President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court after Anthony Kennedy, 82, announced his retirement in July after 30 years of service. Kennedy held the key vote on high-profile issues, such as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights.
As Kavanaugh goes before the Senate for his confirmation hearing, here's a look at the sitting Supreme Court justices.
Chief Justice John Roberts
Nominated to the bench in 2005 by former President George W. Bush, John Roberts, 63, graduated from Harvard Law School in 1979, according to his court biography. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Roberts served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, as an associate counsel to former President Ronald Reagan and in the White House Counsel’s Office in the 1980s.
Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
Samuel Alito, Jr., has served on the Supreme Court since 2006 after he was nominated by former President George W. Bush. Alito, 68, is a Republican.
Born in New Jersey, Alito attended Princeton University and Yale Law School. Before joining the Supreme Court, he was a former assistant to the Solicitor General and worked with the Department of Justice.
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer
Stephen Breyer was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1994 after being nominated by former President Bill Clinton. Breyer, 80, graduated from Stanford University, Magdalen College in Oxford and Harvard Law School.
Previously, Breyer served as an assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force and special counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Breyer is a Democrat.
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Nominated by former President Bill Clinton in 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is only the second female to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg, 85, attended Cornell University for her undergraduate degree before attending Harvard Law School and Columbia Law School.
A Democrat, Ginsburg launched the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union prior to becoming a Supreme Court justice, according to her court biography. She also served on the ACLU’s general counsel.
Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch
Neil Gorsuch was President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee. He graduated from Columbia University, Harvard Law School and Oxford University.
Prior to joining the Supreme Court in 2017, Gorsuch clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. Gorsuch, 51, served on the Standing Committee on Rules for Practice and Procedure of the U.S. Judicial Conference. He is a Republican.
Associate Justice Elena Kagan
Elena Kagan, 58, has served on the Supreme Court since 2010. She was nominated by former President Barack Obama.
Kagan has degrees from Princeton University, Oxford University and Harvard Law School. She previously was a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School and Harvard Law School. A Democrat, she also served in the Clinton administration, clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and served as the Dean of Harvard Law School.
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Sotomayor received Princeton University’s highest academic honor when she graduated and now she sits on the nation’s highest court. Sotomayor, 64, was nominated by former President Barack Obama in 2009.
Like Alito, Sotomayor also attended Yale University where she got her J.D. Sotomayor, a Democrat, was also appointed to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York by former President George H.W. Bush in 1991.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas
From Pin Point, Ga., Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court in 1991. The 70-year-old was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush.
Thomas, 69, attended seminary school from 1967 to 1968 before graduating from Holy Cross College and Yale Law School, according to his court biography. A Republican, Thomas has also served as an Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and the chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.