The Supreme Court is established by the United States Constitution as the third, and weakest, branch of government. It is comprised of nine justices that are appointed by the President, and confirmed by the Senate. They have life tenure, and therefore sit on the Supreme Court until they retire or die.
The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what the law is. It is the Supreme Court that has given us the right to abortion and the right to same sex marriage, among other rights, having found these rights to be subsumed under those specifically granted by the Constitution.
As of the inauguration of the current administration, the Supreme Court Justices are:
- Chief Justice John Roberts, age 62, conservative
- Justice Anthony Kennedy, age 80, moderate conservative
- Justice Clarence Thomas, age 68, conservative
- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, age 83, progressive
- Justice Stephen Breyer, age 78, progressive
- Justice Samuel Alito, age 66, conservative
- Justice Sonia Sotomayor, age 62, progressive
- Justice Elena Kagan, age 56, progressive
- Vacant seat
Because the oldest Justices are either progressive or moderate, their retirement or death under this administration will almost certainly push the Court to become much more conservative for decades.
For purposes of this website, the Supreme Court is important because the outcome of important cases, and the continuance of our rights depend on who the Justices on it are, and how they view the law.
We will therefore cover both the Administration’s nominees, and cases that affect areas covered by other topics on this website.