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Merrick Garland Would Keep the Supreme Court’s Harvard and Yale Braintrust Intact

Yale v HarvardYale v Harvard
Members of the Harvard Crimson and of the Yale Bulldogs shake hands after the game on November 20, 2010 at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Garland's approval would continue the two school's reign over the Supreme Court.Photograph by Elsa via Getty Images

Every single member of the Supreme Court, including the recently deceased Antonin Scalia, has attended law school at either Harvard or Yale. And that Ivy League dominance would remain unbroken if Merrick Garland takes the bench.

It should be noted that there is one catch to the two-school dominance. Ruth Bader Ginsburg actually graduated from Columbia Law School after transferring from Harvard Law. Beyond that little quirk, all eight remaining Justices received their law educations within the hallowed halls of rivals Harvard or Yale.

Garland, President Obama’s nominee for the open justice role, would fit right in. The current chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and former prosecutor earned both his undergraduate and J.D. degrees from Harvard.

In fact, Garland’s education and work resume look strikingly similar to that of Chief Justice John Roberts. After his Harvard degrees, Garland went on to clerk for Judge Henry Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, served at the Justice Department, reached partner at a Washington, D.C. law firm, and ultimately landed in the D.C. Circuit. Roberts also did all those things, reported USA Today.

 

Here’s a quick summary of where each current justice completed their educations.

Anthony Kennedy: Graduated from Stanford in 1958, received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1961.

Clarence Thomas: Graduated from College of the Holy Cross in 1971, received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1974.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Graduated from Cornell University in 1954, started at Harvard Law School in 1956 before completing her law degree at Columbia Law School in 1959.

Stephen Breyer: Graduated from Stanford University in 1959, received his law degree from Harvard in 1964.

John Roberts: Graduated from Harvard College in 1976, received his law degree from Harvard in 1979.

Samuel Alito: Graduated from Princeton University in 1972, received his law degree from Yale in 1975.

Sonia Sotomayor: Graduated from Princeton University in 1976, received her law degree from Yale in 1979.

Elena Kagan: Graduated from Princeton University in 1981, received her law degree from Harvard in 1986.