Profile: Supreme Court Justices

Since the appointment of Justice Stephen Breyer in 1994, the membership of the high court has been as follows:


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Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist

Nominated to the Supreme Court by President Nixon in 1971, Justice William Rehnquist served as an Associate until 1986 when he was nominated Chief Justice by President Reagan. He is known for his hard-line conservative stances.

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated to the high court by President Clinton and took her oath of office in 1993. She is known to have liberal views and ideas on issues brought to the court.


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Supreme Court Justice David Souter

Justice David Souter is one of three key "swing" voters in the Supreme Court - often deciding the outcome of court decisions. Despite being a nominee of President Bush in 1990, Justice Souter has not been as conservative as his proponents would have liked.

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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Justice Clarence Thomas took his oath of office in 1991 as a nominee of Mr. Bush. He joins Justices Scalia and Rehnquist on the conservative side of the bench.


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Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

A liberal thinker, Justice Stephen Breyer joined the Supreme Court in 1994, after his nomination by President Clinton. The newest addition to the court, Justice Breyer replaced Justice Harry Blackmun.


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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia, known for his conservative stances on issues facing the court, was nominated by President Reagan as an Associate Justice and took his oath of office in 1986.

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Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

Another liberal-minded Associate, Justice John Paul Stevens shifted to the left after his nomination and appointment to the high court by President Ford in 1975.


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Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Nominated to the Supreme Court by Mr. Reagan in 1981, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor joins Justice Souter as a "swing" voter and a "middle-of-the-road" conservative.


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Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy


Rounding out the group of "swing" voters, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is not as well-known for his moderate stances, but his vote decides the majority in some cases. He was nominated by Mr. Reagan and took his oath of office in 1986.