1. Clarence Thomas
Clarence Thomas is an American judge who serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He studied at the College of the Holy Cross and Yale Law School. In 1979, he became the legislative assistant to United States Senator “John Danforth”. Later he was appointed as the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. In 1990, President “George H. W. Bush” nominated him to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
He is the second African American to serve on the Court. On 15 October 1991, after the testimony, the Senate voted to confirm Thomas as an associate justice of the Supreme Court by a 52–48 vote. On 23 October 1991, he received his commission and took the prescribed constitutional and judicial oaths of office, becoming the Court’s 106th justice. During his time on the Court, he has rarely given media interviews. The documentary film “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in his Own Words” was made about his life.
According to the ‘YouGov’ poll, Thomas was the most popular sitting Supreme Court justice among Republicans, with a 59% approval rating in that category. He is the author of the book “My Grandfather’s Son”. He is associated with the Court’s conservative wing. As the Supreme Court became more conservative, Thomas and his legal views became more influential in the Court. He has argued that the executive branch has broad authority under the Constitution and federal statutes.
He believes the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment forbids consideration of race, such as race-based affirmative action or preferential treatment. Before becoming a judge, he supported ideas of natural law. Thomas is the longest-serving member of the Court with a tenure of more than 30 years.
2. Stephen Breyer
Stephen Gerald Breyer is an American lawyer and jurist. He graduated from Harvard Law School. After a clerkship with Associate Justice ‘Arthur Goldberg’. Breyer served briefly as a fact-checker for the Warren Commission. He worked as a law professor and lecturer at Harvard Law School. Breyer was a visiting professor at the College of Law in Sydney, Australia, the University of Rome, and the Tulane University Law School. He specialized in administrative law. Breyer was the special assistant to the United States Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust and assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.
From 1980 to 1994, he served on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. He got the opportunity to work with the chairman of the committee, Senator ‘Edward M. Kennedy’, to pass the Airline Deregulation Act that closed the Civil Aeronautics Board. Breyer is the author of the book ‘Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution’. He has served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Breyer was nominated by President “Bill Clinton”. He has consistently voted in favor of abortion rights. He did a guest appearance on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’. Breyer was elected to the ‘American Philosophical Society’. He was honored with the ‘Distinguished Eagle Scout Award’ by the ‘Boy Scouts of America’. Breyer appeared in the show ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’ where he promoted his book ‘The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics’. On 25 February 2022, Biden nominated ‘Ketanji Brown Jackson’ a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and one of Breyer’s former law clerks, to succeed him.
3. Samuel Alito
Samuel Anthony Alito Jr is an American lawyer and jurist. He completed his education at Princeton University and Yale Law School. From 1999 to 2004, he worked as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark. He taught courses in constitutional law and an original course on terrorism and civil liberties. He was a visiting professor at Duke University School of Law. He serves as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. At the time of his nomination, he was rated ‘Well Qualified’ by the ‘American Bar Association’.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) formally opposed Alito’s nomination. He got the opportunity to work with ‘Maryanne Trump Barry’. Alito is the second Italian-American justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, after ‘Antonin Scalia’. He is the 110th justice. Alito joined the Court in mid-term so he did not participate in the decisions of most of the early cases. He was considered one of the most conservative justices on the Court. Alito has described himself as a practical originalist.
He is a fan of the professional baseball team ‘Philadelphia Phillies’. He was awarded the ‘Saint Thomas More Medal’ in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of law. His majority opinions in landmark cases include ‘McDonald v. Chicago’, ‘Burwell v. Hobby Lobby’, ‘Murphy v. NCAA’, ‘Janus v. AFSCME’, and ‘Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization’.
4. Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Maria Sotomayor is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She studied at Princeton University and Princeton University. She was an editor at the Yale Law Journal. Sotomayor has worked as an assistant district attorney in New York for more than four years. She played an active role on the boards of directors for the ‘Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund’, the ‘State of New York Mortgage Agency’, and the ‘New York City Campaign Finance Board’.
She has served on the board of the ‘Maternity Center Association’. It is an organization that focused on improving the quality of maternity care. On 27 November 1991, she was nominated by President ‘George H. W. Bush’ to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by ‘John M. Walker Jr’. She was praised by the famous lawyer and politician ‘Ted Kennedy’. Sotomayor became the youngest judge in the Southern District and the first Hispanic federal judge in New York State. She became the first Puerto Rican woman to serve as a judge in a U.S. federal court.
She generally kept a low public profile as a district court judge. Sotomayor showed a willingness to take anti-government positions in a number of cases. During her first year in the seat, she received high ratings from liberal public-interest groups. In criminal cases, she gained a reputation for tough sentencing. Many sources and organizations regarded her as a centrist. On 25 June 1997, she was nominated by President ‘Bill Clinton’ to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which was vacated by ‘J. Daniel Mahoney’. Following Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election victory, speculation arose that Sotomayor could be a leading candidate for a Supreme Court seat.
On 26 May 2009, Obama nominated her. Sotomayor is only the second jurist to be nominated to three different judicial positions by three different presidents. She was named in the list of “The 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century” by ‘Esquire Magazine’. She was awarded the ‘Katharine Hepburn Medal’ from Bryn Mawr College. In 2019, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. A painting featuring her was unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. She was honored with ‘Woodrow Wilson Award’.
5. Elena Kagan
Elena Kagan is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She studied at Princeton University, Worcester College, and Harvard Law School. She started her career as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Later she became a professor at Harvard Law School and was named the first female dean. Kagan has worked as a summer associate at the Wall Street law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where she worked in the litigation department.
Joe Biden appointed her as a special counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee. During this time, she worked on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. She served as an Associate White House Counsel and policy adviser under President ‘Bill Clinton’. In 2009, she became the first female solicitor general of the United States. On 10 May 2010, President ‘Barack Obama’ nominated her to the Supreme Court. The United States Senate confirmed her nomination by a vote of 63–37.
She is considered part of the Court’s liberal wing but tends to be one of the most moderate justices of that group. Kagan wrote the majority opinion in Cooper v. Harris, a landmark case restricting the permissible uses of race in drawing congressional districts. She was named in the list of 100 most influential people by ‘Time Magazine’. A painting featuring her was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.