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    Meet the Supreme Court Justices

    John Roberts – Chief Justice

    Nominated by: George W Bush
    Law School: Harvard
    Sitting since: 2005

    Justice Roberts came to the Supreme Court from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He was born in Buffalo, New York and began his career as a law clerk.

    Of interest: Chief Justice Roberts is infamous for his decision to uphold the constitutionality of ObamaCare by declaring the law a “tax” in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius. He is considered to lean conservative.

    Antonin Scalia – Associate Justice

    Nominated by: Ronald Reagan
    Law School: Harvard
    Sitting since: 1986

    Justice Scalia came to the Supreme Court from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey and began his career in private practice.

    Of interest: In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Scalia found that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) did not give the federal government the power to suspend habeas corpus. In Printz v. United States, a landmark case, Scalia wrote in the majority opinion that some gun control laws are unconstitutional. He is considered to be very conservative.

    Anthony Kennedy – Associate Justice

    Nominated by: Ronald Reagan
    Law School: Harvard
    Sitting since: 1988

    Justice Kennedy came to the Supreme Court from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He was born in Sacramento, California and began his career in private practice.

    Of interest: Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the landmark Citizens United case, upholding the First Amendment rights of unions and corporations to engage in political advertising. Kennedy is considered to be “moderate,” often acting as a “swing vote” on the Court.

    Clarence Thomas – Associate Justice

    Nominated by: George HW Bush
    Law School: Yale
    Sitting since: 1991

    Justice Thomas came to the Supreme Court from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He was born in Pin Point, Georgia and began his career in this Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

    Of interest: Thomas is renowned for remaining silent and rarely asking questions during oral arguments. At one point, he went seven years without speaking. Justice Thomas is considered, along with Justice Scalia, to be very conservative.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Associate Justice

    Nominated by: Bill Clinton
    Law School: Columbia
    Sitting since: 1993

    Justice Ginsburg came to the Supreme Court from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She was born in Brooklyn, New York and began her career as a law clerk.

    Of interest: Wrote the decision in United States v. Virginia, finding that the Virginia Military Institute’s policy refusing to admit women is unconstitutional.

    Stephen Breyer – Associate Justice

    Nominated by: Bill Clinton
    Law School: Harvard
    Sitting since: 1994

    Justice Breyer came to the Supreme Court from the US Sentencing Commission. He was born in San Francisco, California and began his career as a law clerk.

    Of interests: In Morse v. Frederick, Breyer ruled that schools had a right to restrict free speech.

    Samuel Alito – Associate Justice

    Nominated by: George W Bush
    Law School: Yale
    Sitting since: 2006

    Justice Alito came to the Supreme Court from the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey and began his career as Assistant US Attorney for New Jersey.

    Of interest: Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion in Zedner v. United States, writing that defendants cannot waive their rights to a speedy trial. He is considered to lean liberal.

    Sonia Sotomayor – Associate Justice

    Nominated by: Barack Obama
    Law School: Yale
    Sitting since: 2009

    Justice Sotomayor came to the Supreme Court from the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She was born in the Bronx, New York and began her career as an assistant in the New York District Attorney’s Office.

    Elena Kagan – Associate Justice

    Nominated by: Barack Obama
    Law School: Harvard
    Sitting since: 2010

    Justice Kagan came to the Supreme Court from her position as Solicitor General of the United States. She was born in New York, New York and began her career as a law clerk.

    Of interest: Justice Kagan is known for writing opinions on many Supreme Court cases. In 2011, just one year into her term, she wrote more opinions than any other justice.