Lists of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States

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The lists of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States cover the law clerks who have assisted the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States in various capacities since the first one was hired by Justice Horace Gray in 1882.[1] The list is divided into separate lists for each position in the Supreme Court.

Each justice is permitted to have three or four law clerks per Court term. Most clerks are recent law school graduates, who have typically graduated at the top of their class.[2] Among their many functions, clerks do legal research that assists justices in deciding what cases to accept and what questions to ask during oral arguments, prepare memoranda, and draft orders and opinions.[3] Research suggests that clerks exert a moderate influence on how justices vote in cases, but have "substantial influence in cases that are high-profile, legally significant, or close decisions".[4]


Morrison Waite • Melville Fuller • Edward D. White  • William H. Taft • Charles E. Hughes • Harlan F. Stone • Fred M. Vinson • Earl Warren • Warren Burger • William Rehnquist • John Roberts
Samuel Blatchford • Edward D. White • Willis Van Devanter • Hugo Black • Lewis Powell • Anthony Kennedy • Brett Kavanaugh
Horace Gray • Oliver W. Holmes • Benjamin Cardozo • Felix Frankfurter  • Arthur Goldberg • Abe Fortas • Harry Blackmun • Stephen Breyer • Ketanji Brown Jackson
William Woods • Lucius Lamar II • Howell Jackson • Rufus Peckham • Horace Lurton • James McReynolds • James Byrnes • Wiley Rutledge • Sherman Minton • William Brennan • David Souter • Sonia Sotomayor
Samuel Miller • Henry Brown • William Moody • Joseph Lamar • Louis Brandeis • William O. Douglas • John P. Stevens • Elena Kagan
Stanley Matthews • David Brewer • Charles E. Hughes • John Clarke • George Sutherland • Stanley Reed • Charles Whittaker • Byron White • Ruth Bader Ginsburg • Amy Coney Barrett
John M. Harlan • Mahlon Pitney • Edward Sanford • Owen Roberts • Harold Burton • Potter Stewart • Sandra Day O'Connor • Samuel Alito
Stephen Field • Joseph McKenna • Harlan Stone • Robert Jackson • John M. Harlan • William Rehnquist • Antonin Scalia • Neil Gorsuch
Joseph Bradley • George Shiras • William Day • Pierce Butler • Frank Murphy • Tom Clark • Thurgood Marshall • Clarence Thomas

Note that, due to the several changes in the size of the Court since it was established in 1789, two seats have been abolished, both as a result of the Judicial Circuits Act of 1866 (and before the Court established the practice of hiring law clerks). Consequently, neither "seat 5" nor "seat 7" has a list article. Also, the seat numbers in these articles are not derived from official United States federal government sources, but are used as a way of organizing and detailing the succession of justices over the years since the first set of justices were confirmed by the United States Senate.


  1. ^ Peppers, Todd C. (2006). Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk. Stanford University Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-8047-5382-1.
  2. ^ "Supreme Court Procedures". Washington, D.C.: Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  3. ^ Ward, Artemus; Weiden, David L. (2006). Sorcerers' Apprentices: 100 Years of Law Clerks at the United States Supreme Court. New York, New York: New York University Press. pp. 1–5. ISBN 978-0-8147-9404-3.
  4. ^ Sen, Maya; Rozema, Kyle; Goldin, Jacob; Chilton, Adam; Bonica, Adam (2019). "Legal Rasputins? Law Clerk Influence on Voting at the US Supreme Court". The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization. 35: 1–36. doi:10.1093/jleo/ewy024.