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Supreme Court:

Women Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court

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Supreme Court:

Women Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court

Until President Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O'Connor to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, all 101 previous justices had been men. O'Connor made history as the first woman. Since she joined the court in 1981, three other women have also been nominated and confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sandra Day O'Connor (Years on Court: 19812006) --A Republican from Arizona, O'Connor had served in both political office and in the state court system in her native Arizona. After graduating from Stanford Law School, O'Connor was denied employment as a lawyer, because no law firm in California would hire her because she was a woman.

--Nominated by President Ronald Reagan

--Preceded on the court by Potter Stewart

--Succeeded on the court by Samuel Alito


Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Years on Court: 1993-Present) --In 1960, despite a strong recommendation from the dean of Harvard Law School, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter passed up on an opportunity to hire Ginsburg as one of his court clerks, apparently because she was a woman.

--Nominated by President Bill Clinton

--Preceded on the court by Byron White


Sonia Sotomayor (Years on Court: 2009-Present) --Born in the Bronx in New York City to Puerto Rican immigrants, Sotomayor is the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court. While at Yale Law School., she filed a formal complaint against the established Washington, D.C., law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge for suggesting during a recruiting dinner that she was only at Yale via affirmative action. The law firm's later apology was reported in the Washington Post.

--Nominated by President Barack Obama

--Preceded on the court by David Souter


Elena Kagan (Years on Court: 2010-Present) --Elena Kagan was the first woman to serve as the United States Solicitor General, a position she held prior to her nomination to the Supreme Court.
--Nominated by President Barack Obama

--Preceded on the court by John Paul Stevens