The Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States, and leads the federal judiciary. It consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight Associate Justices, who are nominated by the President and confirmed with the "advice and consent" (majority vote) of the Senate. Once appointed, Justices effectively have life tenure, serving "during good Behaviour", which terminates only upon death, resignation, retirement, or conviction on impeachment. The Court meets in Washington, D.C. in the United States Supreme Court building. The Supreme Court is primarily an appellate court, but it has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. The Supreme Court is sometimes informally referred to as the High Court, or by the acronym SCOTUS.¹

Presented here is biographical information for each Justice, as well as quotes, related books and other resources.

Name Date Born Appointed by Service Began
John G. Roberts John G. Roberts
Chief Justice
Jan. 27, 1955 George W. Bush Sept. 25, 2005
Anthony Kennedy Anthony Kennedy
Associate Justice
July 23, 1936 Ronald Reagan Feb. 18, 1988
Clarence Thomas Clarence Thomas
Associate Justice
June 23, 1948 George H. W. Bush Oct. 23, 1991
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Associate Justice
Mar. 15, 1933 Bill Clinton Aug. 10, 1993
Stephen Breyer Stephen Breyer
Associate Justice
Aug. 15, 1938 Bill Clinton Aug. 3, 1994
Samuel Alito Samuel Alito
Associate Justice
Apr. 1, 1950 George W. Bush Jan. 31, 2006
Sonia Sotomayor Sonia Sotomayor
Associate Justice
June 25, 1954 Barack Obama Aug. 6, 2009
Associate Justice Elena Kagan Elena Kagan
Associate Justice
Apr. 28, 1960 Barak Obama Aug. 7, 2010
Neil M. Gorsuch Neil M. Gorsuch
Associate Justice
Mar. 11, 1936 Donald Trump April 10, 2017

Quotes About The Supreme Court

"Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever. ~ William Howard Taft"
"Whenever you put a man on the Supreme Court he ceases to be your friend." ~ Harry S. Truman

"The Supreme Court's only armor is the cloak of public trust; its sole ammunition, the collective hopes of our society." ~ Irving R. Kaufman

"What five members of the Supreme Court say the law is may be something vastly different from what Congress intended the law to be." ~ Benjamin F. Fairless

Noteworthy Sites

"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." ~ Benjamin Franklin

read more

If you would like to read more about history, The Supreme Court and the presidents, visit our history bookstore.

... a thousand words

Bring history and education to life with posters and art prints in the following categories:

"To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting." ~ Edmund Burke