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When Justice Stephen Breyer steps down from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term, the court will lose its second-longest-serving justice.
At 83, Breyer has served on the court for more than 27 years, behind only Justice Clarence Thomas. Appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the Senate in 1994, Breyer is currently the longest-serving justice on the court’s liberal wing.
Thomas and Breyer are the last justices to be confirmed in the 20th century. After Breyer, the next justice to be confirmed was Chief Justice John Roberts, in 2005.
The longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history was William O. Douglas, appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. Douglas served on the court for 36 years before retiring in 1975.