Profiles of Women on the U.S. Supreme Court

As part of the United States Constitution, Article III states:

“The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

In order to provide structure and divide power, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law, protects civil rights and ensures laws are not passed that contradict the fundamental values common to Americans. This involves making landmark decisions that will influence the lives of millions, such as the recent historic 2015 ruling that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States.

History of Women on the Supreme Court

However, despite the court’s impact on society at large, it took almost 200 years before a woman was chosen as associate justice. This week marks the anniversary of Sandra Day O’Connor’s first day in office as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1981. To celebrate, we would like to spotlight the only four women justices who have served on the Supreme Court: Sandra Day O’Connor; Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.