1. News & Issues

Biographies of Current Supreme Court Justices

By

When an unconstitutional bill passes Congress and is signed by the president, or when it is passed by a state legislature and signed by the governor, the Supreme Court is the last line of defense against its enforcement.

Meet your Supreme Court. Their job is to protect our country from unconstitutional laws. When they do, we owe them our gratitude for a job well done. When they don't, our very existence as a liberal democracy is threatened.

Justice Samuel Alito

Justice Samuel Alito
Photo: Pool / Getty Images.
His critics call him "Scalito" ("little Scalia"), but how much do we really know about the U.S. Supreme Court's newest member?

Justice Stephen Breyer

Justice Stephen Breyer
Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images.
Justice Breyer came to the Court with one of the most impressive resumés in the institution's history. An unapologetic modernist, he offers up a judicial philosophy that stands out in sharp relief against the judicial originalism of Scalia.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Photo: Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images.
As the Court's leading progressive voice, Justice Ginsburg is the only member with a significant ACLU background.

Justice Anthony Kennedy

Justice Anthony Kennedy
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images.
Justice Kennedy's newly-minted status as "swing vote" has given him near unprecedented power over the Court's trajectory.

Chief Justice John Roberts

Chief Justice John Roberts
Photo: Pool / Getty Images.
William Rehnquist was one of the most conservative chief justices in the history of the Supreme Court. How will Chief Justice Roberts compare?

Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia
Photo: Stephen J. Boitano / Getty Images.
Justice Scalia's razor-sharp dissents tend to be refreshingly bold, honest, and unpretentious, but his critics fear what might happen if his philosophy ever becomes the majority view of the Court.

Justice David Souter

Justice David Souter
Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images.
Described as a "stealth justice" in 1990 due to his by-the-book rulings and quiet demeanor, the eccentric Justice Souter has emerged as a crucial voice on the Court's modernist wing.

Justice John Paul Stevens

Justice John Paul Stevens
Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images.
Justice Stevens is the longest-serving justice and the last justice of the Supreme Court's progressive generation. At 87, he remains one of the Court's most active and outspoken members.

Justice Clarence Thomas

Justice Clarence Thomas
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images.
Arguably the most conservative member of the Court, Justice Thomas is also the most widely misunderstood.
  1. About.com
  2. News & Issues
  3. Civil Liberties
  4. History & Timelines
  5. Biographical Profiles
  6. U.S. Supreme Court
  7. Current Supreme Court Justices - Profiles of Current Supreme Court Justices

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.