THE SUPREME Court is the highest federal court in the US – and even has the power to strike down orders by the president.
But who are the nine Supreme Court Justices serving at the court, what do they do and how are they appointed?
Who are the Supreme Court justices?
There are nine Justices of the Supreme Court, who meet at the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. They are:
John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States
John G. Roberts Jnr is the Chief Justice of the United States and was appointed in July 2015.
In 2003, Roberts, 65, was appointed as a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by George W. Bush.
In 2005, Bush nominated him to take the position of Supreme Court Justice after Sandra Day O'Connor retired.
But after the then-Chief Justice – William H. Rehnquist – died on September 3 2005, Bush changed his nomination to Chief Justice.
His Supreme Court Chief Justice nomination was the first to take place since Stephen Breyer in 1994.
Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice
Clarence Thomas was nominated by President George H. W. Bush.
He is the second African-American to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice
Stephen G. Breyer is one of the longest serving Justices currently appointed to the Supreme Court.
He was nominated by President Bill Clinton on May 17, 1994, and has served since August 3, 1994
Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice
Samuel A, Alito Jr was nominated by President George W. Bush on October 31, 2005, and has served since January 31, 2006.
He is considered to be one of the most conservative Justices in the Supreme Court.
Alito Jr is the 110th Justice, the second Italian American, and the eleventh Roman Catholic to serve on the court.
Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice
Sonia Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2009, and has served since August 8, 2009.
Sotomayor is the first Hispanic and Latina member of the Court.
Elena Kagan, Associate Justice
Elena Kagan is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
She was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 10, 2010, and has served since August 7, 2010.
Kagan is the fourth woman to become a member of the Court.
Neil M. Gorsuch, Associate Justice
Neil McGill Gorsuch is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
He was nominated by President Donald Trump on January 31, 2017, and has served since April 10, 2017.
Gorsuch was nominated to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia
Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice
Amy Coney Barrett, 48, is the most recent Justice to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
She was nominated by President Donald Trump and has served since October 27, 2020.
She was a previous United States circuit judge, from 2017 to 2020.
Brett M. Kavanaugh, Associate Justice
Brett Michael Kavanaugh is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
He was nominated by President Donald Trump on July 9, 2018 and has served since October 6, 2018.
How are Supreme Court justices chosen?
All Justices are nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and hold their offices under life tenure.
Since Justices do not have to run or campaign for re-election, they are thought to be insulated from political pressure when deciding cases.
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Justices may remain in office until they resign, pass away, or are impeached and convicted by Congress.
The Senate Judiciary Committee typically conducts confirmation hearings for each nominee., under Article III of the US constitution.
The federal Judiciary and the Administrative Office of the US Courts play no role in the nomination and confirmation process.
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