Current U.S. Supreme Court Justices

More than 100 individuals have served as justices on the United Supreme Court since its creation in 1789. Their education and experience vary from the Ivy Leagues to self-taught advocates (in recent years, there have been more of the former). Nominated by the president and serving lifetime appointments, these jurists are among the most influential figures in American law.

The number of justices on the court has changed throughout the institution's history. Today, nine Supreme Court justices (including the Chief Justice) sit on the court. The current court features the largest number of female justices to serve at the same time -- four of the nine. Their experience on the court ranges from more than 30 years to less than a year. Most come from Ivy League backgrounds. Their work as attorneys varies from government positions to private practice, public defender to law school professor.

You can learn more about each current justice below and on their full bio pages. 

John G. Roberts, Jr.

Chief Justice

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts official portrait 2022

Chief Justice Roberts has been connected to the highest court for many years, beginning as a law clerk to then-Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist during the Court's 1980 term. In addition to his clerkship, Justice Roberts gained familiarity with the Court from the other side of the bench. He argued 39 cases as an attorney appearing before the Court, placing him among the country's most experienced Supreme Court litigators. Nominated by President George W. Bush, Justice Roberts was sworn in as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States on October 3, 2005.

Read Chief Justice Roberts' full bio

Clarence Thomas

Associate Justice

Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas official portrait 2022

Although this Yale Law School graduate now sits on the High Court, he once entertained an entirely different career path. Before Justice Clarence Thomas entered the legal profession, he attended Conception Seminary in preparation for the priesthood. After attending law school, he served as Assistant Attorney General of Missouri, worked as an attorney for Monsanto, and served as a Judge in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Justice Thomas took his seat on the Court in 1991 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush.

Read Justice Thomas's full bio

Samuel Alito

Associate Justice

Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito official portrait 2022

Justice Alito received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University before attending Yale Law School, where he served as an editor on the Yale Law Journal. He argued many cases in the Supreme Court, as well as numerous cases before the federal courts of appeals. Justice Alito later served on one of these courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. President George W. Bush nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat on January 31, 2006.

Read Justice Alito's full bio

Sonia Sotomayor

Associate Justice

Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor official portrait 2022

After obtaining her J.D. in 1979 from Yale Law School, Justice Sonia Sotomayor spent five years serving as Assistant District Attorney in the New York City DA's office. She then litigated international commercial matters with Pavia & Harcourt in New York City. Nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009, Justice Sotomayor is the first Hispanic and Latina Justice in the Court's history.

Read Justice Sotomayor's full bio

Elena Kagan

Associate Justice

Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan official portrait 2022

A former United States Solicitor General, Harvard Law professor, and the 11th Dean of Harvard Law School, Justice Elena Kagan joined the Supreme Court in 2010 after being nominated by President Barack Obama. She clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall during the Supreme Court's 1987 Term and held multiple positions as an attorney in the Clinton Administration. Unlike her colleagues, the Supreme Court is Justice Kagan's first judicial appointment.

Read Justice Kagan's full bio

Neil Gorsuch

Associate Justice

Associate Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch

A Harvard law grad, Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the Supreme Court in 2017 on a nomination from President Donald J. Trump. After several years in private practice and a brief stint with the Justice Department, Justice Gorsuch was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in 2006. Before his Supreme Court appointment, Justice Gorsuch also served on the Standing Committee on Rules for Practice and Procedure of the U.S. Judicial Conference and as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Read Justice Gorsuch's full bio

Brett Kavanaugh

Associate Justice

Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh official portrait 2022

Following contentious confirmation hearings that caught the attention of many across the nation, Justice Brett Kavanaugh took his seat on the court on October 6, 2018. He served as a law clerk for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy during the Supreme Court's 1993 Term and was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2006. Justice Kavanaugh received a B.A. from Yale College in 1987 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1990.

Read Justice Kavanaugh's full bio

Amy Coney Barrett

Associate Justice

Associate Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett official portrait 2022

Nominated to the Court by President Trump in 2020, Justice Amy Coney Barrett graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School in 1997. After a clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 1998-99, she joined a boutique litigation firm in Washington, D.C., for one year before returning to academia as a law professor. Justice Barrett taught at her alma mater for many years before being appointed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017.

Read Justice Barrett's full bio

Ketanji Brown Jackson

Associate Justice

Associate Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

Nominated by President Biden in 2022, Justice Jackson is the first Black woman to join the Supreme Court. She is also the first justice with experience as a public defender. Justice Jackson obtained her law degree from Harvard in 1996 and has served in several judicial offices, including Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission.

Read Justice Jackson's full bio

Was this helpful?


Learn about the nation's highest court and its most famous decisions.

Read more >