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Cass R. Sunstein

Home-Run Hitters of the Supreme Court

Who are the top eight Supreme Court justices in history?
John Marshall: an undisputed Hall of Famer. Source: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
John Marshall: an undisputed Hall of Famer. Source: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In the nation's history, 112 people have served on the Supreme Court of the United States. Suppose that we were to select the all-time greats. Who would make the cut?

To answer that question, we need a metric. It makes sense to consider two factors: historical significance and legal ability. It would be too contentious to include only those justices with whom one agrees, so let's make this list ideology-free. We'll also exclude the current justices, because it is too early to tell whether any will count among the all-time greats.