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Present Justices

Clerk to Chief - Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
John Roberts, who once was the law clerk to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquest, has now taken his place on the Court as Chief Justice. Besides 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.

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Judicial Veterans - Justice John Paul Stevens (Ret.)
During World War II, John Paul Stevens served on a naval code-breaking team. He later received a Bronze Star for his contributions. Nominated by President Ford, Justice Stevens took his seat on the Court in 1975. He is the most senior member of the Court, and also the Court's only current octogenarian.

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First Lady - Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.)
Sandra Day O'Connor is the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court. When she joined the high court, she found a familiar face in the late Justice Rehnquist. Both received their law degrees from Stanford in 1952. Rehnquist graduated at the top of that class. O'Connor finished two spots below. Nominated by President Reagan, Justice O'Connor took her seat on the Court in 1981. On July 1, 2005, Justice O'Connor sent a letter to the White House notifying the President of her retirement from the Supreme Court effective upon the nomination and confirmation of her successor. Justice O'Connor retired from the Supreme Court on January 31, 2006.

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Legal Educator - Justice Antonin Scalia (Dec.)
In 1967, Antonin Scalia joined the University of Virginia as a law professor. Four years later, he left Virginia to enter into government service. However, he later resumed his career as a law professor, teaching at Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University. Nominated by President Reagan, Justice Scalia took his seat on the Court in 1986. Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016.

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A Different World - Justice Anthony Kennedy
President Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy to fill the seat vacated by Justice Powell after two earlier nominees had failed. The Senate rejected the first nominee, Robert Bork, because of his extremist conservative views. Had the Senate confirmed the Bork nomination, many believe that the Court would have reversed Roe v. Wade by now. Nominated by President Reagan, Justice Kennedy took his seat on the Court in 1988.

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Cliffhanger - Justice David Souter (Ret.)
Harvard Law School, Oxford, and Rhodes Scholar. These are the credentials one would expect from a Supreme Court justice. Interests in classical music and reading. Ditto. However, David Souter is not all books and no fun. He enjoys mountain climbing in New Hampshire during the judicial off-season. Nominated by President George H. W. Bush, Justice Souter took his seat on the Court in 1990. Justice Souter retired from the Supreme Court on June 29, 2009.

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Higher Calling - Justice Clarence Thomas
Although this Yale Law School graduate now sits on the High Court, he had once entertained an entirely different career path. Before Justice Clarence Thomas entered the legal profession, he had previously attended Conception Seminary in preparation for the priesthood. Nominated by President George H. W. Bush, Justice Thomas took his seat on the Court in 1991.

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Top Scholar - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended both Harvard and Columbia Law Schools and was a member of law review at both schools. She finished at Columbia at the top of her class and later returned there as the school's first tenured woman law professor. Nominated by President Clinton, Justice Ginsburg took her seat on the Court in 1993.

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World Traveler - Justice Stephen Breyer
After graduating from Stanford University, Stephen Breyer attended Magdalen College, Oxford, as a Marshall Scholar. Breyer earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree with First Class Honors at Oxford in 1961. Breyer's later overseas treks occurred not as a student, but as a teacher. He was a Visiting Professor at the College of Law in Sydney, Australia, in 1975, and at the University of Rome in 1993. Nominated by President Clinton, Justice Breyer took his seat on the Court in 1994.

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Justice Samuel Anthony Alito
Associate Justice Samuel Alito was born in Trenton, New Jersey on April 1, 1950. Alito received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University and attended Yale Law School, where he served as an editor on the Yale Law Journal. He has argued a number of cases in the Supreme Court, as well as numerous cases before the federal courts of appeals. He 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.

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Supreme Court, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979-1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984-1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992-1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998-2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role on August 8, 2009.

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Justice Elena Kagan
Associate Justice Elena Kagan of the United States Supreme Court, was born in New York, New York, on April 28, 1960. She received an A.B., summa cum laude, from Princeton University in 1981. Following Oxford, she attended Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1986. Prior to her appointment as an Associate Justice, Justice Kagan served as the United States Solicitor General, where she was the Chief Supreme Court advocate for the United States. Justice Kagan is also a former professor, and the 11th dean, of Harvard Law School. Justice Kagan is the only member of the Court without prior judicial experience.

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