FILE - In this May 31, 2009, file photo, Western Kentucky's Matt Rice celebrates after beating Mississippi during the NCAA Tournament regional baseball game at Oxford-University Stadium in Oxford, Miss. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas chose Berkeley graduate James Matt" Rice for a one-year Supreme Court law clerkship. Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

Ex-Marine, professor, MLB draft pick among high court clerks

July 20, 2019 - 9:24 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — What do these people have in common?

A former Marine who deployed twice to Afghanistan. A patent law professor. A blind woman. Two Rhodes scholars.

They're some of the lawyers starting work this summer as law clerks at the Supreme Court.

The group of 16 women and 23 men hired by the justices were already on paths to become leading judges, professors and Supreme Court advocates.

The one-year clerkship will cement their high-profile status.

Justices hire four clerks annually. Retired justices hire one.

The clerks review potential cases, help their justice prepare for arguments, conduct research and write draft opinions.

Scholars disagree about how much influence clerks have. But what's clear is that clerks are the justices' behind-the-scenes assistants who help the place run.

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