11th Dean of Harvard Law School in 2003
- Confirmed as 45th Solicitor General of the United States on March 19, 2009
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