The highest court in the United States, the Supreme Court was established in 1935 by Article III of the U.S. Constitution. With the motto “Equal Justice Under Law”, it is responsible for reviewing the constitutionality of laws in this country. The Court is composed of 9 judges, including a president and 8 associate judges, and since its creation, 115 judges have sat on it. Throughout history, the members of this Court have been dominated by men: women have not been sufficiently represented. But how many women have served on the U.S. Supreme Court?
Women who have served on the Supreme Court
In the history of the U.S. Supreme Court, five women have served on the Court. The first woman to be admitted to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Conner was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and retired in 2006. The second woman on the Court, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The third woman admitted to the Court, Sonia Sotomayor was nominated in 2009 by President Obama. Elena Kagan was the fourth woman admitted to the Supreme Court. She was named by President Obama in 2010. Finally, Amy Coney Barrett is the fifth woman to be nominated to the Court, Donald Trump appointed her in 2020.
Distinctive features of the women admitted to the Court
Justice O’Conner has been known for decisions on abortion, affirmative action, and the death penalty. Ginsburg has focused on gender discrimination cases. Justice Sotomayor, on the other hand, has a reputation for asking tough questions on the stand. Kagan was distinguished by her conversational style in expressing her opinions. Justice Barrett is distinctly conservative in her views.
Evolution of the number of women appointed to the Supreme Court
Until 2020, 5 women have served on the U.S. Supreme Court, but this number will increase starting in June 2022 with the nomination of Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson by President Joe Biden in April 2022. Thus, as of the end of June 2022, four women will serve on the Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Amy Coney Barrett, and Kentaji Brown Jackson. This will increase the number of women on the Supreme Court.