supremecourtbuilding

The next year of Supreme Court action will have a profound impact on America and every citizen. Critical issues decided will include immigration, presidential power, first and second amendment rights, states rights, human rights, voting rights, impeachment, and the list goes on. Plus, we may very well see yet another Justice appointment. Ideology of individual Justices will be on display. How well do you know your Justices? Here is a quick run-down.

In response the President Trump’s recent remark about an “Obama” federal judge, Chief Justice John Roberts rebuked that, “there are no Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges, or Clinton judges, just federal judges.” I give him credit for taking the high road, but we all know federal judges are chosen based on how they view the world, particularly from a conservative or liberal perspective. The flip from a liberal-leaning to a conservative-leaning Supreme Court with President Trump’s two nominees will make a huge difference in upcoming cases. Congressional inaction on immigration has forced the President to take executive actions that will continue to end up in the Supreme Court. As you follow these headlines, you will want to better familiarize yourself with who these justices are and how they view the issues. I hope these abbreviated bios help.

John G. Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States

John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, was born in Buffalo, New York, January 27, 1955.  He received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1979. He was Associate Counsel to President Ronald Reagan, White House Counsel’s Office from 1982–1986, and Principal Deputy Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice from 1989–1993. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003. President George W. Bush nominated him as Chief Justice of the United States, and he took his seat September 29, 2005. Note: Chief Justices are nominated by the President and serve until retirement or death. President Bush nominated Roberts as a new Chief Justice replacing Chief Justice William Rehnquist who died in office.

Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice

Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice, was born in the Pinpoint community near Savannah, Georgia on June 23, 1948. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974. He served as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. President Bush nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and he took his seat October 23, 1991.

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice, was born in Brooklyn, New York, March 15, 1933. She received her LL.B. from Columbia Law School. She was instrumental in launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, served as the ACLU’s General Counsel from 1973–1980, and was on their National Board of Directors from 1974–1980. She was appointed a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1980. President Clinton nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and she took her seat August 10, 1993.

Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice

Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice, was born in San Francisco, California, August 15, 1938. He received an LL.B. from Harvard Law School. He served as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and as its Chief Judge, 1990–1994. He also served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1990–1994, and of the United States Sentencing Commission, 1985–1989. President Clinton nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat August 3, 1994.

 

Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice

Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, April 1, 1950. He received an LL.B from Yale Law School. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 1990. President George W. Bush nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat January 31, 2006.

 

 

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. 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 August 8, 2009.

Elena Kagan, Associate Justice

Elena Kagan, Associate Justice, was born in New York, New York, on April 28, 1960. She received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1986. She served for four years in the Clinton Administration as Associate Counsel to the President and then as Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. In 2009, President Obama nominated her as the Solicitor General of the United States. A year later, the President nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 10, 2010. She took her seat on August 7, 2010.

Neil M. Gorsuch, Associate Justice

Neil M. Gorsuch, Associate Justice, was born in Denver, Colorado, August 29, 1967. He received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a D.Phil from Oxford University. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in 2006. President Donald J. Trump nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat on April 10, 2017.

 

 

Brett M. Kavanaugh, Associate Justice

Brett M. Kavanaugh, Associate Justice, was born in Washington, D.C., on February 12, 1965. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1990. From 2001 to 2003, he was Associate Counsel and then Senior Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush. From 2003 to 2006, he was Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary for President Bush. He was appointed a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006. President Donald J. Trump nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat on October 6, 2018.