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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 and spent at least one year clerking for a lower federal judge.[2][3] 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.[4] 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".[5]

Current justices[edit]

The justices as of 2023 with links to their past and present law clerks:

Lists by seat[edit]

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.

Notable clerks[edit]


  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". uscourts.gov. Washington, D.C.: Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  3. ^ George, Tracey E. and Yoon, Albert and Gulati, Mitu, Some Are More Equal Than Others: U.S. Supreme Court Clerkships (January 31, 2023). Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2023-10, Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 2023-03, Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 23-06, Available at SSRN: SSRN 4338222
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Greenhouse, Linda (2006-08-30). "Women Suddenly Scarce Among Justices' Clerks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  7. ^ "A look at Jewish justices at the highest court". Washington Jewish Week. 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  8. ^ Greenhouse, Linda (30 August 2006). "Women Suddenly Scarce Among Justices' Clerks". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (31 March 2017). "William T. Coleman Jr., Who Broke Racial Barriers in Court and Cabinet, Dies at 96". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Peppers, Todd C. (2006). Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-5382-1.
  11. ^ "Vikram David Amar – University of Illinois College of Law". law.illinois.edu. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  12. ^ Jeffrey, Terry (25 May 2011). "Ted Cruz: New Voice for the American Dream". Townhall.
  13. ^ "Rochelle Shoretz, Sharsheret founder and cancer advocate, is dead at 42 - Diaspora - Jerusalem Post". www.jpost.com. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  14. ^ Mollway, Susan Oki (2021-09-30). The First Fifteen: How Asian American Women Became Federal Judges. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-1-9788-2452-2.
  15. ^ "Blindness doesn't deter law clerk from high court – CNN.com". www.cnn.com. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  16. ^ "Mānoa: U.S. Supreme Court justice chooses UH Law graduate to serve as law clerk | University of Hawaii News". manoa.hawaii.edu. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  17. ^ "Kamaile Nichols Turcan KSK'98 | Pauahi Foundation". www.pauahi.org. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  18. ^ "Chickasaw woman to become first Native American to clerk for Supreme Court justice". NewsOK.com. 2018-04-16. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  19. ^ April 14, Tony Mauro |; AM, 2018 at 11:35. "Gorsuch Hires Native American Law Clerk, Likely First in SCOTUS History". National Law Journal. Retrieved 2018-12-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ Wager, Denise. "Laura Wolk '16 J.D. to clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas | The Law School | University of Notre Dame". The Law School. Retrieved 2018-12-06.