Since its establishment in 1789 by the US Constitution, the US Supreme Court has seen 17 Chief Justices and 116 Justices in total. Many historic cases have gone through the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), setting precedents and changing the social fabric.
Stacker has compiled an account of the educational and professional history of each current Supreme Court justice, including Ketanji Brown Jackson, the newest member. Each justice’s background is divided into three sections: education, early career, and working life during the years prior to their tenure on the Supreme Court.
The SCOTUS has been predominantly white and male since its founding. In reality, all but eight of the court’s 116 judges were white men. Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to be confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1981; Thurgood Marshall was the first person of color to be appointed to court in 1967; and Jackson became the first black woman confirmed in the nation’s highest court on April 7, 2022.
Current Supreme Court justices have taken different paths to reach their current esteemed positions. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in 2020, was appointed in 1993 and faced many challenges to become a SCOTUS judge. She encountered sexism in her attempt to secure internships as a female law graduate in the 1950s and was paid less than her male colleagues when she taught at Rutgers Law School in the 1960s .
When Clarence Thomas applied for jobs as a new law graduate, he found that some law firms weren’t taking his Yale JD seriously because the university tried to fill black student quotas. at the time. Sonia Sotomayor spoke out for Hispanic rights as a student and as a judge, and faced obstacles when she was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals due to Republican beliefs that President Bill Clinton was trying to facilitate his nomination as the first Hispanic person on the Supreme Court. It was confirmed at SCOTUS in 2009.
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