Constitutional Law For Dummies
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The justices on the Supreme Court interpret the Constitution, which affects everyone in this country. As you study constitutional law, knowing the justices and their interpretive styles helps you make sense of big decisions and predict future outcomes.

Chief Justice:

  • John G. Roberts: Born 1955, seated on the Supreme Court 2005 (appointed by President George W. Bush)

Associate Justices:

  • Clarence Thomas: Born 1948, seated on the Supreme Court 1991 (appointed by President George H. W. Bush)

  • Stephen G. Breyer: Born 1938, seated on the Supreme Court 1994 (appointed by President Bill Clinton) Breyer is expected to retire at the end of the 2022-2023 term.

  • Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.: Born 1950, seated on the Supreme Court 2006 (appointed by President George W. Bush)

  • Sonia Sotomayor: Born 1954, seated on the Supreme Court 2009 (appointed by President Barack Obama)

  • Elena Kagan: Born 1960, seated on the Supreme Court 2010 (appointed by President Barack Obama)

  • Neil M. Gorsuch: Born 1967, seated on the Supreme Court 2017 (appointed by President Donald Trump)

  • Brett M. Kavanaugh: Born 1965, seated on the Supreme Court 2018 (appointed by President Donald Trump)

  • Amy Coney Barrett: Born 1972, seated on the Supreme Court 2020 (appointed by President Donald Trump)

New justice in 2022:

  • Ketanji Brown Jackson: Born 1970 (appointed by President Joe Biden). She will replace Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who will retire at the end of the 2021-2022 term.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Glenn C. Smith is a professor of constitutional law at California Western School of Law in San Diego, CA, and creator of a nationally recognized seminar in which law students learn about the Supreme Court by role-playing as current justices and lawyers arguing before them.

Patricia Fusco is a government attorney and a criminal prosecutor working in the California Attorney General's Office, Special Crimes Unit. As a trial attorney, she deals with issues of constitutional law on a daily basis.

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