The U.S. Supreme Court is currently comprised of nine justices who serve lifetime appointments after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Here is some background on those currently serving on the high court.
Chief Justice John Roberts
Roberts earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard. Before he began his judicial career, he worked in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, then worked in private practice. Prior to joining the Supreme Court he was appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush in 2003. Bush then appointed him to the Supreme Court in 2005, taking the place of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, for whom he had previously served as a clerk.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ginsburg earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, then attended Harvard Law and earned her law degree from Columbia Law School. She went on to serve as a law professor at Rutgers University School of Law and Columbia Law Scool. She was also general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. Ginsburg was appointed to the D.C. Circuit in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter and to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
Justice Stephen Breyer
Breyer clerked for Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg in 1964 before going on to teach Administrative Law as a professor at Harvard. Breyer, who completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford before earning his law degree at Harvard, was an assistant special prosecutor in the Watergate case and served on the First Circuit Court of Appeals from 1980 to 1994, when President Clinton nominated him for the Supreme Court.
Justice Clarence Thomas
Thomas has been serving on the Supreme Court since 1991, after he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush. Prior to that, he served on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for one year. A graduate of Holy Cross University and Yale Law School, Thomas worked in the Reagan administration prior to joining the bench, working as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education, then Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Justice Elena Kagan
Kagan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Princeton before a fellowship at Oxford. She then earned her law degree from Harvard and spent time in private practice and as a law professor at University of Chicago before she joined the Clinton administration as associate White House counsel and deputy assistant on the Domestic Policy Council. She then taught and served as dean of Harvard Law School before President Barack Obama chose her to be U.S. Solicitor General in 2009. Obama then nominated her for the Supreme Court in 2010.
Justice Samuel Alito
Alito, a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, was U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey before being appointed to Third Circuit Court of Appeals by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. He joined the Supreme Court in 2006 after being appointed by President George W. Bush.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Another Princeton and Yale Law alum, Sotomayor was nominated to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 and served there from 1992-1998, when she was selected by President Clinton to serve on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2009, she was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Obama.
Justice Neil Gorsuch
Gorsuch completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia, studied at Oxford, and earned his law degree at Harvard. He worked in private practice from 1995-2005, then worked in the Justice Department until 2006 when he was appointed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush. Gorsuch also taught at University of Colorado Law School. President Trump nominated him to the Supreme Court in 2017.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh
Kavanagh earned both his bachelor’s degree and his JD from Yale. He was appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush in 2006 after serving in various roles in his administration. President Trump appointed him to the Supreme Court in 2018.