The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. It has a number of important roles, such as hearing appeals from lower courts and interpreting the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court is made up of 9 justices; 1 Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices. The justices are nominated for their roles by the President with confirmation by the Senate. These justices remain in the position for life unless their chose to resign, retire or are removed by impeachment. This means that there are very few openings for these positions and, as of 2012, there have only been 112 justices in the long history of the Supreme Court, with just 4 female justices.
Who was the first female Supreme Court Justice?
The first female Supreme Court Justice was Sandra Day O’Connor. She was appointed to the role of Associate Justice on September 21, 1981, by President Ronald Reagan and served in this position until she retired on January 31, 2006. This makes her the 26th longest serving justice in history. She remained the only female Justice until 1993 when Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the court by Bill Clinton. The two other female justices are “Sonia Sotomayor” (2009) and Elena Kagan (2010) who were both nominated by President Obama. There has never been a female Chief Justice.
Did you know?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first female Jewish justice and Elena Kagan was the second female Jewish justice. There have been 8 Jewish justices in the history of the court and as of 2012 there are currently 3 Jewish justices serving in the court.
Elena Kagan was the first person since 1972 to be appointed to the Supreme Court without any experience as a judge!