By Jade Yeban, J.D. | Legally reviewed by Laura Temme, Esq. | Last reviewed April 24, 2023
This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy, clarity, and style by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and attorneys and in accordance with our editorial standards.
The last updated date refers to the last time this article was reviewed by FindLaw or one of our contributing authors. We make every effort to keep our articles updated. For information regarding a specific legal issue affecting you, please contact an attorney in your area.
Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to the United States Supreme Court in 2018. Throughout his career, Justice Kavanaugh has held a variety of positions in law and government. Since he joined the court on October 6, 2018, Justice Kavanaugh has made a significant impact on the legal landscape of the country.
Justice Kavanaugh graduated cum laude from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1987. He wrote for the Yale Daily News and played basketball for the junior varsity team. After completing his undergraduate studies, Justice Kavanaugh attended Yale Law School, where he earned his law degree in 1990. During his time at Yale Law, Justice Kavanaugh served as Notes Editor for the Yale Law Journal.
Following his graduation from law school, Justice Kavanaugh clerked for several prominent legal figures, including Judge Walter Stapleton of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
From 1991 until 1992, Justice Kavanaugh clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He then worked as a summer associate for Munger, Tolles & Olson, and in 1993, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy for a year.
After completing his clerkships, Justice Kavanaugh began his legal career in private practice. He worked for several prominent law firms, including Kenn Starr, Kirkland & Ellis, and Covington & Burling, where he specialized in appellate litigation and white-collar defense. Justice Kavanaugh's work in private practice gave him valuable experience arguing cases before the courts and preparing briefs on complex legal issues.
In December of 2000, Justice Kavanaugh joined a team representing George W. Bush. After President Bush became president in 2001, Justice Kavanaugh was hired as an associate by White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales. In this position, he worked on several notable cases, including the Enron scandal. In 2003, Justice Kavanaugh began working as an assistant to the President and White House staff secretary.
Justice Kavanaugh was nominated by President George W. Bush to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003. Justice Kavanaugh's tenure on the D.C. Circuit was marked by his conservative legal philosophy and his rigorous approach to legal analysis. During his time on the D.C. Circuit, Justice Kavanaugh authored several significant opinions on topics ranging from campaign finance to executive power.
Since joining the Supreme Court in 2018, Justice Kavanaugh has authored several notable opinions on a range of issues. In one of his most significant opinions, Justice Kavanaugh dissented from the Court's decision not to hear the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra (2017), which challenged a California law that requires pregnancy centers to provide information about abortion services.
In another notable opinion, Justice Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion for County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund (2020), which involved the scope of the Clean Water Act. Other decisions include Bostock v. Clayton County (2020), Fulton v. City of Philadelphia (2021), Trump v. Vance (2020), and National College Athletic Association v. Alston (2021).