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

The List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States covers 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 between three and four law clerks per Court term. Most persons serving in this capacity are recent law school graduates (and 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
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  Gedorge Clarke   Sutherland  Stanley Reed  Charles Whittaker  Byron White  Ruth B. Ginsburg
John M. Harlan  Mahlon Pitney  Edward Sanford  Owen Roberts  Harold Burton  Potter Stewart  Sandra D. 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" have 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.
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