Which Justice has the best seat on the Court?

February 22nd, 2013

I recently realized that Justices Holmes, Cardozo, and Brandeis shared the same seat on the Court in succession. That is pretty awesome. Here are some of the previous residents of the Nine

  • Chief Justice Seat (Created by Judiciary Act of 1789) – Roberts: Rehnquist, Warren, Vinson, Stone, Hughes, Taft, Chase, Taney, Marshall, Jay
  • Seat 1 (Created by Judiciary Act of 1789): Sotomayor, Brennan, McReynolds, Peckham, Bushrod Washington
  • Seat 2 (Created by Judiciary Act of 1789): Breyer, Frankfurter, Cardozo, Holmes, Story.
    Dare I say, this may be the most illustrious Associate Justice seat on the Court. It is also the most Jewish seat with Cardozo, Frankfurter, Goldberg, and Breyer reclining in it every Passover.
  • Seat 3 (Created by the Judiciary Act of 1789): Kagan, Stevens, Douglas, Brandeis, Chase
  • Seat 4 (Created by the Judiciary Act of 1789): Kennedy, Powell, Black, Van Devanter, Livingston (from Pierson v. Post!), Rutledge
  • Seat 5 (Created by the Judiciary Act of 1789, but abolished by the Judicial Circuits Act in 1866)
  • Seat 6 (Created by the Seventh Circuit Act of 1807): Ginsburg, White, Sutherland, Hughes
  • Seat 7 (Created by the Judiciary Act of 1789, but abolished by the Judicial Circuits Act in 1866)
  • Seat 8 (Created by the 8th and 9th Circuit Act of 1837): Alito, O’Connor, Stewart, O. Roberts, Harlan I
  • Seat 9 (Created by the 10th Circuit Act of 1863): Scalia, Rehnquist, Harlan II, R. Jackson, Field.
    If Breyer’s seat is the top seat, this may be a runner-up. 
  • Seat 10 (Created by the Circuit Judges Act of 1869): Thomas, Marshall, Clark, Butler. Really slim pickings for CT.

Excluding the Chief, Breyer’s seat is probably the best, followed by Scalia’s seat, with Kagan in a distant third (if nothing else due to the longevity of its occupants).

Speaking of which, Happy President’s Day!